CHAPTER 8
Short Films about Flyin

In 1972, a conversation between John McHale and AlvinToffler, author of pop-futurology classic Future Shock, was published in the journal ARTNews on 'the future and functions of art' (Tofiler and McHale, 1972). The image that introduced the article was a still from Stanley Kubricks 2001: A Space Odyssey, showing the astronaut Bowman in the Stargate. McHale observes that in the current context 'the art work dissolves, the boundaries between the art work and life become permeable. The painting on the wall is not the important thing. It's the total environment, the range of experiences' (ibid.: 25). In reply To filer suggests that

we are also witnessing a shift from the collection of 'things' to the collection
of 'experiences'. We are moving toward what I call 'experiential' art. If that is
correct, it implies other big changes. If we are going to buy experiences, we can
use technology to do it. Holography, for example, or interactive video, (ibid.)

They discussed the idea of 'tapping in more directly through 'electronic brain stimulation' (ibid.). McHale speculates about

the possibility then of personalized kits of experience extending quite a long way,
apart from the capacity to stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain. One could
take an interior such as the room we're in, and with various kinds of projection,
with a certain amount of collapsibility — being able to collapse things down; say,
plastics with memory — you could transform this rather contemporary setting
very quickly into a Louis XIV interior with the feel of authenticity. And you
could have the appropriate music, and whatever, (ibid.)

-159-

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Art, Time, and Technology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1: Breaking the Time Barrier 13
  • Chapter 2: Morse's Inventions 35
  • Chapter 3: The Writing of Van Gogh 53
  • Chapter 4: Taking off 73
  • Chapter 5: John Cage's Early Warning System 89
  • Chapter 6: Art in Real Time 113
  • Chapter 7: Is It Happening? 139
  • Chapter 8: Short Films about Flyin 159
  • Bibliography 179
  • Index 189
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