Channel surfing is a television watching technique that has confirmed its cultural dimensions and the undisputed typical diopter with cybernetic correlations in the phenomenon called internet culture. It has developed special remote controls, which are gradually becoming more like TV remote controls. Surfing among many television channels, gliding among TV stations could be explained within two areas. The first is voyeuristic fascination where commercials, condensed blocks of attractive material, aiming directly at a consumer, are a model for the rhythm and syntax of a remote control fitting; the second is a hysteric surfing of info-addicts, where the formal aspect does not play any important role. The rhythm and syntax of info- collage have always something to do with the relationship with the age and actuality of some information. It is important to be on-line or live. Both diopters use a very specific technique of fragmenting. Those fragments are not perceived as pictures, still and equal-to-all structure, but as an image - constantly moving material, acknowledged by each individual separately. The difference between a look stuck to a picture, and a look moving around it is within a fact that images do not have a suitable look, or better, are something that is left beyond that. They are present and absent at the same time. The image is therefore a left-over, a remainder that looms out even when we have stopped watching. This appearance could be also called a miraculous one, a creature, a monster because what we see does not really exist. When it becomes a part of our every day life, it transfers into an appearance; it possesses, paradoxically speaking, a status of inert, non-dialectic quasi aesthetics, that in everyday usage correlates to different ideological versions, such as the time spirit, a trend, a tendency, fashionable, the actuality, an ideal ... Within the bourgeois discourse it can also be rationalized. We could endlessly discuss about the appearance, but there is a stereotype at which every discourse of an individual or a group stops. These ideological patterns are taken as commands, they are subordinated by given discourses (appearances), and therefore the autonomy of our inner-selves suffers greatly, despite one’s selective paths, great needs, wishes, visions, in short, one’s characteristics. In this way, they build a certain attitude towards the normality, conventions which are socially acceptable and derive from a discourse of the appearance.
Audio-visual media, informative, educational and entertaining at the beginning, incorporated within a cognitive process are nowadays “machines for the production of appearances”. A screen is today the privilege of a spectacle, where we have difficulties in distinguishing the reality and virtual reality. It has developed into the support for phantom appearances, where each can find his place after a hard working day. What is left is the barrier between the reality of everyday’s life and psychotherapy within the virtual reality of the media. Today we can even speak about individuals who have lost their autonomy of reflection and tend to conform the reality to the virtual. In the traditional mythology of a middle-class subject who is dependent on the media is possible to picture such impossible traumatic conformations. We can take myths about ideal romantic relationships that are based on the paradigm of a Hollywood-like melodrama; the myth about eternity that derives from life stories of film actors - they die in pain so many times on the screen and in the next film they are full of life again; the myth about an ideal general responsibility that derived from the paradigm of entropy; the myth of an ideal everlasting presence that derives from the paradigm of the global village; the myth ... The subject recognizes contents of the virtual reality as the reality itself, a television screen is a direct representative of this reality. The subject is placing this fetishlike TV screen in the centre of his wish as a move that enables him to participate (to foolishly enjoy) in its ideality. The subject does not need to tend to ideals, because the TV screen is doing it instead of him. A problem we simply have to expose at this point is not some social patheticalness and pathological adoption of the subject but his “short-sightedness”. Dioptric reverse that causes a viewer to be looked at transforms the viewer into a passive consumer. When he poses a rhetoric question: What do I want?, he gets the answer: Appearance. But the subject can answer the unpleasant question: What do you see? only with counting. The inert paste of the picture material (that is at the same time the imaginary controlled synchrony, entity in the field of the appearance) is momentarily demolished and we can talk about or remember only pictures. At least a fictitious autonomy of the subject’s inner-self is restored, despite his ability to name only the images that fascinated him, that “stuck to his eyes”. They are at the same time points - indicators that distinguish something that was there before from something that was there after, they are traumatic empty places. After Malevich’s Black Square, Duchamp’s fountain, Beuys’ Festule (if I name three the most cute ones) everything changed. Those void indicators are a move in the field of knowledge where the viewer establishes an inner relationship towards an object he observes. He is attached to it, he cares, the viewer sees - the scales fall from his eyes - he is amazed. As in the meeting with the death that stares at him from the TV screen (the sculpture) Damijan Kracina is amazed.
Translation: Nives Kreuh