[ISEA95] Panel: Andrea Zapp – The metaphor of touch: Identification, personality and contact within the screen

Panel Statement

Panel: Interactivity and Metaphors

I am currently teaching in a film academy in Germany which has a very long tradition in the narrative and documentary film. My task and my aim is to bring the subject of new media closer to students, who research mainly the classical ways of creating a media work, like a movie or a TV feature. But not only under this educational aspect I try to establish in my teaching and research an evolutionary line between early media works and actual developments. The early avantgardist film theory at the beginning of this century offers in its excitement about new ways of expression a lot of parallels to the discussion at the end of the century. From the technological experiments the way to the drama had to be found, trying to gain the viewers participance and mental involvement. I will attempt to sum up a very wide and challenging field in brief main thoughts.

For Rudolf Arnheim the creation and reception of media and art is a very subjective action – as there is the subjective eye of the camera and in the following the difference between the “real” image of the world and the “constnrcted” image of the film – and the montage as an intellectual appeal to inner discussion and combination. Bela Ballsz talks of the imaginary immersion of the viewer with the help of subjective camera means, change of perspectives, the viewer is identifying with the hero, is falling over the cliffs. Walter Benjamin completes this intention of building up an exchange between media work and viewer, when he constates the loss of the aura of an art work by the mass orientated technological apparatus. Facing fascism he saw a democratic potential, because the distanced and menacing effect of the divine art work is dissolving and a link between the work and the viewer can be estabIished. The unique object of
cult is replaced by the innovative search for acceptance, as an offer or request by the author.

  • Andrea Zapp, Universität Leipzig, Germany

Full text p.322-324