Friday, November 20, 2009

Can Images Still Move Us?

This "Food for Thought" session discussed the lessened power in today's society, especially with our youth. A large eye-opener is that today we can view even real images of apocalyptic scenes and be completely unaffected, and expect them to be fake, whereas when moving pictures were first introduced people were afraid of a moving train. Today there is so much technology to create horrific scenes that everyone has become fairly desensitized to them, whether they are real or fake. The speaker put up many images on the overhead projector to try to see which ones caused an emotional change to people in the room. As different people discussed which ones had affected them the most, they all seemed to have a different image in mind. In some cases it was an image that I was completely unaffected by, but I guess the reactions the images cause maybe differ depending on one's own past experiences.

The majority of the scenes shown were of some destructive force. There were real images of a flooded town in Louisiana following Katrina and September 11, 2001. There were also many pictures of art or computer generated images like the apocalypse from that painter's perspective, Paris under water, and buildings falling in 2012. These images all brought out differing reactions, although did not seem to move us very much. What affected people more was when the possibility of destruction was demonstrated to them in real life. There were projects done in New York where dots were put on trees showed where the water level could be, which was well up over peoples' heads. There was also a project done in which lines were drawn along the streets showing where the new shoreline would be if there was major flooding. It was also very interesting to see what Brooklyn would have looked like if it had never been settled, and how much humans had changed the geological features of what land forms used to be there. This was probably the most interesting section on the discussion to me, because instead of purely fictional, like what is shown in the movies, I could actually see what would happen to real places if massive flooding occurred.

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