Monday, January 09, 2012

Capturing intelligence – the I-reality journalist

Capturing “intelligence” – the I-reality journalist
Journalism seeks the tenants ascribed to the hard sciences, a legitimacy via objectivity and truth. We remain cautious at calling ourselves artists in the creative sense.

Interviews, events, even the recounting of stories by protagonists is transmuted into materiality. A camera points and records: “Congressman, what were you thinking?” Factivity in journalism necessitates we use material world footage or otherwise the congressman remains in vision. 

In “A movement beyond classical Journalism” I write how classical news fails too often to convey the phenomenological awe and shock of events, because of its imposed constraints.
For instance, the scale of famine in Somalia or the murderous acts of an extremist Norwegian gunman shooting for 90 minutes. That’s 5400 seconds- start counting! 

News requires pictures or traces of an event.  Metonyms as metaphors e.g. a soldier’s helmet on the beach; cross reference “The Longest Day (1962)”, is the closest news embraces immateriality.

Hollywood has successfully captured thoughts via flashbacks and clever manipulation of the story diegesis courtesy of Russian formalist Vladimir Propp’s story form, the syuzhet.  

Movies of the mind
Inception (2010) takes hold of this and plays with mind and memory. Minority Report (2002) taps thoughts conjured by Pre-cogs in a futuristic world of “dreamlike investigative-reality flutter cuts”. Such investigative work is a simulacrum for mind story-teling. Cue the I-reality journalist.

Like astronauts seeking new frontiers, I-reality journalists wonder how to represent thought beyond the obvious material experience.

Filming Egypt’s uprising, Tahrir Momento (2011), I shot an elliptical syuzhet, attempting to capture sub-conscious recollections. Figures in the film speak. I paint my interpretation of their thoughts as I, a would-be sentient, pre-cog with plentiful handicaps, capture a past that I reflexively create for others. 

But I’m aware this sort of journalism thus far is riddled with problems. 

Perhaps because  these depictions are not objective, and we have yet to rupture the paradigm of digital in which its language development engenders a digital-trust quotient, where I can exercise art within journalism. 

Award winning film maker Mark Cousin calls this work impressionist. In the noetic world of digital gestures and glances addled with implicit messages, symbolic meaning transmutes.

The Outernet which works outside of the semiotics of classical journalism, bridging innovative concepts of new news story forms, created within the net influencing systems outside – The Outernet – may be one such cue. 

Our thoughts are a zone for deeper filmic exploration.

More recently MIT scientists showed how the brain/ mind empties itself to gather new information. 

If a consumer camera is soon mass produced that captures brains’ electrical signals, thoughts as seen here, and cameras reading data such as pupil dilation, will be closer to looking inside a person’s mental state. 

Then “Congressman what were you thinking?” will be a question we don’t even need to ask. Capturing intel from thought will become the next I-reality.