Wednesday, February 17, 2010

S03 - blog post #2

I want to start out by discussing is the conceptualization of time as presented by new media that was brought up a bit this week. In particular, there seems to be a focus on the synchronization of time; whether it is a media event, as discussed by Wark, or the entire movie Time Code, I have noticed a focus this week on how a shared sense of time can be meant to unify those who share it. I think that the notion of a weird media event is more successful at promoting this focus than the movie was. Take the 9/11 example that Wark gives, for instance. All around the world, those terrorist attacks are inherently related to the date of September 11th – and yet, in certain parts of the world, it was already September 12th by the time they occurred. The inhabitants of those areas don’t think about the WTC attacks as 9/12, though – around the globe, the time of those attacks is considered to be synchronized no matter what the actual time was in any given location when the attacks occurred.

Yet Time Code is inherently unable to synchronize time, in both an internal and external sense. Internally, the four separate screens appear to have been shot in different takes (at the end, the credits state this), meaning that they do not, in fact, share a common time. The stories that we see may occur at the same time with regards to the world the plot of the movie exists in, but in terms of the creation of the movie, no such synchronized time exists. In an external sense, synchronization of time fails because as a viewer, I am unable to experience the same ‘time’ that the movie occurs in. Time Code and television shows like 24 are said to occur in “real time,” but their time certainly isn’t real to me. The temporal state in which the movie occurs is already over before I have finished watching the movie.

In a more generalized sense, I think that any attempts to provide a real time account of something through the use of new media inherently fail. There is an intrinsic difference between actual experience and the reproduced meta-experience that one gets through media. Even when an event is meant to be streaming live, the slight fallibility of technology means that the action I see on the screen is delayed, if only barely.

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