디지털 이미지, 실재감, 실재성, 지각체험, 사진적 지표성, 재현, 상상의 세계, 가상현실/ digital image, sense of reality, reality, perception, photographic indexicality, representation, imaginary world, v
본고는 디지털 이미지가 제공하는 지각체험의 성격을 ‘실재감’이라는 측면에서 분석하고, 이러한 ‘실재감’으로 인해 디지털 이미지가 획득하게 되는 ‘실재성’을 실제 세계(actual reality)와의 관련 하에 고찰해보고자 하는 목적으로 쓰였다. 이를 위해 <쥬라기 공원 Jurassic Park>, <아바타 Avatar> 그리고 몰입가상현실작품 <오즈모스 Osmose>가 분석대상으로 선택되었다. 공상과학영화는 현실과 상상을 섬세하게 융합시켜 믿을 수 있는 영상을 창조해내야 한다는 점에서 사진적 지표성으로부터 해방된 디지털 이미지의 강점이 가장 잘 발휘될 수 있는 장르이기 때문에 선택되었고, 가상현실작품은 관람자(사용자)의 행위를 개입시킴으로써 이미지와 상호작용하게 하고 공감각적 체험을 제공한다는 점에서 디지털 이미지의 ‘실재성’을 고찰할 때 빠뜨릴 수 없는 분석대상이므로 포함되었다. \r\n\r\n분석결과 디지털 미디엄을 사용한 2-D와 3-D 이미지는 뛰어난 실재감을 제공하기는 하지만 ‘지각은 행위이다’라는 메를로 퐁티(Maurice Merleau-Ponty)와 한스 요나스(Hans Jonas)의 철학에 기반하고 있는 본 연구자의 입장에서 보건대 이들은 정교하게 디자인된 ‘시각적 자극’에 불과하다. 그에 비해 사용자의 행위를 허용하고 요구하는 가상현실이미지는 우리가 현실에서 실재를 지각할 때와 가장 유사한 지각체험을 제공한다. 그러나 디지털 이미지가 확보한 이러한 탁월한 실재성을 현실을 완벽하게 모방하고 재현하는 데 사용하는 것은 디지털 이미지의 혁명적인 잠재력을 오히려 사장시키는 일이라는 것이 본 연구자의 입장이다. 디지털 이미지는 그 탁월한 실재감을 ‘보이지 않는 세계’나 ‘상상의 세계’를 창조하고 묘사하는 데에 사용할 때에 자신의 가장 뛰어난 능력과 잠재력을 발휘할 수 있다. ‘보이지 않는 세계’, ‘상상의 세계’를 창조하고 묘사한다는 것에는 세 가지 의미가 포함된다. \r\n\r\n첫째, 공상과학영화와 같은 공상세계의 창조, 둘째, 인간지각의 확장을 통한 다른 생물체의 감각이나 지각의 체험, 셋째, 인간의 정체성을 포기하지 않으면서도 세계를 ‘있는 그대로’ 재인식하는 일이 그것이다. 본 연구자가 가장 관심을 가지는 것은 세 번째 가능성으로, 본 연구자는 샬롯 데이비스의 ‘몰입가상현실’ 작품 <오즈모스>에서 그 단서를 찾는다. <오즈모스>에서 샬롯 데이비스는 우리로 하여금 ‘낯익은’ 자연을 ‘새로운’ 방식으로 체험하게 해준다. 디지털 이미지는 역사상의 그 어느 매체보다도 뛰어난 실재감을 제공한다. 그러나 이러한 실재감을 현실의 충실한 모방과 재현을 위해 사용할 것이 아니라 ‘보이지 않는 세계’, ‘상상의 세계’를 우리의 지각범위 안에 끌어들이고, 우리로 하여금 ‘세계 그 자체’에 대한 ‘원초적 대면’을 할 수 있게 함으로써 이 세계와의 상호교차적 관계(the chiasmatic interrelation. 메를로-퐁티)를 회복하는 데에 사용할 때 디지털 이미지의 가장 강력한 가능성과 혁명성이 발휘될 수 있다는 것이 본 연구의 결론이다.
