Language of Angels
Theory of Spectatorship aDiary + Film-North Album (new)
SummarySmall files: light, pomo...
Bad Subjects, Wrong Theories
They are trying to see so hard. Their eyes are wide open. The intensity of craving for vision is only in the eyes of the blind. Or they do see but incapable of focusing on what they see? Or they try not to miss something?
Their eyes are empty. The Greeks took the eyes out of the their stone bodies. Do eyes belong to a body? Look into them. As if they are ready to see but the last, final segment of sight is missing -- pictures... No, not the blind eyes, but the eyes attached to a TV screen.
That's how the TV sees my eyes...
PART ONE. THE LANGUAGE OF APOCALYPSEMichael Phillipson sums up very well the apocalyptic perception of the modern when he writes, "The modern experience... cannot be comprehended in the languages of the past, of Tradition, and yet we do not find ourselves except in this present -- hence the need for... a language without history, without memory... a language against representation" (28). (B Notes)Memory of light, or light is the fabric of memory? (life). Photograph -- memory without remembering. Film is and always will remand silent -- it has no means to speak about itself. Cinema develop such a language which uses linguistic attributes to create non-verbal (anti-linguistic) communication. Language of resurrection was born when modernity began it free fall into postmodern. Our experience can't be expressed in old forms, we have different (new) feelings... We will never know what they are because the nature of this media prohibits definitions. We only can ques and speculate. We have to use words to talk about what we say on the screen. Films have no capacity of direct dialogue, each of them is self-contained monologue with inner dialogical structure, complex system of quotations, references, associations -- and inability to break away from itself.
If a book is reborn with every new reading, a film is resurrected, recalled, bringing with itself a dust of the dead times. It's too modern to live a new life again, and asks for archeology to defend its aesthetics. You know, film is aging with the speed of light. Thanks God, music is blind.
God of the present has no future. Osiris has to be resurrected again every time we pray. His enormous powers in this concentration in one spot of the time-field. Of course, at the end of time, Film is the king. As usual the new god will rule with the help of the previous generation of languages. No, film didn't kill the book, it concur it -- they still talk on the screen.
I. MONTAGE OF EMOTIONSTime is USED in montage to represent the space2 (through pictures)? Attention! It's not the "same" time anymore, because time is dynamic (dramatic) -- with the speed of traveling in virtual space (camera), we're forgetting time. We "lose" it (sense, memory of time = ourselves). Only speed of light is constant -- not space, time, or matter.3 When we reach the speed of light -- we are in the world of the Resurrected. Welcome to the Restored, "fixed" reality!
The non-material (images) already lives in immortality. (Undoing the creation). Matter is an obstacle, we shall overcome it. The real is scanned and processed. Now it represents the real without a translation or transformation into any formal linguistic structure. Wait, it's an illusion! An illusion of non-linguistic organization.
Propaganda of the flesh gives film away. Why does existence insist on that simple fact that it actually exists? Why does it have to convince us? Celebration of the material by the light makes me suspicious. A simple sonnet takes hours on the screen to be presented. "To be or not to be" -- the single line has to grow into a story with characters, images, action. And at the end I still have to "interpret" what was that about. Oh, I have to experience the thought, it has to be born in me as if I by myself came to its discovery! I must "live" through (somebody's) narrative -- it's my process, my expression!
Image of body is (re)presentation, an offer, a sale -- message of the body. Sweet revelations -- discovered reality, noticed, read -- I live! Really? Once again I have to ask -- Is film a representational language?
What about the resurrection of Christ -- who was he, the new one? Replica of Jesus, a copy which is better than an original? Theology insists on a purified but never-the-less fleshy reality of the resurrected. There is some wisdom in returning something which already existed, but in improved forms. Film does it too -- it's a reality which makes sense, which speaks to us, where everything is full of meaning. Everything non-essencual is left out, every act is a message. The reality is only used to communicate the feelings. Film -- that's how nature talks back to me. Every subject becomes a potentiality of sign, and the Word is behind it.
