Sunday, May 22, 2011

Controlling fractured time

There was a time when our mum and dads and their mums and dads could read the future. 

They weren't clairvoyants, but there was a certainty to their daily lives.

Then there was a war, and then another and each time these mammoth events fractured timelines, shifted priorities, set new needs.

Things are no more unpredictable - the nature of war - in strife. You know it your own ends when you traverse conflict in your life, at work, at home etc. Its disruptive.

Whatever we had planned is in need of re-evaluation, which fortunately we possess some means to address our own degrees of chaos.

When our world was a TV set, it was simple; we perpetuated a complicity that time lines were linear, events ran as planned. If it was out of sight, it was of no consequences.

One of the biggest shifts to our thinking I believe, a corollary of research and work, has been our awareness - and sub-thinking that events, news, life, the world is messy.  In effect the Internet is a manifestation of this and a conduit-  a global disruptive entity, which gives voice to the many and the many voices come with their polysemous views.

Compounded by uncertainty, jobs, conflict, physical wars, more so than any time I suggest we're living fractured temporalities. But guess what we've found a way to capture them through the non-story. You know, that 15 sec video on Youtube that the TV execs can't quite understand why you watch.

Elsewhere, we try and control fractured states, through meta narratives of events that worm themselves into your new life.  Deleuze - one of the most groundbreaking philosophers said cinema gave a voice to new philosophies, rather than the converse.

This fracturisation is by no means news. Cross reference that giant of film Godard, but it will get more fragmented, and then two things I suggest cross us, subconsciously, a greater need to make sense of things. In film terms we'll be looking to new ways to represent these times, borrowing themes from different art practices.

I experienced this at the BBC Social Summit on Friday. The Guardian's Alan Rusbridger made sense of it wrapping up. We bring our stories to share, but there is no solution. The newspaper as he once said which I'm paraphrasing badly is an incomplete representation of something happening that urges you to buy into its supposed completeness.

Understanding we can aim to but not control fracturisation I think is one way to set about looking for solutions and not being disappointed.

Which comes to our stories. In a world of all-stories, where many possess and feel the need to share their narratives e.g. twitter, facebook etc, fractured stories have become necessary, but they do require a different approach and that's partly what I have spent the last ten years researching from a 25 year media career.
Writing for Blue Print Magazine in 2001 about the new digiratis

That's why some experts talk against the news story with middle, beginning and end. Resolving fracturisation requires new methodologies. That's the basis for a new film I'm looking at called Tahrir Memento which I'll share shortly.  which you can now watch on