This thesis was written to examine two issues. First, what sort of perceptual experience does digital image provide the viewer(user) and second, what is the meaning of 'a sense of reality' that is presented by such perceptual experiences in relation to actual reality. These two issues came to mind after I read an audience's review of the 3-D . The audience was unanimous in their response. They stated that they felt as though they had experienced the adventures in the world(Pandora Planet) the film presents together with the main characters.\r\n\r\nIn order to investigate the first issue, what sort of perceptual experience does digital image provide the viewer(user), I studied three different types of digital images; 2-D, 3-D, and Virtual Reality image. For the 2-D digital image analysis, I selected (Steven Spielberg, 1993) as my primary focus. The 3-D version of (James Cameron, 2009) was selected for my 3-D analysis. Finally, for Virtual Reality image, I examined the immersive virtual space artwork (Charlotte Davies, 1995). The reason why I selected scientific fiction films for analysis, is because digital image reveals its most powerful ability in films which address an imaginary world rather than a mere representation of the actual world. Meanwhile, Virtual Reality image offers a completely different perceptual experience to viewers. It accepts or even demands the viewer's physical intervention or activity into the image and provides them with a synesthesiastic experience. was selected because it has specific aesthetic and philosophical significance that relate to the issue of the 'reality' of digital image. The following discourse explains the results of the analysis. First, successfully presents the co-existence of two different actualities in the same frame. One is a 'past actuality'(dinosaurs) and the other is a 'present actuality'(a theme park). This effect was achieved through digital special effects(SFX). The fact that digital image is free from the 'indexicality' of a photographic image, makes digital image the most powerful tool in the creation of the imaginary world. At the same time, these images also show an astonishing sense of reality, which is ironic, considering the fact that these images do not represent any real existence(no indexicality). In order to investigate the astonishing sense of reality that these images provide, I relied on Warren Buckland's 'modal logic theory' and Steven Prince's concept of 'perceptual realism'. provides significant momentum in analysing the perceptual experience of digital image in two ways. First, the story of the film is itself about an astonishing experience of perceptual transition from a human-being to another creature. Secondly, 3-D technology presents the audience with the feeling that they are participating in the characters' adventures through the solidity (volume) of the screen images. However, the astonishing sense of reality in the film is in fact a well-designed optical stimulus, rather than a true perceptual experience. While watching the film, the audience neither moves nor engages in any activity in order to receive such a perceptual experience. According to Merleau-Ponty and Hans Jonas's phenomenology of perception, which is the foundation of this thesis, true perceptual experience which results in assurance of reality can only be acquired as a result of our activity and movement. introduces a unique quality of digital image and its revolutionary possibilities, which is very different from the mere representation or imitation of actual reality. This artwork is purposely designed to make the viewer(immersant) percept nature in a totally new manner and feel 'another way of being', free from human limitations. It uses the viewer's body as an interface. By controlling one's breathing and balance of body, viewers can change and even swim in the images like a 'scuba diver'. aims to 're-sensitise' viewers by reconnecting (our) body, mind and the world"(Davies, 1998, 67). seems to realise the recovery of our senses for 'the primordial world' (Merleau-Ponty) through its artistic achievement. The second issue, what is the meaning of 'a sense of reality' that is presented by such perceptual experiences in relation to actual reality, was examined with a brief study of several scholars' and artists' opinions regarding why people throughout history have been so interested in representations of actual reality. The study went on to review three media philosophers' arguments, which reflect on the characteristics and the meaning of the sense of reality that digital image provides. Cho, Kwang-Jae states that 'the relationship of reciprocal exchange' between image and actual reality is the revolutionary aspect of digital image. He insists that, if the characteristics of perception which are accompanied when we percept real existence in actual reality, and the characteristics of perception which are accompanied when we experience digital image are more or less the same, then we can acknowledge the 'reality' of digital image. He concludes that the reality of digital image is "an extended reality, which does not contain physical, material quality, which has nothing to do with our biological subsistence"(Cho, 2005, 203). This thesis sees his argument as a compromise which is caused by applying Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology of perception (Cho's theoretical base) mechanically to the perceptual characteristics of digital image. Merleau-Ponty clearly declares 'the facticity of the world'(Merleau-Ponty, 2010, xix) and that phenomenology is a matter of 'describing our perception of the world'(Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, 2010, xviii). Cho, by developing his argument under the presupposition of the possibility of substitution between digital image and the actual reality, seems unable to avoid a compromise which admits both the reality of digital image and the impossibility of our biological subsistence in the image. Lev Manovich submits an interesting argument. He suggests that digital image represents 'the future reality' not 'the present reality'. Digital image, according to Manovich, is a realistic representation of the future of human sight, which would be aided by computer. Claude Cadoz's concept of the 'reverse of representation process at modelling' implies a meaning that is similar to Manovich's 'representation of future'. A model is a description of something which does not exist at the present time. When the model is realised as something that actually exists, the 'reverse of representation process' occurs. Cadoz points out that this reverse of representation process is an important characteristic of digital image. Finally, this thesis studies whether digital image produces any radical change in our recognition of this world. Digital image liberates photography from the difficulty of describing 'an invisible, imaginary world' so that it can concentrate on its original purpose of representing and recording 'actual reality'. What does it mean to describe 'an invisible, imaginary world'? In digital image, this can be understood as 'an extension of people's perception' rather than mere imagination or fantasy. However, there is a third realm which is different from the other two realms mentioned above (description of an imaginary world, extension of our perception). As philosophers like Merleau-Ponty insist, it is the recovery of 'the chiasmatic interrelation between embodied being and the world'(Davies, 1998, 68). This thesis recognizes this new potentiality of digital image in media artwork like . In this work, the artist makes viewers experience this interrelation through transparent and half-transparent images. This approach is different from 'digital realism', but not completely foreign from the existing reality. Reality is always much more plentiful than its representations. According to Cadoz, a completely perfect representation of the world is the world itself. Digital image, especially Virtual Reality image, does not need to attempt such an impossible mission. It needs to establish a different relationship with the world rather than complete a representation of the world. In other words, a fresh, primordial contacting with the world itself as it is, not as a world which is distorted and pre-framed by our cultural and historical prepositions and prejudices.