Tuesday, December 17, 2013

RRMXii from Raccoonsarenotafraidofpeople

                RRMXii is the saturation of media. One of the main problems of media consumption is the sheer amount of noise. By carefully manipulating many images and tracks on top of each other Raccoonsarenotafraidofpeople shows how absurd it can be to try and take in everything that possibly happens. Through the usage of this over-saturation of information the information becomes noise. Sheer volume makes the information lose any potential meaning. Hence the need for social media ‘feeds’ or ‘alerts’ to try and help sort through the deluge of material. 

                Interestingly RRMXii does show a number of iconic images. When these images are shown they are hard to get out of the mind. Here the video seems to ask: why do these images stick out? Is it because they are already familiar and well-documented? Or is there another reason for an iconic image to become iconic. For every popular image the rest of the unnecessary material drops out leaving a moment of true clarity. This implies that all media tends to drop whatever they are doing and make it a focal point. Among these iconic images are a plane accident, self-immolation, and scenes from battlegrounds. Unlike usual stories these are covered by nearly every outlet allowing for a brief synchronization of material. 

                Social media tries to help sort out the material. Early in the piece there are countless images from social media sites, from the internet, suggesting that any attempt to sort out information on the internet is hopeless. There is too much. While the tempo is fast for most of the video, it speeds up noticeably for the social media. It is because social media moves that quickly. It was designed that way to work as a form of distraction and as a way to extract information. Countless handles and passwords suggest that such a hope is far from being true. 

                The video bleeds digital. Colors are incredibly distorted beyond belief. Scenes of maltreatment of animals are made even harder to watch through these constantly filtering colors. After a while the digital excess makes it impossible to tell what the video is trying to do. Even a kaleidoscope would offer a more coherent picture. Yet by surrendering to this digital excess it becomes a rather beautiful trip down the digital art path. 

                Out of the noise comes a Christmas scene. Made before the internet it works as a memory of the world back when things were simpler, when media was created for family, friends to see their children in something as ordinary as a school play. Placed alongside the rapid fire digital anarchy is a beautiful glimpse of how the world used to be, slow, steady, and focused. While the digital world has brought many benefits it also has many drawbacks particularly in terms of focus. Focus has been lost due to such distraction. It can be regained but it is becoming rare.

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