I'm Increasingly Resistant to New Things

blissblogger

Well-known member
there's something about the sound and the look of contemporary cultural production that I find unappealing, even aggravating

i can't put my finger on it exactly - i think it's related the kind of level of detail and burnishing that current technology affords, and that therefore it's irresistible for culture-producers to go there

but i came across this great phrase in a book by Carol Vernalis about video, YouTube, digital visual culture

she talked about "an overpreening of the image"

e.g. with a lot of TV, I find often it's just exhausting to watch. why isn't stillness, a slowly developing mood, a plot focused on only a few characters, an option?

but an overpreening of the sound-image, or sound-space, the same thing is going on with a lot of music

so in terms of the title of this thread, it's not so much that I'm increasingly resistant to new things, because my overt stance / ideology would still be "yes yes new things bring 'em on bring 'em on" - that's habitual outlook

it's more like, something within me resists this, baulks at, recoils from it, is offput by it

but i'm coming to terms with it - it's probably only natural that by a certain point, the appeal of stuff starts to elude you

it would be weird not to reach that point.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I increasingly get the sense of every film and series looking the same. They all have this bland, glossy sheen to them. Everything looks and feels like a Netflix production.
 
there's something about the sound and the look of contemporary cultural production that I find unappealing, even aggravating

i can't put my finger on it exactly - i think it's related the kind of level of detail and burnishing that current technology affords, and that therefore it's irresistible for culture-producers to go there

but i came across this great phrase in a book by Carol Vernalis about video, YouTube, digital visual culture

she talked about "an overpreening of the image"

e.g. with a lot of TV, I find often it's just exhausting to watch. why isn't stillness, a slowly developing mood, a plot focused on only a few characters, an option?

but an overpreening of the sound-image, or sound-space, the same thing is going on with a lot of music

so in terms of the title of this thread, it's not so much that I'm increasingly resistant to new things, because my overt stance / ideology would still be "yes yes new things bring 'em on bring 'em on" - that's habitual outlook

it's more like, something within me resists this, baulks at, recoils from it, is offput by it

but i'm coming to terms with it - it's probably only natural that by a certain point, the appeal of stuff starts to elude you

it would be weird not to reach that point.
Too knowing? Too mediated? Saturated. Too much feedback, not enough risk?
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
It does seem like, in order to appeal to a staggeringly diverse audience, you need to minimize position-taking, or perhaps just take vaguer and and more generally equitable and benevolent positions. A sort of pasteurizing effect. What may seem like a minor transgression to the content creator may come across as more egregious to someone of X demographic. And the creator would, capitalistically speaking, prefer a wider audience of lukewarm viewers than a narrow audience of passionate viewers. "Narrow", here, almost necessarily entails partisan, no?

As the audience becomes more heterogeneous, the popular programming becomes more homogenous? A sort of catch-all cosmopolitan aesthetic that lends itself very well to neoliberalism, perhaps? The feedback loop would commence, and the programming would start culturally homogenizing the demographically heterogeneous audience, who soon enough wouldn't have a distinct culture to substantiate their distinct demographic/identity?
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Not sure what would, strictly speaking, distinguish "cosmopolitan" from "globalist". I suppose the latter has more economic connotations, perhaps even denotations, while the former seems primarily cultural.
 

jenks

thread death
Do I want to give my time to this new thing when I know this old thing has weight, gravitas, whatever...
It’s how I feel about tv - I know I’m missing out on fantastic stuff but I also know that spending this time reading Flaubert (or whoever) is more guaranteed to be worthwhile.
I listen to colleagues talk about new things and I no longer want to catch up - I have lost FOMO and I’m ok with that.
 
