Friday, October 2, 2009

Modern Media and It's Temporal Distortion

“…if I consider the world itself, there is simply one indivisible and changeless being in it. Change presupposes a certain position which I take up and from which I see things in procession before me”

- Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Modern Mass Media: The Internet, Video and Film, Photography, they distort our traditional notion of time by accelerating our internal sense of timing as we input increasing amounts of data and move it across the globe at rapid speeds. The more compact and readily available the internet is at the tip of our fingers, the more our inner sense of time melds with this structure, this web, and accelerates. As our communication and connection to anywhere and everywhere in the world increases – spatially and temporally – day by day we get closer to witnessing an event on the other side of the globe, as it happens, seconds after it begins; seating us directly in front of the present tense anywhere in the world, seated in any one spot in the world: temporal distortion is spatial distortion.

“When I say that the day before yesterday the glacier produced water which is passing at this moment, I am tacitly assuming the existence of a witness tied to a certain spot in the world, and I am comparing his successive views…..The ‘events’ are shapes cut out by a finite observer from the spatio-temporal totality of the objective world.”[1] The future(as time), at its source, is flowing towards me. Like the water at its source at the top of the mountain, it will in a few days time flow towards me and become my present; so it is not I who moves towards the future, but the future which moves towards me, and the past which moves away from me.

[1] Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, trans. Kegan Paul (Paris: Editions Gallimard, 1945).

this is the beginning of an essay i am writing considering the the use of mass media in the work of Sam Taylor-Wood, or perhaps post-modern art in general