Sunday, December 13, 2009

Impressionism and Television

The Transmogrifer's Logo

Van Gogh's Starry Night, perhaps the most popular
of impressionist masterworks.

The impressionist style was what McLuhan would call a "hot medium" meaning that the observer has to participate to interpret the work. So the voyeur has little information available so his mind will work to fill in the blanks, he must conceptualize or fantasize to compensate for the minimal data. Hot medium presents,
not an actual image but a theory of operation, which is like a diagram.

The Transmogrifer makes a connection (hot damn!) between impressionism and television: a medium that was once hot but has evolved to cool with hi-rez imagery. The Transmogrifer is a somewhat willing participant in reality: what a concept!

"He woke up suddenly. At that instant a jet from the air base crawled in silence overhead. On the beach, children try to leap into its swift shadow." Jim Morrison

Transmogrifer's conclusion: mass-media serves to give viewers "impressions" such as; death by gunshot is a painless way to die or that cold and calculating people are sane while vibrant and spontaneous people are insane. Television can create a more pervasive kind of intellectual conformity and be in direct competition with interpersonal relationships. The Transmogrifer

a scene from Mulholland Drive

"Cinema is the most totalitarian of the arts. All energy and sensation is sucked up into the skull, a cerebral erection, skull bloated with blood. Caligula wished a single neck for all his subjects that he could behead a kingdom with one blow. Cinema is this transforming agent. The body exists for the sake of the eyes, it becomes a dry stalk to support these two soft insatiable jewels." Jim Morrison, Notes on Vision

"But that the white eye-lid of the screen reflect its proper light, the Universe would go up in flames." Luis Bunuel

Enumerated false impressions that TV gives:

1. That there is a two party political system.
2. That America is a country rather than a corporation.
3. That America is fighting endless wars to bring freedom to other countries.
4. That the police are extremely concerned with protecting you and your rights.
5. That a Jew will never hurt another Jew.
6. That men who hang with girls young enough to be grand daughters are still sexy, while women in the same age group are hags.
7. Anybody with the name Harold is a weirdo.
8. All problems can be solved with money, I call this the Jane Austin Syndrome.
9. That your votes count for something.
10. The government is a large benign organization.
11. That police solve crimes one at a time, and have a 90% success rate.
12. That your taxes fund governement, they don't; they just service interest on the national debt. So the obvious point is that politicians have no obligation or loyalty to Americans.
13. The Constitution means something legally.
14. That we are not under martial law right now.

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