Resurrected life is a memory (speculations) of life, not life itself. It looks alive. Because death is removed with the removal of life (live presence). We cross the wall separating us from experiencing God. The different essence of new feelings was understood in thirteenth century by Meister Eckhart:You should know (God) without image, unmediated and without likeness. But if I am to know God without mediation in such a way, then "I" must become "he", and "he" must become "I". More precisely I say: God must become me and I must become God, so entirely one that "he" and this "I" become one "is" and act in this "isness" as one, for this "he" and this "I", that is God and the soul, are very fruitful."Unmediated! At any point in film we can't find a direct address to a spectator; we watch it, we are present (the wonder of illusion!) This "is" -- the field where we both exit! It's me who moves from shot to shot, changing angles, comes closer and jumps into different times and spaces! There is nothing between us -- nobody tells me, nobody narrates the story! "This `I'" -- how else can I call myself when I forgot about my presence? -- is "this `isness'"! We met, we became One!
Film is a resurrection of God, who was pronounced dead by Nietzsche. Next time when you watch a stupid car chase episode, remember the feeling! If you have been in a car accident, you know that the physical experience is different from the heavenly feelings.
Film is most explicit manifestation of our times as the era of God's resurrection. And, yes, it's a production.
Resurrection of God: in a global village our "personalities" exist at the speed of light. (Remembering McLuhan). Oh, the angels! The pure souls. We don't need wings, when the better technology is at hands. How about an aerial shot, or simply a hand-held camera? Film is a symphony of speed; your choice -- car speed, plane, or cut it out (space-time) -- faster than speed of light! I'm not a particle, sir, I am a wave! I'm everywhere! I am in two, three places at the same time!"If every medium were removed between myself and a wall, then I would be at the wall but not in it. But this is not the case with spiritual things, for with them one thing is always in another. That which receives is the same as that which is received, for it receives nothing other than itself. This is difficult. Whoever understand it has been preached to enough."No, Master Eckhart, I don't understand it, and I don't have to -- I know it, I watch the movie! I put in bold the best definition of identification in cinema.
Wait, did I say "faster than light"?
Life at the speed of light knows no time -- frozen death (and life?). It controls time! The result: life of light = immortality. I disappear (die) for a viewer, and continue to live in my light-speed world. Darkness = death. Not really. Total (fundamental) dark = black holes. What don't see, but it doesn't mean that it lack of existence. What if could see what we don't see? That's cinema!
According to the Master, God is outside time."Nothing is as opposed to God as time... There is no process of becoming in God, but only a present moment, that is a becoming without a becoming, a becoming-new without renewal. . . All that is in God is an eternal present-time without renewal." That's how we control time, we made it into a material! You see, an emotion is always in present-time....
Oh, yes, on the engineering of emotions -- I have to leave it for later.
II. PHYSICS OF EMOTIONSSensitivity of Spirits -- sharp, focused, aggressive. They better be, since they have no material physicality.
How does the dance of data (light) produce "new" emotions? Media is the message? Light! The message is life, when it's afar (or death -- nuclear explosion). The sun is nothing less than constant nuclear explosion controlled by space (distance). That's the light origins of film -- the aggression of energy.
Inducing more life into a mortal.
Cinema is a visual manifestation of the theory of relativity. Everything we need to know about modern physics is on the screen. The phenomena of film is the theory of Viewpoint. We, the pomo, live (feel) according to Einstein. Atomic bomb and motion pictures are the result of our pm sense of ourselves. Film speeds us up through emotional roller-casters to experience being alive and in total power over life (time).
What is that?
Re-alization. Self-discovery, not only self-construct. (Self-construct is self-discovery). What does it mean in terms of "watching" a movie? Unconscious labor of emoting does structure us (disciplines -- Foucault). It's some sort of emotional thinking, performance.
God is thought (Eckhart):"God alone truly is, and... he is intellect or thought, and... he is thought alone to which no other being is added."I bold it to emphasize the self-contained universe of experience. My joy or pain are non-transferable properties. This kind of thinking is extremely personal. The phenomena of millions watching the same movie, the very possibility of such event is based on this quality of God. We know the mechanism of arts, but in film we have an extreme (mass) expression of it.
Postmodernism screams about miracles (catastrophes) of resurrection.
