(August 2017) 

      This website holds over 225 VIDEO PROJECTS -- each video is an experimental ethnographic video-essay.  Most all projects were montaged between 2003-2019 under the (C)ritical methods of Cultural Farming. 

      Collectively, these essays comprise a vast picture-book of ‘sense-making’ throughout American media.  Each renders an essential viewpoint of a humanity constructed with tele-visual media, which underlines how technological advance has incrementally manipulated simple human communication into something oddly inhuman, strangely evil, even murderously life-threatening. 

     Merely re-rendering viewpoints, however, is the easy part.  The true aim of this project is to entertain civic approaches and methods of resistance against a list of pseudo-validities within normative societal power structures  (ie., appropriation, intellectual montage, practical iconoclasm, dada, symbolic exchange, magic realism, new objectivity, epic theatre, etc.) .  In a phrase, the aim is to picture “the production of American media-sense.”

      Throughout, each project proffers a serious form of play through a simple suite of critical production techniques, which reveals and challenges how many of our new-truths are machine-made.  Indeed, our current means and methods of mechanical media production -- along with the concrete practices of particular people -- are co-creating a ‘double-death’, speeding a new exterminating post-truth reality. 

     My project is an illuminating monody of this double-death.  My media take-away during this cusp of unimaginable technological change: We have produced our cameras and screens to be as lethal as guns and bullets.  As Death surrounds us, elegiac imagery is what remains.  Diagnosis: we are crippled by a massive failure of ‘critical re-collection’.  For as we discovered with printing, the means and forms of video production will continue to prove to be inexhaustible.  We need to understand television; it will be with us for a long-long time.

     Yet through sheer stupidity and neglect, we are failing Reality by failing to understand the lethality of our own graven ‘mediaverse’.  We now find ourselves enslaved; cognitively sleepwalking inside a hypnotizing nightmare of mechanically doubled (sur)realities of lies, surveillance and war.  We are about to face an intellectual and spiritual reckoning.  Much human sacrifice will be required to appease this technological seizure.  It will not be pretty.  For while these warnings are regularly televised globally to anyone willing to watch, we remain unwilling to understand (link to most recent essay).

                                          

              “Our unfortunate times thus compel me, once again, to write in a

         new way.  Some elements will be intentionally omitted; and the plan will

         be to remain rather unclear.  Readers will encounter certain decoys, like

         the very hallmark of the era.  As long as certain pages are interpolated

         here and there, the overall meaning may appear: just as secret clauses

         have very often been added to whatever treaties may openly stipulate,

         just as some chemical agents only reveal their hidden properties when

         they are combined with others.  However, in this brief work there will be

         only too many things which are, alas, easy to understand.” 


                                               Guy Debord, 1998

                                          

                                          

                    I do not favor technology, but technology often chooses us:                

   Can’t see videos (.mp4 & .mov) on your screen?  Try using another browser.

                                         


   Collectively, the projects herein perform a longitudinal depiction of how various North American media producers create their particular forms of tribal “common sense”.  My video essays, however, do not attempt an explanation of this growing tribal reality, rather each project is an empirical recitation of our desires to mechanically produce one...  Even after decades of living amongst, observing, and participating along side innumerable media makers (bio), Understanding Television illustrates how I came to better understand the logics of all televisual communication.   (Full Read)


      You should watch these videos any way and anywhere you can, exactly as you watch all of your media today.  You can watch in any order, pause, rewind, fast-forward.  It’s only media...seldom precious, never scripture.  You can, of course, try to watch my videos purely as entertainment, like any other common form of screen media, but I would not recommend this.  All videos are re-constructed into tele-poetry about contemporary screen culture.  Some portions are artistic, some historical, some merely factual.  Others are appropriated to spark recent memories, while other parts are purposefully disjointed to provide contrast or to provoke insight.  (Full Read)


     Media do not speak Truth, including this website, because every medium omits much more than it can ever convey.  What all media primarily omit are human bodily sense and experience.  Sense and experience, however, are the ‘root and branch’ of all human understanding.  Yet, somewhere along the road, we forgot that media making is at best representational, only partially capturing what we know to be actual, that is to say, what we humans can see, hear, smell, taste and experience for ourselves.   (Full Read)                       



