Adaptive images: Practices and aesthetics of situative digital imaging
Digital images increasingly determine the way people interact with physical space. Combined imaging and sensing technologies register, process, and transmit information about the physical world in real time and make it possible to continuously adapt such images to specific spatio-temporal settings and in relation to motion and perspective. With the ability to integrate situative and customised information in media, like digital maps or virtual reality applications, images also gain in importance for perception and interpretation. Such integration of image, action, and space heralds a new type of visual media described as adaptive images. Based on cases from industrial production, medicine, and psychotherapy as well as from sports and entertainment, the paper addresses their aesthetic, spatial, and operational conditions, and provides a typological survey of adaptive images as a phenomenon, including their respective challenges and implications for image and media theory.