Abstract


The Ecstasy of Hyperrealism

Narayana Takacs

The tendency to muddle temporality in digital media in order to create an immersive experience hints at a change in the psychology of vision from a linear axiom to a disjunction that occurs in the difference in durational rhythms. This spatialisation of time creates a spectacle of visual pleasure. Catherine Clement argues that there is an element of ecstatic rapture about the suspension of time. This hyper-realism found in digital cinema follows Deleuze's idea of the 'time-image' as it recalibrates the psycho-visual to a discontinuous temporal rhythm of destabilised images. It is a suspension of mental acuity. The ability of the hyper-realism to seduce is in the interval that characterises the digital media. In the terminology of Virilio (1991:16), '[t]echnical chance has created the desynchronising circumstances of the picnoleptic crisis...' The crisis is the momentary lapse in consciousness that exposes absence. It is violence that seduces the conscious rhythms of the digital observer. The fluidity of thought is disrupted as the conscious awareness disappears, there is an absence of the self. Time flickers like a cursor on the screen as broken repetition distorts rhythm. The interval is always unexpected. Caught unaware, a rhythm is born out of the absence. A moment of syncope, a moment of rapture: this is a digital rhythm.

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