    We believe we understand media and media making, but we are ill-trained -- amateurs, professionals and academicians alike.  We now find little reason to think about communication before we act.  Because of this we have rapidly transitioned, in just one human generation, from passive mass-spectating to complete and voluntary individualized media immersion.  This comes with great risk to both the idea and practice of historical human communication.   (Full Read)


      Television, as I historically remember it, changed when President Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996.  My entire professional media career changed with it.  But then, my TV experiences rarely jibe with common mythology.  I never saw one speck of the dire predictions eagerly claiming “the death of television”.  I saw the opposite.  I found television to be a well-oiled self-sufficient money-printing machine.  I never found any trace of an independent or liberal media anywhere inside the television industry.  I never once witnessed ‘journalism’ ethically struggle against corporatized control.   (Full Read)


      Importantly, refracting within the undulations of surrealism, each project herein should be viewed through particular theoretical filters.  Indeed, Understanding Television may well express viable strategies for waging ‘necessary personal revolution’.  Yet we willfully promote a dependency upon tyrannical media (obscene & panoptic), which seduce with an ecstasy of appearance through ever higher resolution lenses and screens.  For when “vision machines” (Virilio) rule by means of paradoxical logic, surveillance and punishment go hand-in-hand inside the simulacrum of hyperreality.   (Full Read)


      The premise throughout this website is personal critical elicitation through acts of ‘talking back’ to media makers using their own words, languages and techniques.  I care little about entertaining an audience (or even cultivating an audience).  I care even less about proselytizing more ideological pablum.  Instead, I insist upon interrupting and antagonizing normative, passive, media production and immersion, by allowing critical spaces for myself and for viewers to consider their own thinking processes while watching these video fillips collide.   (Full Read)


      My videos punctuate the notion that the more we embrace the veils of this new mechanical despotism (Read: reality-as-image and communication-through-machines), the flatter, cheaper and more misunderstood healthy human communication becomes, which in turn fosters an ever greater consumption of our own spectacular death-extravaganza.  For once spiraling inside the swill of technology, all of life is reduced to image form.  Human lives become as easily erasable as media are deleted.  Inside this cult of death and humiliation, nothing remains sacred and life becomes permanent warfare.  So, when I hear growing talk of guns, I reach for cultural farming.   (Full Read)


      Whether or not you understand television, I suggest always trying again by other means, as verification.  After all, Cultural Farming’s experimental methodologies are not championed by anyone...yet.  Indeed, Television Studies is, at best, considered a tired and musty academic topic today.  The same is true with Ethnography, which remains highly controversial when compared to ‘standard scientific techniques’ of understanding.  (Full Read)




      Sing the Body Electric!  And return to the Archives page, and once you can turn down the lights, don good headphones, situate the screen to occupy 50% of your field of vision, and grab a smoke...then settle back and “bring to mind”.  CLICK on any colored dot or bar and read into these experimental writings about the same media also streaming endlessly into your home.  You will find, neither tamed or translatable, my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.

      Yet, to truly understand media like television, you’ll need to reap these benefits for yourself by critically responding to your own multi-mediaverses (re-take, re-fuse, re-function, re-use, re-turn)... because the genuine purpose of Cultural Farming is personal emancipation, which can truly occur during practical iconoclastic experimentation.  Just understand that being a cultural farmer is difficult, exactly because it is good honest hard work. 

     The price of true personal liberation is time, practice, theory and luck.  For all of media is indeed a kind of “fake truism”, partial and incomplete representations.  Our human project is to continually dissect media to recognize what is truly murderous; and to learn to corral, diminish and relocate these dark-mechanics to their proper consequence.  Hypocritical belief and idolatry...like a piano player ever-practicing scales, here are my 200+ video essays.  Begin for yourself a true secular understanding of media.  I did it, and it worked for me.   

                                                 Psalms 135            

15 The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.

16 They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not;

17 They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths.

18 They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them.


      If all else fails, no worries, choose a parallel path...go plant a tree.  That is what I am doing now...after the Orgy.  And I reflect fondly upon that dusty melodic aphorism from Timothy Leary (1920-1996): “Virtual reality is electronic acidIndeed today, Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, et al, are now actual fully-loaded semi-automatic killing machines. 

        “We must cultivate our gardens.”  We must cultivate our media.

   Thinking is not a performing art...it is why we need an Art for Thinking.





HOLLAND WILDE

An American

resident of Canada, experimenting with new forms of critical media ethnography in Cultural Farming




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