The Woods smell of Shampoo, on the influence of media,
The media have
become our filters, through them we survey the world around us.
Media experiences are often more satisfying than real experiences.
Do we actually still have real experiences or are all our feelings
and thoughts dictated by the information society? And if that's
the case, how bad is this anyhow. A programme on the synthesis between
appearance and reality
engineer and artist Koert van Mensvoort is concerned with the relation
between media and reality.
What artist doesn't nowadays? Excerpts from an interview.
I was a kid I had the feeling that the people on TV were actually
inside the tv.
And I used to wonder where the went when I turned of the TV. I still
have this feeling that it hurts the TV when it turn it off."
things are still quite clear. I have a body and where my body is
located, that is where I am. This is how it was around 10.000 years
ago. But these days this notion of place has become outmoded or
at least muted. When I watch TV, an exiting film, say, Im
more or less in the film.
Its the same when Im on the phone, physically Im
in the same place but socially I move towards the other person at
the speed of light. And all fast food restaurants look the same
even though theyre in different places. The same goes for
airports, suburbs, and inner cities. And will also apply in future
to nature conservation areas. But where am I really?"
actually attempting to double reality. People have always made representations.
It began with the cave paintings, developing into painting perspective,
the printing press, photography, television into the virtual, interactive
reality machine cave. But we havent changed biologically.
Were still the same stinking animals we were ten thousand
years ago. Even though we know things."
the lumiere brothers showed the film larive dus train
a century ago, people ran out of the cinema to escape the approaching
train. Now we stay in our seats because we expect this of a medium.
Weve updated our media schemas. Physiologically were
still tempted to run away but cognitively we know we dont
need to. And each time technology comes up with something new were
fooled again. In the meantime theres a growing gap between
the human physicality and cognitive knowledge. A gap between what
we know is possible and what is natural."
once participated in an experiment in which I was put in an entirely
green room. In the beginning things were quite green, but after
a while, it all became green. It would not have been efficient if
I would have kept on thinking: Oh it is all so green.
That thought wasnt informative anymore, so I adopted. When
I left the room everything seemed red, which is the opposite of
green. Something similar developed with the media. A perceptual
illusion of non-mediation has occurred. We are in the media room
now, and we have adopted ourselves. And this is a good thing because
we will not be leaving this media room anymore."
are no longer media representations, just real things. You could
also say there are no real things, only media representations. You
cant see the difference now between real and representation.
You can no longer experience something without referring to media
experiences. Media representations have become more real and satisfying
than actual things." Discuss
this statement (Dutch)
up with someone happens every day in the soaps, but hopefully not
as much in real life. And if it happens to you its useful
if youve developed a vocabulary of strategies culled from
the media to use when you need them. In the past, your neighbour
or someone in the town you lived in probably told you how to sort
out difficulties or deal with things."
you see this from outside, you thing: Weve became actors,
were no longer authentic, but if you think about it
longer, its actually a positive development because it means
we all understand each other and share a rich collective memory.
Authenticity is perhaps being forced into the background although
its compensated perhaps by allowing us to quickly reach a
city kid who always washes her hair with pine shampoo and one day
takes a walk in the forest with her father says: Daddy, the
woods smell of shampoo. People who still saw that wood as
simply a wood, find this horrendous and complain of commercialisation.
But how was it before? Then, the woods only smelled of woods. Whats
so interesting about that?"
play lightning chess.
We are developing an agile, montage-like and concise way of thinking which enables us to comprehend complex phenomenon. We read images with critical detachment. We don't let 'the facts' confuse us, for fear they are taken out of context, fragmented or simply a lie. We read more than ever before, but mainly in a fragmented fashion. We weigh desinformation against manipulated imagery."
en regie: Michel van Duyvenbode en Koert van Mensvoort
eindredactie: Rob Schröder
montage: Bart Hoeve, Koert van Mensvoort, Michel
geluidsmix: Marcel Huibers
webredactie: Geert van de Wetering
beeld: Persijn Broersen, Luna Maurer, Jeroen Disch, Dario Bardic,
Maarten Visser, Ivanca Bakker, Roel Wouters, Kathrin Hero, Raymond
Taudin Chabot, Michel van Duyvenbode, Koert van Mensvoort
met bijdrage van: Sandberg Instituut, W139, Sammy-Jo Pel, Pieter
Paul Mortier, Dennis Lodewijks, Nirid Peled, Janneke Küpfer,
Patricia van de Camp
production: Rübsaam & Zo i.o.v. de VPRO