What do you think the Electronic Age is about?
McLuhan rephrases Eckhart:The "content" of any medium is always another medium. The content of writing is speech, just as the written word is the content of print, and print is the content of the telegraph. [understanding p. 23]....
Experience: "All media are active metaphors in their power to translate experience into new forms." [M understanding p. 64]
The powers of film are so big that I have to be on guard. Media "covers" events -- and I have to discover the real,which is hidden by the "coverage" (here comes Foucault's archeology of knowledge). I have to "read" through their (mediated) texts in order to reconstruct what was covered. In Russia we called it "reading between the lines" of the party's documents. The communists accepted this ideological nature of mass (!) media and openly incorporated in their propaganda machine.
I have to ask questions. Why do they report this and what they don't report?
How does the world which isn't seen (cut out) exist? It "pump in" shot. What is this "selectability" means? Choice, choice, all is about priorities. Decisive, programmed perception.
Deconstructed world, according to what program? To reconstruction concept, to our search, to what we want to see? (The extreme model -- creation out of nothing).
[ resurrection page ]
III. IDEOLOGY OF LIGHT: PROPAGATION OF LIFE
"Out of all arts the most important for us is cinema!" Lenin.Russia was illiterate. We all are illiterate. Literacy and our general education, do not erase it. We know how to read road signs and instructions.
There was a concept of monumental (mass) arts from the very begining of the Soviet power era. The success of the Soviet cinema may be explained by this new notion of an individual. According to Marx I am a sum of functions, "dividual", societal product, construct. To address, or better say, to organize such human field we have to keep him within the social gravity of the present. What could beat film as instrument of socialization. Media hold this plasma in one place or generates "desires" to move. Mass man has no much of inner self-organization, he is fully open, depends on constant directions how to feel and what to think.
How does this video-man function?
According to McLuhan, as an alternative to dialectic discourse we have an ideological (visual) mind. Our means of interpreting the relationship between ourselves and our tools are therefore flawed: by using the ultimate goal of causality, we "abstract the figure from the ground," pulling individual elements together to form a mechanical, law-based regulation of the universe: nature as process; nature as system.
"Individual" in pm could only imagine being separated from its background (global society). Ideology serves a disciplinary function, replacing what was called culture. We need news and fashion no less than light. My existence within the resurrected world is an "individual" expression of general processes. How does the mind of such an individual work?
McLuhan without borders:Figure is the area of "attention," and ground is the area of "inattention." However, the relationship between these elements is not static; and they are liable to "flip" if pushed too far. [For example: the technology of industrialization has human industry (commerce) as its "figure," and the natural environment/resources as its "ground." However, when pushed to its limits, the model flips: pollution and ecological disaster is the "figure," while the culture of factory work (consumerism) recedes into the "ground."]The flip is the art of forgetting. We remember the image we depurtured from (montage idea), but not the shot before the last. Psychology suggests that this is the way animals see the world. The law of visual culture asks for concentration in present, which is replaced by another image every second, or ten time a second. Light is quick, much faster than sound. Memory must change its ways. Besides, we always can rewind the world.
What such picture of relations with the world remind you?
With the extreme speed of action I left with no other choice but -- constant reaction. I'm passive (immobile) because I have to concentrate on high speed reactions. I better not to miss a nick of time on highway. There is no time to think, no room to associate, I experience is channeled into a tunnel of pre-cooked emotions. In many ways film plays me the way I play a flute....
Life = light as war. Virilio approaches the issue from the analysis of speed as an expression of militarization of life.
Hitler: the function of the artillery and infantry will be taken over in the future by propaganda.
Life isn't the differences (?). Life is aggressive. Nothing is passive.
Life is a war against Nothing. Film is in the middle, it's both. Recorded life. Dead life? Rememberence of being alive? It has to die to be remembered (memory of life).
