Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Real Time Reality

I, like Christina below me, thought Keenan’s discussion of the decreasing time between event/reality and its recording and dissemination (through blogging, television, etc.) was interesting. In his lecture he noted that the time between the two might even, in some circumstances, have decreased to “less than zero” because events might occur solely to be recorded. In “Live From…” he also points out, however, that things like television necessarily put in place a distance and therefore a desire to reduce that distance. Because the television, he writes, is in “place” of the viewer, we are reminded of our absence from the event, even if we are seeing it in “real time” (138). Using the example of D-Day, he writes that even when “time is real,” the reality of what is happening “remains at a distance (138). The television “that should offer reality seems to provoke an even stronger desire for it,” Keenan argues (138). I am interested in how or if we can desire a “reality” that is exists solely for reproduction — how does the reality that would not exist without reproduction affect the viewer distance from it? In these cases, what do we desire, if anything? Does the desire exist separate from the acknowledgement that the event might or might not be real? How does this affect things like “war tourism” that he argues stems from a desire to return to a place one has never been(134)? How does danger, which he argues fosters immediacy and intimacy, factor into this (especially if violence is created strictly for purposes of reproduction and might or might not actually exist otherwise?) How can we then return to something that does not exist anymore?

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