“It is also an experimental theatre”

“It is not through the dissemination of ideas that cinema, and it’s personalised form, television, win the battle for our minds. Their influence works in quite a different way. An actor on the stage impresses the audience by the general orientation of his movements and by the conviction with which he delivers his lines; on the big or little screen, the same character is broken down into a sequence of exact details each of which affects the spectator in a separate and subtle way. What we have here is a school of gesture, a lesson in dramatic art in which a particular facial expression or motion of the hand supplies thousands of viewers with a supposedly adequate way of expressing particular feelings, wishes and so on. Thus the still rudimentary technology of the image teaches the individual to model his existential attitudes on the complete portraits of him assembled by the psychologists. His most personal tics and idiosyncrasies become the means by which Power integrates him into its schemata. The poverty of everyday life reaches its nadir by being choreographed in this way. Just as the passivity of the consumer is an active passivity, so the passivity of the spectator lies in his ability to assimilate roles and play them according to official norms. The repetition of images and stereotypes offers a set of models from which everyone is supposed to choose a role. The spectacle is a museum of images, a showroom of stick figures.”

Raoul Vaneigem

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