Wednesday, February 15, 2006

long live the new flesh!

Videodrome at the Musée du Cinéma.

The intermingling of communication technology and human senses (wasn't it Marshall McLuhan who considered that media were essentially extensions of the senses?) is particularly resonant, even more so with the Internet than with TV. Indeed, our brain works like the Internet. So, while Renn's body needs to be modified to be able to directly ingest VHS tapes, the web's multi-media, immersive experience is perfectly suited to directly insinuating itself into our brains (which is perhaps why studies show that web use is the only thing that diminishes TV viewing).

I like how Cronenberg first hews to the traditional view that television/media "deforms" our view of reality, before totally leaving any concept of reality existing outside of Max Renn's mind behind. I tend to believe that reality exists solely in our minds (albeit minds that exist in a society and its norms, etc.; cf. Oliver Sacks's "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" or this article on the retina. As Professor O'Blivion says, "After all, there is nothing real outside our perception of reality, is there?"), so, that exposure to external media could deeply alter our thought processes and relationship to the world, seems to me only natural. Paying close and repeated attention to art of any kind (for me, art begins in the transformation of reality/nature) will have the same effect.