Re: [Frameworks] Christmas on Earth: Audio, Randomness, Cinema

From: David Tetzlaff (email suppressed)
Date: Sat Jul 03 2010 - 12:41:20 PDT

t0ny wrote:

> So, giving Barbara due credit, I don’t think any answer is really
> “right” or
> “final” about CoE’s soundtrack, but ONE was the big Beatles
> compilation, and if
> you could erase the ennui of 3 zillion supermarket muzak repeats
> from yer head,
> it would still do. But probably Christmas on Earth shouldn’t be
> wedded to
> “oldies,” because that certainly wasn’t the idea, no, no.

Thank you so much, Tony for your comments and insight.

Given that there never was a 'right' answer, seeking one only becomes
harder as time intervenes. We CAN'T erase those Muzak versions and
played-to-death and used-in-Nike ads experiences in our heads, at
least not completely. CoE seems to want to exist in the now, but it's
gathered enough historical baggage, along with just displaying markers
of it's time, that will inevitably frustrate that desire, at least to
some degree. And so I think there's a not-insignificant difference
between a radio broadcast of classic rock, and the deejay mix I made.
The broadcast occurs in the now, and will be random in a more thorough
way, yet by framing the records as 'classics' or oldies it overtly
pushes the content back into the past, and one framed by nostalgia at
that. The pre-recorded track is canned and fixed, the audience will
realize that it cannot be 'live' and is a sort of historical
recreation. But within that, the DJ patter frames the content as
existing in the ephemeral now of the pop culture moment, and no
referential context of memory is added by the audio itself. Different
viewers will relate to the 'past-ness' of the image and audio
differently. Some, I think, will be able to kind of transport
themselves back into a moment gone by as if it were the present, which
I think is cool. The more interactive and particpatory the screening
is, the more I think that happens -- which is why I asked everyone in
our (small) audiences to take turns playing with the gels.

That said, I still suspect that part of the idea of CoE is to invite
and embrace difference, including differences that 'weren't the idea'
at the time, because that was then yadda yadda. So while _I_ don't
like the idea of 'oldies' at all, and didn't think of my modest
assemblage in those terms, I think it's perfectly valid, now, to treat
CoE in a manner that emphasizes our distance from it's moment rather
than trying to collapse that gap. Any soundtrack I can imagine is
bound to work both forth and against either goal to some degree -- do
we read the oldies station with straight nostalgia or ironic distance?

Endlessly fascinating (just MHO).
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