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By: Holland Wilde

Re: "TV’s Big Lie": Plenary Session Oral Performance

Broadcast Designers Association International Conference

Orlando, 1993

Video: (:00)  The scene opens revealing boucolic tree tops rustling gently against a puffy blue sky. 

Video: (:15)   A center videobox slowly fades up -- inside the first image.  The new video appears to be an extreme close-up of a woman’s convulsing face.  The image is grainy, distorted.  Is she laughing or screaming?  Making love or being slaughtered by a semi-automatic?

Oral text spoken live over video: (:15 - 1:45)

Our primal belief in sensory perception is the very foundation of human functioning.  Our five senses must be inherently believable.  But, seeing is no longer believing.  All television appears real. Yet, there is nothing tangible.  Only a million sparkles of digital light - encoding a faded, ghostly representation.

The root of this unfortunate predicament lies in the simple fact that we are now only the second generation of humans to carry huge proportions of unnatural images in our heads...images neither collected from - nor connected to our planet.

We mistakenly assume all humans can make the distinctions between what is real and what is not.  However, the ability to interpret images on television, as false and unreal, is an evolutionary skill.  Indeed, great corporate fortunes solely depend on this primal deception.

As television designers, we are the mercenaries... video witch-doctors.  Our waking hours are spent creating new addictions - impossible to hold, feel, taste or smell.  Bombarding visions screaming to be the better exception.  We are the purveyors of these new graven images.  And, from them we find:

Violence always televises better than non-violence.

Lust is better than satisfaction.

Sex is better TV than brotherly or sisterly love.

Loud is easier to televise than soft.

The physical better than the spiritual.

Any fact is better than poetry.

And, Death is always better TV than Life.

How can we create full, whole, healthy images within a dysfunctional context that disconnects us from the planet and our bodies?  Will we stop...to breathe?...to feel the Earth?...to touch skin?

Magnificent design surrounds us.  It is at our fingertips.  The drum call is deafening.

Our work shows our need.

Video: (1:45)   The inner box slowly fades away leaving only the tree tops again.

Video: (2:00)   Fade to black