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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/20479

Title: Push the Button: On tunnels and mountains – a case of polyphonic focus
Authors: Gielis, Sofie
Ceyssens, Patrick
Lambeens, Tom
Issue Date: 2015
Citation: International Conference on the Image, Berkeley, California (USA), 29-30/10/2015
Abstract: The term ‘New Media’ implies there is such a thing as ‘Old Media’. Media that no longer count for much. Also, such a generic term seems to wave aside the need for individual media. But how can we frame images if media are out dated or irrelevant? Newer Media accustom viewers to constant stimuli; teach them to be open to any impulse . And consequently, these impulses define the rhythm of the viewer. But just because technology is fast en enables ever-accelerating flashes, does not mean that our perception has to gear up. This paper wants to dwell on the acceleration of contemporary perception and counter it by an alternative attitude. Not by calming the impetuosity of these media by lingual interpretation, but by pacing the attention when looking at images and by subjecting them to a reinterpretation. New media are only experienced as ‘new’ to the extent that they reflect our real, contemporary experience of the world. Thus, a flashing multimedia project can be consistent with a feeling of anxiety about the near future, and in that consistency it unmasks the artificiality of older media. Every artistic renewal is instigated by a technological innovation: the discovery of oil paint sparked Van Eyck’s penchant for detail and the Nouvelle Vague’s filmmakers could only stroll over the Champs-Élysées (À bout de souffle, 1960) and through The Louvre (Jules et Jim, 1962) due to the invention of the portable camera. But the new of the media must reside in more than mere technological evolution. The aim of this paper is twofold: 1) It wants to explore what remains of what Heidegger calls the Wesen der Technik (essence of technology – as elaborated in Die Frage nach der Technik, 1954) in this age of accelerating media. 2) It will investigate how the dynamics of new media can retrospectively infect our perception of earlier, historical images. In this light we will explore the concept of ‘polyphonic attention’: an attention that, contrary to the monotone attention with a single focus, sharpens not in spite of but because of shifts and expansions of the medial artistic field.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/20479
Category: C2
Type: Conference Material
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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