|Original photo from: seBASTIAO|
“Stephen Prince, professor of cinema studies at Virginia Tech, noted in his essay ‘True Lies’ (1996) that CGI severs the ‘indexical’ or causal connection between an image and the object it represents, which might have no original in the real world; instead, we are presented with imaginary objects that can nonetheless be considered ‘perceptually realistic.’ Another theorist, Lev Manovich, at the City University of New York, has argued that CGI reveals that the conception of photographic recording as essential to cinema was a historic accident, and that the new digital regime returns cinema to its place in an earlier conception of visual representation as involving the manual construction of images. ‘Cinema becomes a particular branch of painting – painting in time,’ he writes in What Is Digital Cinema? (1996). [...]
Another drawback of images composed of ‘a bunch of pixels’ is a sense of deadness, of the inorganic. This is partly to do with the smoothness of digital imagery, as opposed to images shot and projected on celluloid, which retain the trace of film stock’s chemical grain. But there is also a problem in the making of the images.
In CGI, everything has been deliberately programmed for specific effect – a suppression of accident, resulting in imagery that seems to lack expressive autonomy, organic-seeming ‘heft,’ as opposed to the weightlessness of pure light or data. Eager to remedy this lack, software creators have now made it possible to program lifelike randomness, or ‘noise’ into digital motion.”
— Jonathan Romney, aeon