Post source: Gail'sNew MediaBlog

This reading made me think about things in a different way. Bill Viola actually makes a lot of sense. I was intrigued by thinking about life as an “unbroken thread” and that we “have been living this same moment ever since we were conceived”, that it is only memory, and sleep that make us feel that our lives are made up of discrete parts or sections instead of one connected, unbroken whole. He uses nature to demonstrate how everything is connected. He gives the example of creating a jigsaw puzzle by first starting with the whole, and then dividing it up into little pieces. The puzzle worker feels that they are creating something when putting the puzzle together, when in reality the whole already exists and  is “out there” somewhere.

Getting back to how this relates to new media, Viola describes the 1980’s era phenomena of the computer merging with video. He describes what sounds like todays video/computer simulated games, “the ultimate recording technology” of “total spatial storage, with the viewer wandering through some three-dimensional”…”prerecorded or simulated scenes”, with “possible pathways, or branches”…which the user chooses and which “must already exist at some place on the disc”… but which “may never be encountered”. It exists in “data space” somewhere.

Viola describes the shift from constructing something piece by piece in a temporal sense, to the process of carving out many possible programs in data space dependent on the user and his choices.

Viola writes: “despite the anti-technology attitudes”…”the present generation of artists, filmmakers, and video-makers”…”who continue to ignore computer and video technology, will”…”find that they have bypassed the primary medium, not only of their own fields, but of the entire culture as well”. This could almost be true today as some of us continue to resist technology instead of seeing its possibilities.