“What if one’s gait could see?” Take Dziga Vertov’s concept of kino-eye and vision it anew in the age of gait-based detection and surveillance: the skin-as-camera.
Preliminary Notes Toward a Concept of Kino-Gait
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agamben: “an age that has lost its gestures is, for this reason, obsessed by them. for human beings who have lost every sense of naturalness, each single gesture becomes a destiny. and the more gestures lose their ease under the action of invisible powers, the more life becomes indecipherable” (notes on politics, p. 53).
virilio: “the first difference between cinema and photography is that the viewpoint can be mobile, can get away from the static focus and share the speed of moving objects” (war and cinema, p. 16).
muybridge and marey are both known as grandfathers of the cinema, but also as grandfathers of biomechanics, the scientific field of study that breaks down the human body into its functional components for discrete analysis and optimization.
muybridge: sequential images from single or different cameras; sensation or perception of the surface of the moving body.
marey: one camera capturing a spectrum of movement in one image, united by stroboscopic lighting; presence of clock within photography illustrates the folding of time within process.
this folding of time within the image — making it chronometric — has become the politics of the high performance athlete as speed increases, challenging the earlier usefulness of a foucauldian understanding of surveillance and panopticism as politics.
the concept of sousveillance first proposed and practised by steve mann — a seeing from “below” of those who see us through surveillance — was an important step towards navigating and negotiating such a politics, but suffers in that the camera is still identified with the eye.
the first instinct upon seeing antony gormley’s sculpture above is to presume the moving body is an object of volumetric striation in negative space.
why can’t it suggest that the moving body itself is a total visioning apparatus? call this kino-gait.
Sketch No.1: Lateral aspect of left leg, peroneus longus.
similarly, kino-gait should have multiple cameras functioning together to create a single omnidirectional volumetric vision.
the goal of kino-gait is to have the whole surface of the body function as an eye: the entire skin-as-camera becomes a preliminary limit of kino-gait.
might kino-gait become a strategy for negotiating the topological transformations of three-dimensional information environments?
this is not to replace or diminish the flesh as a means or locus of knowing, but rather to complement or enhance it.