Being Screens, Making Screens

Functions and Technical Objects

in Screen Bodies
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Mauro Carbone Distinguished Professor, Aesthetics, Faculty of Philosophy, Jean Moulin Lyon 3 University, France mauro.carbone@univ-lyon3.fr

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Graziano Lingua Full Professor, Moral Philosophy, Department of Philosophy and Education Sciences, University of Turin, Italy graziano.lingua@unito.it

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Sarah De Sanctis Translator

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Abstract

The present relations between screens and the human body invoke a genealogy that should help us to understand their status. However, we suggest that this historical-genealogical work shall be matched with a more comprehensive anthropology of screen experiences. By mobilizing the notion of “arche-screen,” we identify the transhistorical principle underlying such experiences with the showing/concealing and the exposing/protecting function pairs—the latter exceeding the visual dimension and involving our bodily relations with the environment. These function pairs, which are rooted in our body and make it into our proto-screen, can be enhanced via their externalization as appropriate technical objects. By highlighting the prostheticization of skin in some prehistoric artistic techniques and the role of the veil from the Old Testament to Leon Battista Alberti's treatise On Painting, we stress that the interweaving of the above-mentioned screen functions is a constant feature of human experiences and that its thematic variations are traceable in more recent screen forms.

Contributor Notes

Mauro Carbone is Distinguished Professor of Aesthetics in the Faculty of Philosophy of the Jean Moulin Lyon 3 University, and an Honorary Member of the Institut Universitaire de France. Influenced by phenomenology, in particular by Merleau-Ponty's philosophy, his present research focuses on contemporary screen experiences and how they are changing our relations with ourselves, others, and the world. His most recent books are Philosophy-Screens: From Cinema to Digital Revolution (State University of New York Press, 2019), and Merleau-Ponty's Poetic of the World. Philosophy and Literature, written with Galen Johnson and Emmanuel de Saint Aubert (Fordham University Press, 2020). Email: mauro.carbone@univ-lyon3.fr

Graziano Lingua is Full Professor of Moral Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy and Education Sciences of the University of Turin, Italy, and Co-Director of the Department of Digital Humanism at the Collège des Bernardins in Paris, France. His research is focused on the philosophy of images and on the relationship between religions and the contemporary public sphere. He has written several books and essays, one of the former being L'icona, l'idolo e la guerra delle immagini (The Icon, the Idol and the War of Images) (Medusa, 2006). Email: graziano.lingua@unito.it

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Screen Bodies

The Journal of Embodiment, Media Arts, and Technology

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