[Table of Contents] [Search]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [BKARTS] Color Journal for Beginners

on 9/2/02 7:10 PM, minsky@MINSKY.COM wrote:

> There may be one buried in my 70's archive, if I can find that.

Is there any chance it might be somewhere on the Wayback Machine? If you had
some old URLs, that would be the place to start. It sounds really
interesting and I'd like to see it.

The qualities you seem to be referring to could also be related to the
well-known psychological effect of feeling as if you're in a movie during
high-intensity emotional moments, especially under extreme stress. There are
several clearly defined components, among them:

[1] The field of audio and visual concentration shrinks.

[2] Time expands and significant events are magnified way out of proportion.

[3] Everything is bathed in "photographic" light.

[4] Events take on the dramatic qualities of a movie or a play, but
especially a movie, with each movement having "cosmic" significance.

I've adapted these observations very broadly from "Emotional Reactions to
the Threat of Annihilation," by Claus Bahne Bahnson, The Threat of Impending
Disaster: Contributions to the Psychology of Stress, Grosser, Wechseler,
Greenblat, Editors, MIT Press 1964).

Bahnson comments (very astutely, in my opinion) that this syndrome resembles
the "schizophrenic's experience of the world as an emergency situation."
It's also familiar to any drug user.

To me, the attempt to imitate these qualities -- rather than expressing them
from a well of real emotion -- results in kitsch, among other synthetic
genres, such as the kind of obviously commercial photography of people with
glassy smiles you see in stock photography and the pages of Playboy. They've
got all the factors right, but something's missing. Many of the stock
photographs, especially the landscapes, are really very beautiful, but
something's missing.

I don't have the reference handy, but it's also interesting that the term
kitsch was invented (if I remember correctly) in pre-Hitler Czechoslovakia
to describe artifacts created with great technical polish in which everyone
was always ridiculously happy or sentimentally sad, but lacking any real
emotion. One has to know a little of the country's history to appreciate
this fully. Suffice it to say, that Kafka was merely being realistic when he
described Prague's  pervading sense of anxiety, falseness and logic carried
beyond insanity.

JULES SIEGEL Apdo. 1764, 77501 Cancun Q. Roo Mexico

For free and ample discussion of issues in the news subscribe to Newsroom-L

            BOOK_ARTS-L: The listserv for all the book arts.
      For subscription information, the Archive, and other related
            resources and links go to the Book_Arts-L FAQ at:

        Archive maintained and suppported by Conservation OnLine

[Subject index] [Index for current month] [Table of Contents] [Search]