Life Out Of Balance April 30, 2009Posted by chris drake in culture, cyborgs, humanity, technology.
Tags: binaries, cyborgs, human existence, nature, neo-luddism, Reproduction, society, sound, systems, technology, video
1 comment so far
Koyaanisqatsi- A recommended film-
Koyaanisqatsi opens with scenes of the American southwest, many of them filmed from the air and displaying the sheer hugeness of the area: deep chasms, enormous rocks on vast plains, all with little human presence. Shots of Niagara Falls and other troubled waters and an increasingly ominous tone to the music set the viewer on edge, as one begins to see signs of human presence: machines, pipelines, power lines take a place in the landscape. Nuclear explosions produce mushroom clouds over the desert.
People are eventually seen, sunbathing on a beach in the shadow of an enormous factory. The natural world soon disappears altogether, replaced long shots of packed highways. Sped up, they look like rivers of erratic light. The music becomes dominated by heavy steady beats.
Just as they seem about to explode in a frenzy, the images and the music stop, replaced by slow-motion footage of people who seem displaced, the music also grows much slower and simpler. After the previous section, this feels like a hangover. The movie ends with an astonishing, unbroken tracking shot of a rocket that explodes in mid-air shortly after liftoff. For several long minutes, the camera follows a piece of burning wreckage so steadily that it appears not to be falling at all, merely spinning in space.
Koyaanisqatsi asks the viewers to ponder their relationship to a social system that has come to dominate them rather than serve them. Much of the film is exhilarating and beautiful in a way that may seem counterproductive to that end. But the cumulative effect is more meditative than frightening. The film is not traditional in any sense. It takes the viewer on a wild flight from the tranquil (seemingly lifeless) western deserts of the United States, through the great planes of the nation’s heartland and mid-west, our forests and on to America’s largest cities. The pace accelerates as the music and images drive individualism from the minds’ eye. Modern technological life becomes impersonal and mechanical, and humans become robotic. Our everyday lives seem meaningless as we produce, consume, and maintain ever -increasing amounts of need. Technology feeds on itself and like the rocket shooting into space, as we speed to the top we our bound for destruction. Koyaanisqatsi is the Native American term for ‘Life Out of Balance’
Patchwork girl: reality or hallucination? February 26, 2009Posted by jr4024 in humanity, monstrosity.
Tags: patchwork girl, Shelley Jackson
add a comment
An interesting point that my group talked about in class was questioning whether Patchwork girl herself was this real human being or was she simply a creature that defies reality? I personally feel that she is both, if that makes any sense. She obviously is real in the sense that she is put together by pieces of human body parts, but the thought of her as a creation and/or connotation of being a goddess is interesting to think about. Shelley Jackson creates an intimate relationship with Patchwork Girl which leads us to believe that there is a maternal or sexual bond. However, it also is believable that Patchwork Girl could be this concept representing society perhaps with its different pieces of identity forming a whole, or even a representation of Mary Shelley in her non-linear yet sewn together imagination of her personality. Therefore, I consider Patchwork Girl, character and medium, as an intricate and personal experience that does not have one sole meaning or signification.