top of page

Gene Youngblood, Expanded Cinema

Pg. 79

Television is one of the most revolutionary tools in the entire spectrum of technoanarchy. We recognize television's negative effect on the popular arts: that it induces a kind of sedentary uniformity of expression and generates a false sense of creativity. In its broader consequences, however, television releases cinema from the umbilical of theatre and literature. It renders cinema obsolete as communicator of the objective human condition. It has affected cinema in much the same way as the invention of photography affected sculpture and painting. Cubism and other means of abstracting the realistic image were born with the photographic plate because painting no longer provided the most realistic images. The plastic arts abandoned exterior reality for interior reality. The same has happened to cinema as a result of television: movies no longer provide the most realistic images so they've turned inward. We're in direct contact with the human condition; there's no longer any need to represent it through art. Not only does this release cinema; it virtually forces cinema to move beyond the objective human condition into newer extra-objective territory. There are manifold trends that indicate that virtually all cinema has felt the profound impact of television and is moving inevitably toward synaesthesis. The progression naturally includes intermediary steps first toward greater "realism," then, before the final and total abandon of the notion of reality itself. The fact that we're now approaching the peak of the realism stage is demonstrated by Warhol, for example, whose recent work contrasts "reality" with "realism" as manifested in the spontaneous behavior of actors pretending to be acting.


bottom of page