Ok, so I’m at my job and I just finished Windows and Mirrors. I was just wondering if this book unsettled anyone else as much as it has unsettled me. The first three chapters I found very interesting. I have never truly considered the issue of transparency before. Most of the time when I am looking at a medium, I am very aware of the medium itself. As an individual who wants to work in film, I can get lost inside a movie, but upon subsequent viewings I am always hyper aware of the medium and the technical aspects of how it was made. The means and method by which something is created is almost as important as the message itself, the original idea.
That being said, from the fourth chapter of the book on I began to become very unsettled. The concept of “Magic Book” and “Terminal Time” and the whole idea of the media convergence to the point of VR Television really made me nervous. Granted the thrust of all of these innovations is the “experience” via the use of the medium….but where does that leave creation and imagination. “Magic Book” creates a virtual world out of the text for the reader to experience, but at any point does the reader have to use their imagination to envision the world that the author created, a world and plot that the author imagined? “Terminal Time”, through a few answers from an audience, creates a history based on social prejudice and experience, but do the viewers take time to consider history for themselves and how it pertains to their experiences? Even the concept of VR Television serves to deaden the imagination of the audience. If it came to pass the viewer would be able to walk through the program to gather more information. Part of watching a film or television program is the knowledge that action is taking place in the story beyond what the viewer is seeing in the frame and the viewer must use their imagination and intelligence to fill the information in.
The overabundance of information being given to the audience in the guise of an “immersive experience”, to me , simply means a loss of creativity, imagination, inquisitiveness, and ability to see what is not being directly presented to us. There will always be some who think outside of the box, but where will the problem of “the idea” becoming prey to “the experience” end? Any thoughts??