Alternate Accuracy

“There was enormous value placed on realistic images and accurate representations” (Solint 15). Solint may be talking about “the Europenan embrace of the empirical,” but she says this in reference to the camera obscura and photography. And later she links the Europeans way of seeing to the American culture.

But what are realistic images? And what is “real time?” Can we record something in actuality? What is actuality or reality anyway? Muybridge’s pictures in motion are the precursor to motion pictures, and I have a theory about the way time works through this acceleration of accurate motion. And this is also my answer to the question of how time and space works in motion picture photography to the 19th century view – but I answered it more so in relation to today.

There are moments when a person can see a two-hour movie and feel like they were sitting in the movie theater the whole day; thus there are two sets of time then. In movies there is “real time” and time created on the screen. And the same goes for space. Time and space are used like taffy. Time is being stretched or shortened, twisted in all that makes “movie time” – or time that the viewer is aware of – not concrete. And motion pictures do not account for space at all because they make it up with frames and pictures. Space is continuously being filled in like a “steam of thought” or as a train moves through destinations – and this makes space less abstract. Now motion pictures and motion picture photography are a metaphor for our consciousness.

Perhaps then Solint’s idea of “consciousness evolv[ing] from [something] utterly immersed in this river to something that clambered onto land” (18), not because we are pulling away from an internal place but rather we are externalizing our internal ideas. And this explains why our culture is “always willing to out run what is with what might be” (Solint 15), because thought is not as concrete as the image is in our warped and visual addicted minds. And we can go further as to say that belief or religion works as another way to externalize the internal. But how much are we relying on other thought that is not our own? I do not think that we have necessarily become a culture that has washed away the stream, but do we practice in our own stream? As an anxiety for the human’s role heightens, the role of the individual is being threatened as well. Thus no wonder why identity was such a crisis in the 19th century. Because time and space were being so manipulated it was hard to tell what real “real time” was anymore, hence it was hard to tell what “real life” was or where they fit in into it. So although images try to promote an “accurate” world they show precisely that there is no such thing as accurate, and it goes beyond subjective vision too.

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One Response to “Alternate Accuracy”

  1.   Dominique Says:

    Liza,

    The way you are synthesizing multiple discussions here is useful: “And we can go further as to say that belief or religion works as another way to externalize the internal. [See James’ “The Reality of the Unseen” and “The Perception of Reality.”] But how much are we relying on other thought that is not our own? I do not think that we have necessarily become a culture that has washed away the stream, but do we practice in our own stream? As an anxiety for the human’s role heightens, the role of the individual is being threatened as well. [See “Psychologie Nouvelle.”] Thus no wonder why identity was such a crisis in the 19th century.”

    Keep grappling with this!

    (4/4)

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