29 January 2007

Virtuality and the death of here-ness

Terry Teachout posted this quote in his blog, About Last Night:

"The images on the screen are patterns of light, not living actors. They are not affected by applause or hissing. They will be the same in a packed house or an empty one. And they will be the same every time the movie is shown. This affects the audience. Occasionally, movie audiences applaud or hiss or walk out, but for the most part they are passive. No social bond between the audience and the actors can exist."

O.B. Hardison, Entering the Maze: Identity and Change in Modern Culture

Sometimes you read something and your mind just goes ... duh.

I want to think about this some more.

The film industry got started right around the turn of the century. Since that time, people have been watching other people perform in that behind-the-glass way, with a sense of, they're safe from me, and I'm safe from them.

What has that done to the way we experience theatre? Life?

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