there's something about the sound and the look of contemporary cultural production that I find unappealing, even aggravating

i can't put my finger on it exactly - i think it's related the kind of level of detail and burnishing that current technology affords, and that therefore it's irresistible for culture-producers to go there

but i came across this great phrase in a book by Carol Vernalis about video, YouTube, digital visual culture

she talked about "an overpreening of the image"
Was talking with luka about this on another thread. This idea of too much feedback. Why 2020 pictures of young people enjoying themselves feel soulless compared to pictures of young people enjoying themselves in the 90s. Too conscious of the gaze, anticipating the varying perspectives. subjects too aware and restricted by the idea of ourselves as mediated objects
 
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Also 4k and hd stereo crispness can give a textural sensitivity that’s actually a bit too much. A grossly vivid reality, jarring. I don’t like HD with some shows. I have an expectation and comfort with a certain range of unreality that a 4k resolution disrupts, makes me feel queasy
 

woops

is not like other people
unreality is exactly what you/we want a lot of the time - that's why we hanker after pre-CGI special effects and the musical equivalents
 
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constant escape

winter withered, warm
Do you think this hankering for low-res can/will be sniffed out as a market? If I knew more about music I'd consider low-fi in this sense, but as it is I'd be feeling my way through the dark.

Grainy image? Retrospectively campy prosthetics? Sub-par simulacra?
 

blissblogger

Well-known member
overpreening - it's partly the digital, hi-res thing - and the overly mobile camera-work, whizzing about and swooping all over the shop - also the omnipresence of superfluous drone shots

but it's also something to do with how insanely detailed the people who design sets and do the costumes are

if you watch a period drama now, every fucking surface of every fucking scene is crammed with period-perfect accoutrements and studiously non-anachronistic design features

it actually distracts from the drama

and then you have the Wes Anderson thing of composing every scene like a painting - with all kinds of annoying symmetries and obsessively curated little exquisteness that you'd have to freezeframe and study for 20 minutes to pick up on every thing
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
I mean, I don't think the viewer's suspension of disbelief is necessarily exempt from artistic disruption. Not that that is what you are necessarily arguing.

The painstook composition of a wes anderson film is, to me, part of its humor. Quirky cogs in a quirky machine. In a certain sense, it is just another way of accessing some unreal reality. That said, I don't know what his intentions are, nor do I think an awareness of them is necessary for a substantial interpretation. (edit: I have read that he is a tryant regarding staging detail)

Also arguably gives voice to a certain austere liberal bourgeois disillusionment, no? All the hollow stares and staccato movements/pacings. Precociousness. Admittedly I'm a big fan.
 

woops

is not like other people
Do you think this hankering for low-res can/will be sniffed out as a market? If I knew more about music I'd consider low-fi in this sense, but as it is I'd be feeling my way through the dark.

Grainy image? Retrospectively campy prosthetics? Sub-par simulacra?
it would look so kitsch these days i doubt it would be a serious proposition outside of perhaps one film making it a USP
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
So many humans are over-preened generally today. Face and body image dysmorphia at pandemic levels of saturation. Blokes with ridiculous eye brows, women with perma tans, every cunt glowing a surreal colour from bizarre skin treatments. People so locked into their own appearance you need more of something just to hold anyone's attention.

Burroughs and his prescient 'millions of images of me' prognosis, or the thousands of cctv cameras, phone cameras, videos, vines, relentlessly forcing image projection for the all seeing gaze. Waiting. Lurking. For that one time you get caught out being photo'd looking plain, like John Book in Witness minus the Amish hat.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Yeah, exactly. I remember talking to Edmund a year or two ago about this, this kind of warping and deformation of the human face and body that's going on. Women squatting for big powerful slabs of arse muscle etc

We just sit on our chairs and watch people walk by the whole day and you go, that's weird.
 

woops

is not like other people
this kind of warping and deformation of the human face and body that's going on. Women squatting for big powerful slabs of arse muscle etc

We just sit on our chairs and watch people walk by the whole day and you go, that's weird.
bizarre choices of outfit as well, very common when you watch all day
incongruous sports wear, strange statements, failure to understand one's own form
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
fashion extended to the body.... I mean, it always did in the sense of the pressure to be slim and so on, but it's got more pervasive
 
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