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Enclosed by Images: The Eameses' Multimedia Architecture

Enclosed by Images: The Eameses' Multimedia Architecture

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Published by Matthew Shannon
by Beatriz Colomina
by Beatriz Colomina

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Published by: Matthew Shannon on Jan 04, 2013
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Enclosed by Images: The Eameses' Multimedia Architecture
Beatriz Colomina
Grey Room
, No. 2. (Winter, 2001), pp. 5-29.
Grey Room
is currently published by The MIT Press.Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available athttp://www.jstor.org/about/terms.html. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtainedprior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content inthe JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use.Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained athttp://www.jstor.org/journals/mitpress.html.Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printedpage of such transmission.The JSTOR Archive is a trusted digital repository providing for long-term preservation and access to leading academic journals and scholarly literature from around the world. The Archive is supported by libraries, scholarly societies, publishers,and foundations. It is an initiative of JSTOR, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to help the scholarly community takeadvantage of advances in technology. For more information regarding JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.http://www.jstor.orgTue Feb 19 06:16:34 2008
 
Enclosed
by
Images:The
Eameses' Multimedia
Architecture
BEATRIZ
COLOMINA
1.
We are surrounded today, everywhere, all the time, by arrays of multiple, simulta-neous images. In the streets, airports, shopping centers, and gyms, but also on ourcomputers and television sets. The idea of a single image commanding our attentionhas faded away. It seems as if we need to be distracted in order to concentrate.
As
if we-all of us living in this new kind of space, the space of information--couldbe diagnosed en masse with Attention Deficit Disorder.
The
state of distraction inthe metropolis, described so eloquently by Walter Benjamin early in the twentiethcentury, seems to have been replaced by a new form of distraction, which is to saya new form of attention. Rather than wandering cinematically through the city, wenow look in one direction and see many juxtaposed moving images, more thanwe can possibly synthesize or reduce to a single impression. We sit in front of ourcomputers on our ergonomically perfected chairs, staring with a fixed gaze at manysimultaneously "open" windows through which different kinds of informationstream toward us. We hardly even notice it. It seems natural, as if we were simplybreathing in the information.How would one go about writing a history of this form of perception? Shouldone go back to the organization of television studios, with their walls of monitorsfrom which the director chooses the camera angle that will be presented to theviewer; or should one go to Cape Canaveral and look at its Mission Control room;or should one even go back to World War
11,
when so-called Situation Rooms wereenvisioned with multiple projections bringing information from all over the worldand presenting it side by side for instant analysis of the situation by leaders andmilitary commanders?But it is not simply the military, or war technology, that has defined this new formof perception. Designers, architects, and artists were involved from the beginning,
Grey
Room
02,
Winter
2001, pp.
6-29.
c
2001
Grey
Room,
Inc.
and
Massachusetts
lnst~tute
of
Technology
7
 
Audience watching Charles andRay
Eames,
Glimpses of the
USA,
1959,
in the interior of
the
MoscowWorld's Fair auditorium.

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