The recent debate with Mr. Dario, our New York correspondent 🙂 on the importance of authenticity in Art, has escalated into a much broader debate about the media in general. Yesterday he emailed the link to an incredible article from MIT’s Technology Review dating back to July 2000, showing the extent to which image manipulation was possible even 8 years ago. Imagine what it must be today. Can you trust anything you see in the media? Here’s a quote:
“The combination of real-time virtual insertion, cyber-puppeteering, video rewriting and other video manipulation technologies with a mass-media infrastructure that instantly delivers news video worldwide has some analysts worried.”
If they were worried back then, they must be scared shitless by now. After all, that was before phony plumes of smoke in pictures of war-torn Lebanon, and Elvis live on stage with Celine at American Idol last year.
Crazy as this may sound, I think that the total destruction of authenticity in imaging may have some positive elements. For me, the most important one is that when you no longer trust anything you see in the media, it might just make you a more skeptical, questioning person, who relies on what he/she sees and experiences directly. When Ernest Hemingway was asked what it took to be a great writer, he replied:
“The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, shit detector. This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.”
Or, it may just get you so disgusted that you finally turn off the tube and get a life!