Language of Angels
Theory of Spectatorship aDiary + Film-North Album (new)
Intro. ACTING LIGHT: FROM MOON TO SUN
PART ONE. THE OPTICAL (REALITY)
PART TWO. THE DIGITAL (MIRACLE)
I do not know what I am doing. Maybe dying. Just recording the process.
I got used to myself. That's all. I spent too much time with myself.
Why not with somebody else. Or better with nobody!
How siily of me! I shouldn't be stuck with the one and only. I never liked him much in the first place.
This is nothing but an indentification with myself.
Summary"Illusion of Me"
QuestionsAnother draft? When? Work on the story, scenes.
NotesWhat a nonsense to call the reality of my mind an illusion and my body -- reality! Not for too long, very soon we will know what is real.
Bad Subjects, Wrong Theories
Film and light are always poetic -- the joy of knowledge, existence, seeing?
The optic "memories" were very pomo, they couldn't leave the original. We could play with the world, but with such a nostalgia. Too human, too mortal and modernist! The digital offers both -- the photo-copy and the painter's eye. Forget the distortions! Lets create! Open the Bible, the script is in there.
(How long it took to conquer the radiant light. see LIGHT)
"Struck by the reality character of the [resultant] images, the spectator cannot help reacting to them as he would to the material aspects of nature in the raw which these photographic images reproduce." Siegfried Kracauer
I don't like this word -- illusion. Like the famous character of history I want to say -- What is truth? ...
We don't care! Ask not why, ask how.
The mechanics of the illusion of movement in film are based, on two optical phenomena: the persistence of vision1, and the so-called the phi-phenomenon. We need them both -- the gaze and the quantum, the unbroken attention and the broken down light. But still it is a reflective light, magic of the moon. The stars were too far, the sun was too bright to look at. The light bouncing off the nature was full of memories of the real. But around the same time when the cinema began its life, there was another silent discovery -- x-ray, invisible light, something which penetrated the surface, something had of memories of the inside. What a strange photography it is! The Real lost its obvious forms. The Real became multi-leveled. The images of the things have to be discovered or created.
Camera began to treat reality in a liberal manner. We learn to see what we normally can't. The step from photography to film gave even more freedom. Not just an "illusion" of the world but the motion of it. Why do I say "illusion"? Because the Real became an image of the Real? There was another step to take to mary the great discovery of the visual with the radio -- the invisible light, the radiant. A radio station is a blind camera, which learned how to see. We call it "broadcasting" because like the sun it throws its rays indiscriminatory -- everywhere, in all directions. The Father Sun generates light -- and now we can have them at the same time -- the day and the night. Television is a light bulb which learned how to project the memories of the Real. How real is this "illusion"?
Unlike the motion pictures, which need only the illusion of motion, the electronic images of television and video create both the illusion of motion and image. Could it be that image in itself is a motion? Is it possible that the vision itself is the motion? .... Even images on your tv screen are illusions! You have nothing! Jesus! Images were so illusionary already, but they were MATERIAL. Sort of. Well, there were too much flesh in movies! The movies weren't COMPLETELY DEAD. Give me the rays! Waves! Resurrection doesn't deal with something half-dead.
Did I say -- dead? Light is life. Maybe those "illusions" are the real reality? Maybe we struck by the reality of the other world? The world before the material, which we used to call the World After? We have to be careful with words, especially, with this one -- illusion.
.... Angels have existense -- and no life. They see, but cannot touch. They cannot see themselves in the mirror, they have to flesh to call it "my self"....
There is also the illusion of depth (or the third dimension). Could somebody replace the screen, please? The matchmakers, why can't you introduced this girl, Ms. Holographic, to our living room, or just project your stuff straight into my brains!
There are further reasons why the film audience tends to submit easily to the power of the cinematic illusion; one of them is the very nature of film viewing. In the cinema a person watches the screen in relative isolation -- cut off from the outside world by the darkness of the auditorium and seating arrangement. This creates a distinctive atmosphere which the German psychologist Hugo Mauerhofer calls the "cinema situation." The "cinema situation" intensifies the hypnotic power of the film image.
The channeling, the presence after death.
.... The day I won't see myself in the mirror, I know that I am dead.
THE MIRROR STAGE
Illusion of reality leads to viewers' identification with the events on the screen. According to Metz, "... the spectator can do no other than identify with the camera..." Jean-Louis Baudry speaks of "two levels of identification." It should be stressed here that the capability to produce this illusion and identification is not exclusive to the film medium. It can be detected in other art forms, including the performance arts and literature. In the area of popular music, for example, these factors can become very powerful at times.
