Wednesday, November 2, 2011

As Seen On T.V. (The Shared Experience)

In the process of coming to understand the documentation of my experiences, I've been compelled to consider the shared experience. There are things, as a culture, that were collective, and yet became individual. The most obvious example of this would be the attacks of September 11, 2001. We all know where we were when we watched that tragedy unfold, and though we were all watching the same events, our experience became individualized while still being shared.

I've been thinking about images that are tied to moments like that, or the everyday equivalent. Most of the things I think of come from popular culture. Some are world events and news images. Others are moments in movies and television or products, some album covers and posters. Because of that, I'm toying with the idea of a series of painted television moments that became part of the collective consciousness. It would be a remix of the things that we saw together, and that became part of our culture.

Some ideas include:
  • The Challenger.
  • The Where's The Beef lady slapping her hand on the counter at Wendy's.
  • Mario bashing a block to get the coins.
  • Vader force choking that subordinate.
  • Cliff Huxtable trying to get that snowsuit off of Rudy so she can go to the bathroom.
  • Baby Jessica coming out of that well.
When we share the experience of watching something, it bonds us. It reveals those of us who, for whatever reason, respond the same way to our popular culture. I suppose it reassures us in a way because it reminds us that we're not alone. Others like the things that we like.

I'm not sure if this is going to take off. It seems like my ideas take a decade to take off these days, but I do have an example prepared. It's the moment when Ross & Rachel first kiss on Friends.

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