He should add that the total war knows borders, all are enemies. This is always a civil war as well. The first casualties are your own people (inner enemies, enemies of the people). Propaganda artillery aims at them, and because of it, shoots at anybody else. Hitler needed wars against every nation, it was the way to keep Germans together. When Soviet Russia had no external enemies, she fought her own citizens. WW II was a blessing for Stalin, look what came as a result of twenty million dead -- how much was achieved! He made use of useless people, their presence in life wasn't necessary; he gave them purpose to live by given them change to be killed. He was a primitive existentialist, pomo creature, who doesn't have to read Berdyaev to know that he is nobody for nothing. He feels it, he lives it every moment of his life. Actually, he doesn't want to know what he senses already. It's too painful. He acts on this. Is he a tyrant? He came from the long tradition of Russian underground, where the terror was not metaphysical but politic notion. Terrorism is the replay from to a mortal to the terror of life. We are sentenced to death at birth, why shouldn't he pay back with the same.
[ image ]
IV. ONE, TWO, THREE, MANY, TOO MANYVisual language (anti-language) is extremely ideological (a-historical, no time dimension). Technology is the trace of historicity. McLuhan and Epstein introduce the concept of tetrad as an instrument of ideological thinking. Tetrad isn't a simple return to dualistic mind (which is monistic in close analysis), it's a step ahead to overcome the dialectical thinking. If Eisenstein credits montage as a manifestation of dialectics (by neighboring two shots -- thesis and antithesis - we produce in the mind of spectator a synthesis; Kulishev effect). Tetrad focus on contextuality of each shot, on what is left out of each frame, not two shots in their clash. It is an interesting proposition since the most of the world is hidden from us, camera is pointed at the very small part of reality. Consider what do not see -- and this potentiality of each shot asks for the next, which answer our silent desires of expectations.
Each shot has this huge field of uncertainty which is about to enter the reality of the shot. The game is that the next shot never resolves the unknown. The Camera with its singular at any given moment point of view can't violate its own nature -- it has to be pointed (the way we point a gun), and therefore we leave out of the screen the rest. Now imagine the clash of what we don't see, the montage of what wasn't shown. So, we have two set of duals -- four elements to play with. *McLuhan concentrates on duality within the shot -- figure and its background.
This concept was introduced at the time of the returned interest to mythological method of perception (Levi-Strauss). Pre-dialectical ("primitive") mind didn't have an urgent need for resolution of two conflicting statements, in their static cosmos the opposites co-exited (Zen) and their coexistence was the source of all new forms. Magic mind was an ideological (not scientific) machine, it existed and enjoyed existence without striving into the future. The past and the future were parts of the present..... the tetrad performs the function of myth11 in that it compresses past, present, and future into one through the power of simultaneity. The tetrad illuminates the borderline between acoustic and visual space as an arena of spiraling repetition and replay, both of input and feedback, interlace and interface in the area of imploded circle of rebirth and metamorphosis. (p.9)Closeup of your face asks for a response, and the reaction shot is a return back to the present, which in linear sense is a return to the past. It's obvious when the camera brings in a two-shot. Two presents become one within the same frame. Positioning the present into a future (next) shot, leave the future without a place to be. Oh, yes, from time to time we release the time to follow its natural course, but the beast is always under tight control. IN film time is always "subjective" -- time is produced, according to emotions of action. The return to the fist closeup reads a rebirth (it could be the same shot of being intercut), but the return looks like a metamorphosis -- a new form of the same.
[POV is conative, object recorded is denotive. Camera is a simplified mind (without?) holistic ability.]
McLuhan's tetrads and Epstein's Ideological "thinking" stressing a different logic of the mythological mind. Resurrection is dual in its nature, the dialectics (logic) are not fully applicable; ideology is the product (negation) of logic, ideas, concepts. Framing, fragmentation and perestroyka of reality.
Four effects of tetrad (McLuhan), according to the camera's perception:
1-2: focus = refocusing. 3 and 4 are another expressions of 1 and 2. Reducing it further, enhancement must produce obsolescence. In short, the moment we focus on anything the whole mechanism of tetrads is triggered.
"Thinking" of light is in fragments, with extremes of memory -- short-term and long-term, without anything in between. We "remember" immediate future (immediate past) and (subconsciously) the stored images of the story (the way we remember presence of "real" reality, which serves screen reality referencially).* What does any artifact enlarge or enhance?That's how alienation looks like. Attention (reaction) in a war environment: zoom effect.
