Jacob Gaboury Published in Grey Room

27 Apr, 2018

Jacob Gaboury Published in Grey Room

Jacob Gaboury, BCNM faculty, published "The Random-Access Image: Memory and the History of the Computer Screen" in the 70th issue of the Grey Room.

In Gaboury's article, he proposes a departure from the way we view computers based on its graphics, and look at the screen itself — not only as a visual frame that produces these graphics, but also as a hardware that has shaped our visual culture through its continuous transformations.

An excerpt from his work:

The computer screen is a relatively recent invention and is by no means essential to the concept of computation itself. Some form of output is necessary to make meaningful the calculation of a computational machine, but the screen is only one of many possible media forms that output can take. Yet in our contemporary digital media landscape the screen is ubiquitous—so much so that it is often taken for granted in all forms of computational interaction. As Nick Montfort suggests, “the screen is often portrayed as an essential aspect of all creative and communicative computing—a fixture, perhaps even a basis, for new media.” This ubiquity has led to a “screen essentialist” assumption about computational systems, whereby the screen stands in for, and thereby occludes, the deeper workings of the computer itself. Yet, while we should not assume the screen exists as a pervasive feature of all machines in the history of computing, we likewise cannot discount the multiple and changing roles screens have played in the development of computational media over the past seventy years and the diverse forms the screen takes as it moves through the history of computing.Grey Room is an academic journal that hopes to forge a cross-disciplinary discourse, placing itself at the intersection between aesthetic and critical debates.

You can read the entirety of Gaboury's scholarly article here.

If you are still curious, you can also read the entire 70th issue online at MIT Press Journals here.