Sunday, April 29, 2007

Fascination of Time in Media

This blog post is for group D for "the Kinetoscope of Time."

This fictional story is about a man who looks at different types of images and scenes, yet the part I want to talk about it at the end. The man is approached by another man who offers him the chance to look into his past, and the man declines, then the other man offers him the chance to look into his future, and the man declines once again. He declares, "I shall know all in good time."

I think this concept is a good way to look at a lot of the themes we've discussed in this class, as well as a good way to look at peoples' fascination with media. Temporal manipulations, as well as just the general ability to view something that is not real life and seems a separate reality, I believe, brings up a lot of possibilities or questions for people, which is why these ideas are so prevalent in new media. Time travel is a major theme related to this. People can only know one linear reality in their lives, but with media, exploring these ideas of time travel is possible. You can relive a moment, to see how slight changes can play out in different ways, as in Run Lola Run. You can travel far into the future to see what a world you will never get to see, because you will no longer be alive, like in H.G. Wells' novel. You can also slow down and speed up time, which is also not possible in real life. Because of the fixed speed and linearity of time in our lives, people have always been fascinated with changing this fixed nature, as well as being able to manipulate time to experience something they normally could not.

I see this story as an interesting contrast to the other media works we have experienced in this class. This man is given the chance to see his future, something that is impossible in normal, linear reality. This media object gives him this possibility. Yet he declines, his reasoning being he chooses to stay in this fixed linearity, showing large amounts of patience. This idea is very foreign, and many would not choose this, because the nature of media in general has given our society not only this fascination, but an expectation of instant gratification as well, another theme running throughout this class.

Therefore, I see the end to the story as being in sharp contrast with the majority of themes in this class, yet also revealing a lot about these themes.



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