My friend Dan Buettner just scanned his experimental final and put it up on his website. Check out this project and others at www.danrossbuettner.com
A Vast Wasteland
In Ancient Roman times, the furniture within the triclinium, or dining room, were carefully arranged in order to aim the guests' view towards a certain direction. On the opposite wall, grandiose paintings and murals were displayed for the enjoyment of the guests and host alike. These paintings were not only a means for the owner to flaunt his or her wealth, but were also intended to stimulate conversation by encouraging the discussion of the art and its possible meanings.
In today's world, television has taken its place as the focal point within the typical American household. Unlike the engaging nature of the art or intellectual conversations of the Romans, television lacks the interactive quality that stimulates the mind. A viewer becomes passive and surrenders his or her senses to the perpetual flood of information and images. Satisfaction is never achieved through television because the viewers are lulled into a perpetual state of boredom, despite television's promises of eliminating the humdrum of everyday life. It is not uncommon for people to switch on the television even though there is nothing of particular interest being broadcast. Television has become the ultimate distraction from the world before us due to its constant demand for attention. Rather than engage with one's company, society has created a fallback plan for those to avoid human interaction while simultaneously creating the illusion of bonding with those sharing the screen.
This series, entitled A Vast Wasteland (a phrase coined by the FCC chairman, Newton N. Minow, in 1961) is inspired by a personal awakening to the alienating and time-consuming nature of television. The images act as visual representations of television's power to drain the emotion and vigor of those willing to submit to it.