So, some of the 90% of my waking hours spent staring at a glowing rectangle were today spent in the Whitworth pub. When not typing up magazine/article passages for future blog posts/general OCD-ness, I was glancing at the idiot box on the wall.
It was showing Easterenders Street for Men, also known as toe marbles. (22 millionaires try to kick a pig bladder between some white sticks. Thousands of people dress in garish tribal colours and howl. No virgins are sacrificed). (see for example, this.)
Anyhow, there during the Arsenal v Blackpool match was footage of young man in an Arsenal shirt (he looked like a player not selected) standing up in the stands taking a photo of the match with his camera. In the background we can see the image we are seeing of him on our TV screen also on the large stadium screen. Not, sadly, the whole mise en abyme (like 70s Disco videos), but still enough to make the corpse of Walter “Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” Benjamin twitch in his grave.
And it – and all the shiny bits of tat- brings to mind a new phrase – “charismatic technology” – that I want to know more about. It’s a conept of Leopoldina Fortunati, an Italian communications theorist who sounds like a cross between Umberto Eco and Sadie Plant on amphetamines.
I read it first in an article called “General Aesthesia: Mutations of Value and Cognition in New Media Practice”, which I will be blogging about in due course…
I think the point is that the “hypodermic model” (monkey see, monkey not interpret in perverse ways, monkey then do) is even deader now than it was in the 30s/70s/90s.