Resolution: Digital materialities, thresholds of visibility
Often used as a synonym of ‘definition’, the term ‘resolution’ indicates the quantity of detail a raster digital image holds, and may refer to image resolution (the size of a digital image file), display resolution (the total number of pixels or the pixel density of a digital visual display), or optical resolution (the number of image sensor elements in a digital camera). Resolution may be increased or decreased, and its various degrees determine not only the visual appearance of an image, but also the conditions of its production, storage, and circulation. As a way of measuring and controlling visibility, resolution raises a whole series of aesthetic, epistemological, and political implications, and may be tackled from the different perspective of media theory, media archaeology, and visual culture theory. Reaching back to McLuhan’s reflections on the low definition of the television screen and on its analogies with mosaics and pointillisme, this introduction examines the question of resolution in a number of film, media, and artistic practices from the 1960s to today.
Casetti, Francesco; Somaini, Antonio: Resolution: Digital materialities, thresholds of visibility. In: NECSUS. European Journal of Media Studies, Jg. 7 (2018), Nr. 1, S. 87–103. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25969/mediarep/3441.
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