* What does it erode or obsolesce?
* What does it retrieve that had been earlier obsolesced?
* What does it reverse or flip into when pushed to the limits of its potential?
"Framing" is all the four together -- the parts of the tetrad are in complementary relationship. CU enhances a face and erodes the rest of the body, including the environment, retrieves a face from previously obsolesced position (medium shot, long shot and a shot without this face), and also this CU asks to be reversed (flip, or cut), when its reaches the limits of it potential (duration).
Film has to be ideological, it has to be re-arranged reality (reality as a message). Starting the gaze is a silent questioning.
Ideology has to be against itself. Emptiness, nothing as being. Designed as a black hole, ideology doesn't produce anything. This is the end of light. A film can't be filmed again, only duplicated. [Resurrected being can't be resurrected, he can't even die? (Story of Lazarus).] Film is light, the end. It only could be seen and have no existence outside of motion (and technology). Ideas, applied through the art of light games, lose their abstract meaning (intelligence), they have to exist in forms of ideology. Our modern science met the arts; everything is interpretive. The sight isn't analytical by nature, only blindness is capable of vision.12
Mythological? Pre-thinking. Video thinking, WATCHING, gaze, staring, experience...
"The media is the message." But message is the reflection, self-conscience of humanity. The return. (Our message to God in us, as they would say before). Empty? Nothing as a message? Not even a noise?
Ideology has no identity. Fascism, communism or democracy applicable in any culture and country -- it tells us how much national culture is left in us. With film we can discuss nationality "stylistically." Photographic image pretends to be neutral, "objective" -- "slice of life," a (illusion of) copy. We have to forget that we see what we normally can't see. Camera is invisible. In image and likeness of the Creator (at least, the Holy Ghost).Epstein: "ideology is a very specific sphere of consciousness: the doubling and reversal of mental oppositions which cannot be reconciled in purely theoretic terms and therefore need to be permanently evaluated and reevaluated in order to create a hierarchy of values." (81)That's how poor mind does philosophy. Give him back mythology. The planet Hollywood. Thinking makes them "mental."
Parallel Worlds: solution for ideological communal of global village. Dramatic Play of POVs -- society. Acting is required. I had to act (construct) all the time. Relativity asks for this game.
Aesthetism of virtual reality, logic of beauty, composition, dramatism, rules of the SOUL, not mind or body.
Recording (hard drive -- memorization without understanding).
"The doubling" is the method of resurrection; my physical body is used for virtual (re)presentation, which have immortality. Mental opposition of life and death is reconciled through equalizing both worlds as the real. By negating itself (both, life and death), each could coexist in harmony (!?) with the opposite. Inner conflict (possibility of reversals) in each provides situation when contradictive ideas do not contradict. Einstein knew it before Eisenstein.
Filming -- Re-evaluation is a constant process, another name for primitive "thinking." Ever changing digital (light) reality can't be stopped for understanding. It's always "under construction."
Film is a 2 D shadow of virtual reality. A preparation for entering the kingdom of God -- God's mind. Resurrected world is nothing less than that.
V. MY VERY (OWN) REALITYLife isn't lost but suspended. Forgotten (partially).
I am in the middle. My mind separates (connects) me from the nature, as well as from the our man-made second nature. The third reality, produced by the second nature (technology) according to the world of the first nature, is my personal virtual experience. Co-created by me, it has my presence in the middle of illusion. Dreams can't be translated, they too personalized... Now I can invite you in my secret world? I can literally be under your skin. Alas, e-skin. Because "physical" I and You are sleeping...
It's coming!"Here, There And Everywhere...For an outsider's POV my virtual reality doesn't exist. It's invisible. What is out there? My and only -- black whole.
