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Which clippings match 'Computer-based Media' keyword pg.1 of 1
06 FEBRUARY 2014

Pierre Hébert: Around Perception (1968)

"Around Perception is a groundbreaking experiment on computer–based animation, consisting of 11 audiovisual events designed to baffle cognition and unrest comfortable notions of reality. Unlike most of his later films, Hébert chose not to collaborate with top–notch experimental musicians and created the soundtrack himself. In this, he followed a method also used by Norman McLaren: to scratch sound directly onto the film itself. The relation between sound and picture, however, is not as symbiotic as in McLaren's Synchromy: although there are organic reactions between the two domains, one is not a direct translation of the other. This, of course, need not be seen as a weakness. Indeed, with its fast–paced changes of color and geometrical patterns, and the employment of Columbia–like richly crafted electronic tones, Around Perception works as a tremendously hallucinatory exercise in trompe l'oeil (and l'oreille) techniques. Or, as stated by Hébert himself at the beginning of the film, an exercise 'for the mind and against the mind'."

(The Sound of Eye)

Fig.1 "Around Perception", Director: Pierre Hébert, Year: 1968, Time: 16 mins, Music: Pierre Hébert.



Simon Perkins
15 MAY 2011

Multimedia's peculiar nature challenges traditional categories; this in itself is an aspect of its radical character

"In the wake of post–modernist practice, computer–based media has resisted definition –– and for good reason: definitions are confining. They reduce the range of potential in the object defined by drawing attention away from what lies outside the wall of definition. This is a particular concern with new media, because one of its attractions is its fluid, multifarious character, its permeable walls. Digital media's peculiar nature challenges traditional categories; this in itself is an aspect of its radical character. But there is value in proposing and discussing alternative definitions of digital media –– even if these definitions are contingent, bracketed by circumstances. In fact, it may be best to regard them as contingent, because our experience with digital media is so fresh, and where it leads so unclear. The definitions of today will inevitably be replaced tomorrow, as new applications for digital media emerge over time. Definitions are meant to establish a shared vocabulary that can focus argument –– and often, covertly, to achieve a politically motivated purpose. The purpose of our project is overt: If, as Marshall McLuhan suggests, we literally construct the world we inhabit through the design and deployment of our media technologies –– because they enable certain behaviors while discouraging others –– then the social and political ramifications of how we define and address the emerging digital media are undeniable. By identifying a subject's key characteristics, we begin to say what it is and what it is not. For digital media this is particularly critical; if the digital arts community does not lead the discussion about how to define digital multimedia, and the types of behaviors it should or shouldn't encourage, other interests, like governments and corporations, will force a definition upon us."

(Ken Jordan, 2002)

Fig.1 'The Apple–1 Computer customised with an after–market wooden enclosure with carved name and keyboard'

2). Ken Jordan (2002). 'Defining Multimedia'



2002 • alternative definitions • Apple • bracketed by circumstances • categorisationcomputer-based mediacontingentcultural technologydefinitionsdesigndigital arts • digital arts community • digital mediadigital multimedia • emergence • emerging digital mediaenabling behaviours • fluidity • hybrid form • Ken Jordan • Marshall McLuhanmedia technologiesmedium • multi-media • multifarious character • multimediamutable • Nettime • new digital media applications • new media • permeable • post-modernist practice • Postmodern • radical character • Randall Packer • reductionism • shared vocabulary


Simon Perkins

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