In my youth I spend a lot of time staring at the mirror. I tried to understand myself. I would stay in front of the screen (mirror), asking -- is it me? Am I here? You see, my reflection is an illusion. Optical phenomena. There was no man inside or behind the mirror. Without an illusion I wouldn't be a teenager and an existentialist. I had many crazy thoughts at that time. I noticed that I can see the world in the mirror without me! Then I would come walk in.... This picture WITHOUT ME was disturbing. I thought that I exist. In fact that was the time when my presence was overwhelming. But the mirror reflecting the world without me made me think about death. I understood that the world doesn't need me for its existence. It hurts.
I wasn't ready to live. I'm always behind the deadlines. It was time to go after girls -- what was the reason to look at my face in the mirror? But I can't get over my discovery that I didn't exist before.... I didn't make the film "Mirror" -- Andrey Tarkovsky did. He did it for me. I have my personal identifications.
In motion pictures, the level of audience identification with the story reaches a considerably greater degree of intensity when compared to similar effects observed in most art forms, such as stage drama and literature. The German theoretician Walter Dadek speaks of an "unprecedented increase of the illusion of reality" [trans. J.U.] of the film image.
Identification: the spectator is a main "part of the story" -- he is an apparatus of the story.
The trans: spectator's emotional identification with character (POV) is an alienation from himself. Also, the unnoticed distance from film itself.
.... I stare at the computer screen. At this page you read. Did I say "page"? Well, there is no page there, only banch of files and commands. There is no page there, untill you click. And with the speed of light those bits and pieces group together to form color, shape, thoughts... Where? In the "cyper" space, they say. This no-space space, the space which exists only in time. And only at the time, when we need it... Ah, QM again, the new physics I was in love as a teenager... Sometimes I want to have a book, hold it -- yes, I know, books are data too, but this screen, this virtual reality of me, this dream of existence could be too much for a man, who didn't die yet, who is an angel only in principle... They say God and Devil do not exist. Yes, I understand. Like this page.Physiological contact, sublimation (simulation) of motor activities.
An essentially emotional address reduces or suppresses the viewer's critical, more intellectual faculties which would promote a more objective analysis of the film.
"Suspension of disbelief" in theatre and suspension of reflective ability in film. Anti-thinking understanding.
MADE IN USA
Propaganda, commercials and the star system.
I stare at the TV sceen. I am alone, well after midnight and the world with its 24 time zones booming at me. Aggresive, lound, fast. Staright at my face... I should know better. I should know that the cyber revolution must come. I heard radio, didn't I? I should know that This (human) desire to be seen is so strong, human, too human. Didn't know this about myself? I live, I exist! The scream of every part in what I call "myself"....Brecht: bringing back the brains of the viewer. When and how?
Technology provides the film medium's affinity towards verisimilitude; it's a matter of time when the simulation of reality will be completed. The computer will make it interactive. We will have the totality of experience close to dreams, but composed "day dreaming."
The Real is only a space of departure, something to refer to. The Real was created, remember? It's a product! Even if you are an evolutionist (a product of a product), wouldn't you like to be in charge? You, friend, want to be a master. The Real has to surrender.
Film is the essence of the pomo. Interdisciplinary, synthetic -- and digital.... numerical.
Do we have to discuss the difference between modern and postmodern again? What a mistake to think that I write about film! Or Russia. I HAVE ONE SINGLE SUBJECT -- THE RESURRECTION!
[ image ]
"A lack of will to invent the future" is a pomo disease. Modernism loved inventions and the future. We are afraid of future because we invent with a light-speed. Our speed of innovating is terrifying. AT&T never sleeps. In global economy somebody works at this very moment to change my life forever. Yours, too. Our super-modernism is scary, we have to have some speed limits, ladies and gentlemen.
The idea of "free" or measureless time is disappearing. In fact, time is becoming increasing commodified in a number of ways. Commercial broadcasting and telephony are again the innovators here. For example, with pay-per-view, you purchase two hours of access rather than "a" movie. Alternatively, advertisers pay for air time whose value increases or decreases in relation to the number of receiving households that can be statistically measured. (In this respect, the public, or access to a certain idea of the public, is a commodity as well.) Another important point is that the value of access to information or entertainment via cable or telephone lines is determined not by spatial quantity--weight, volume, or number--rather, it is measured by units of time. Alternatively, the value of services is measured by the time they "create." The idea of "free" time as a commodity has a paradoxical status, then, since it assumes that time indeed has a value that is quantifiable and tenderable in a system of exchange.
Think Digital! Think again!
The most important phenomenon here is the displacement of analog recording, manipulation, and transmission by the digital. Equivalence in space is no longer the measure of representation. Rather all representational forms (image, writing, sound) are leveled to the algorithmic manipulation of binary code. All space becomes an abstract computational space.
