Comments from mthies

Upon reading Sterne (, J (2006) The historiography of cyberculture, chapter 1 of Critical cyberculture studies. New York University Press. pp.17-28. ) I was immediately struck by the fact that up until now there was little investigation into the non visual aspect of high technology in media and culture. Science Fiction is traditionally very visually stimulating as its job is to conjure radically different visions of futures best understood through a lens. But we are probably missing a good portion of the experience of the future of human existence by dismissing sound, feeling, smells even. All these things will exist in future so they should receive their own amount of focus at some stage too.

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  1. You are are right. One exception I might present is that of HAL, from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Although the entire film is a gigantic love-fest with visual design and display, the physical presentation of HAL itself is quite sterile. The majority of the time all you see is a glowing red lens. Visually, and in conjunction with the smooth placidity of his voice, this is brilliant. wen HAL speaks it is not uncommon for a cold chill to run up and down your back. The constant, matter-of-fact tone is both disarming and alarming. To add to it all is the fact that although HAL expresses emotions and fears, there is little in his voice to betray any feelings any consequence whatsoever. In fact, one of the most disconcerting aspects of the film is although HAL expresses sympathy and even affection for humans, it kills with the same total lack of emotion it performs any other task. It simply enhances the coldness of space and the coldness one would see in a shark’s eyes as it consumes its prey; all in that flat voice and the unchanging, unblinking red eye.

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