University of Tasmania

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The control machine

posted on 2023-05-26, 19:54 authored by Eddy, Samuel Peter
Mass media, especially advertising under the guise of entertainment, continually exposes individuals to sources of controlled information. From the Control Machine we become bombarded with messages promoting consumption, profit and conformity, idealising unattainable lifestyles, and the laying down of a new social morality. The power of this immersive synthetic environment can have a powerful impact on the individual. Kathleen Taylor has commented that education and wide experience, 'allows us time to stop and think ahead, to resist temptation, and to see past immediate gratification.' But we live in an increasingly claustrophobic environment, one that immerses us, tempting and bombarding us with information, choices and desires. We are now faced with a continually redesigned visual and aural environment, one that triggers and shapes the way we act, feel and respond. This installation begins to address how the inner workings of a controlling machine might appear. To gather this understanding I have pulled apart my collected sources of stimuli emitted from everyday technological devices such as television into deceptively simple repetitious patterns of light. This stimulus visualizes the transformation of information into coded light, the initial impetus for all technological communication systems. Through these refilled pulses of light a dialogue is generated replicating certain processes of the brain. The more frequently we are exposed to a source of incoming stimuli the more it shapes the core of who we are, the way we see and understand our surroundings. Repetition is a vital tool in creating this link The Control Machine manipulates pulses of light into an abstract language that repeats and bombards; it uses the individual as the capturing and deciphering device. This electric language is reinforced by sound, which combines to interact with and to immerse the individual. Through this I examine what might be called a dystopia of language, looking behind the facade. Totalitarianism, the concentration of media ownership, the standardisation and manipulation of the individual, thought reform and environmental control are all mechanisms of designed control within our society. These mechanisms use specialised psychological triggers that can exert power from external systems. The Control Machine explores these psychological triggers as they are manifested within an entirely designed environment.


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Copyright 2008 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (MFA)--University of Tasmania, 2008. Includes bibliographical references

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