As analog forms of representation disappear, the criterion of resemblance is displaced by similitude.
From "Reading the Figural": the idea of resemblance belongs to the era of representation. In resemblance, meaning derives from the authority of the original, an authenticating model that orders and ranks all the copies that can be derived from it. Alternatively, Foucault defines similitude as an ordering of signs where designation or reference has lost its centrality. In audiovisual culture the distinction between original and copy is losing relevance.
Resemblance is also linked to affirmation. For Foucault, spatial semblance in representation yields meaning, implicitly or explicitly, in the form of a linguistic statement. Similitude changes this structure of reference and signification. It is no longer the image that illustrates and the sentence which comments. Rather visuality and expression become transversal, producing a variety of hybrid forms. The distinction between linguistic and plastic representations, and along with it, the distinction between spatial and temporal arts, is also losing relevance. The border between a plastic space which organizes semblance, and linguistic expression that articulates difference is disappearing. Expression is no longer reserved for linguistic activity which organizes "signs" and therefore meaning across difference; the field of the visible, as the silent representation of things, has become increasingly heterogeneous and complex. Formerly, discourse was considered a linguistic activity; now it is a multimedia activity. Forms of expression and reading can no longer be considered as simply spatial or temporal, or distinguished by simultaneity and succession. Rather, audiovisual culture presents us with mixed, layered, and heterogeneous images unfolding in time.
Finally, given these transformations in the global economy, and in the structure of discourse, how is our image and experience of collectivity changing along with the ordering of social time and space? What image of collective life is proposed by the new communications technologies? In what ways will our new powers to communicate be controlled and commodified? What techniques of documentation and surveillance will emerge with these technologies?
Foucault suggests that we can map or diagram the social architecture of power by asking: how is space divided? how is time ordered? what strategies of ordering bodies in space-time are deployed?
There is indeed an architecture of space and time structured by the transmission of information. For example, what is the social architecture of broadcast communication? What kinds of communicational structures do we inhabit in this new universe of multimedia information?
Broadcast distribution produces a serialization of social space with the household as its minimal unit. With telecommunications these spaces proliferate. Paradoxically, the public becomes a molecular organization of private space, a random distribution of static or moving bodies divided in space but potentially unified in time. Ten years after 1984, it is the distribution cloud, rather than the Panopticon, that best maps the distribution of power in audiovisual culture. This serialization of space implies, on one hand, the elimination of space defined as distance, and on the other, the proliferation of disparate points with no relation to one another save their common link to central points of transmission.
In this manner, communication no longer describes an interpersonal channel as the reciprocity of addresser and addressee in a unified space and time. Rather communication is defined ideally as a temporal reciprocity across disunified or disparate spaces. In actual practice, this form of "interactivity" is often highly mediated, asynchronous, and reified. The power to transmit is undergoing a constant process of economic concentration and centralization, while points of reception proliferate exponentially: the office, the home, the car, the mall, even the beach. While we are promised instantaneous and synchronous communications, nevertheless the ordering of time is most often determined by the center. Sure you can fax at the beach. But this also demonstrates how the widening of access means not more information, but the transformation of leisure time into labor time. In addition, reciprocity is more often defined not by instantaneity, but rather, by managing the temporal delay between receiving a request and responding to it.
Automating this process produces a fading of tactility, a kind of informational disembodiment in the circulation of signs. "Personal information management"--faxing, electronic mail, answering devices--means subtracting the personal from information. Thus the spatio-temporal architecture of telecommunications can be formulated as: molecular proliferation of points of consumption; relaying of points to the center; control time by managing asynchrony, or the delay between message and response.
.... I stare at myself in the mirror. It must be morning by now. I look myself in the eyes. Or is it "he" who is staring at me? All right, I do not have answer for you! I tried, I thought, I did it for so many years, day after day. I am 54 today. This is my birthday. Or his? All right, our birthday, if such a thing exists anymore....
With broadcast distribution, the "public space" of communication is also becoming indistinguishable from a "market space." Again, broadcasting was the historical innovator. An old clichanes, Narcissus and Necessity: Why Are We Creating Virtual Realities (TRANSPARENCY).
[ image ]
Anatoly-past, present, future -- which one is real?
endNOTES: related chapters (list) and virtual theatre files
for index, quotes, and so on. Lost.
* 2008 -- ...
texts: ... semio
in focus: Tarkovsky, film as philosophy
reading: Film Art (textbook)
@2001-2002+ film-north *©2004 filmplus.org *
2005-2006 Theatre UAF Season: Four Farces + One Funeral & Godot'06
Film-North * Anatoly Antohin
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