"According to the dictionaries, virtual is an adjective which says something about relating to, or possessing a power of acting without the agency of matter.  The term says something about having the power or acting or of invisible efficacy without the agency of material or sensible part (Webster). Virtual also means almost, what is stated (Longman). (In English everyday situations virtual means effective or, being functionally or effectively but not formally of its kind). The concept <
> was used within optics in the early 19th century to describe the reflected picture of an object. At the beginning of the 20th century physicists were writing about virtual speed and virtual moment. The concept of < > is still used by some physicists to describe movements of sub-atomic particles which are so quick that they cannot be seen. Originally < > stems from the Latin meaning < > and later the Italian adjective < > -- a person who masters his/her art completely through a supreme skill. The echo from this original meaning survives in the ecstatic reports of virtual reality. Virtual reality has got a mythological power of attraction; here comes the technology where all your fantasies can be played out and edited -- provided they are in digital format."
Film is their "thinking," the only way mass man can break away from being abstract (he uses cliches). Image resists conceptualization: too real, too concrete. Thinking flesh. Not reflective, not understood. Experiencing instead of understanding. All illusions of being personal (and private).
Film doesn't open, but closes mind. Killing time (and imagination).
Sight, 6 Senses, oil on canvas
VI. CHOOSE YOURSELF: ME-I, ME-YOU, ME-HE"Another factor in virtual reality is the relationship of personal contact which the users experience. The relationship from a first or second person point of view defines their ability to move around within their virtual space and defines how much the users participate directly in the virtual world. In a first-person relationship the user has direct control (as much as possible) over her involvement within her virtual environment with the ability to create change and react to it with demonstrable results. Examples include any head-mounted display, hand manipulated 3D monitors or cab simulator environment (Mecklers 1993). A second-person experience is one where the viewer stands outside the imaginary world, but communicates with characters or entities inside it. In the third-person scenario, the viewer is outside the <"My" reality could be affected somebody else. I could experience myself in somebody's reality as if in my own. I am in many "places" at once. I am many. More, the idea of gender is outdated, the borders between you and me are dosolved. Action melted everything into one, without physical deconstruction. In fact, I myself move from one level of identification of my own to another -- preparing the total identification with the Other as with my very own self.
> all together, and is merely an observer, such as movie or theatre audiences are today." (P)
Everything becomes mine = God's Being!
VI. DISPERSED SUBJECTIVITY"Accordingly there is no need for saying that an angel can be deemed commensurate with a place, or that he occupies a space in the continuous; for this is proper to a located body which is endowed with dimensive quantity. In similar fashion it is not necessary on this account for the angel to be contained by a place; because an incorporeal substance virtually contains the thing with which it comes into contact, and is not contained by it: for the soul is in the body as containing it, not as contained by it. In the same way an angel is said to be in a place which is corporeal, not as the thing contained, but as somehow containing it." Aquinas.In short, film is based on our angelic nature (mind). Body surrenders its dominance to "spirituality." That's the reward for surrendering my Ego; movie do what religions were asking for long. Tell me now that the high-tech isn't the triumph of feight.
Nature of film identification (kinema):"The first MUD (or <My-selves. Lets count POVs. How many? I expend myself, imposing myself on the world. (But first, on myself). I (life) am an imperial "thing" by nature. I (like light) want to make the world into my property. It's a war between I and everything that isn't I. Personal colonization, natural imperialism of the shrudest capitals of all -- my mind. Film reinforces this hidden desire for total domination. The German idealism became very pragmatic equipted with (American) technology.
>) was already developed in 1979 as a multi-player Dungeons and Dragons game. By the Autumn 1992 there were 207 multi user games based on 13 different kinds of software on Internet. MUD's provide worlds of social interaction in a virtual space, worlds in which you can play a role as close or as far away from your real self as you choose. The self is not only decentred but multiplied without limit. According to Sherry Turkle, this gives an unparalleled opportunity to play with one's identity and to try out new ones. In this text based cyberspace that already exists today, people are exploring, constructing, and reconstructing their identities. Players and < > are creating ...communities that have become privileged contexts for thinking about social, cultural and ethical dilemmas of living in constructed lives that we share with extensions of ourselves we have embodied in program (Turkle 1993)." (P)
* 2008 -- ...
texts: ... semio
in focus: Tarkovsky, film as philosophy
reading: Film Art (textbook)
2005-2006 Theatre UAF Season: Four Farces + One Funeral & Godot'06
Film-North * Anatoly Antohin
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