September 17th, 2009
Television is not only an entrainment medium, it also serves to shape our world view. In a way it is a reality constructing device, manipulating how we perceive reality. The Zen TV Experiment sets out to prove this idea, in an extremely logical and thought provoking way.
When you turn the TV on, in effect, you turn the world off. The TV is only two feet high or so, yet we are fooled into thinking we are watching life-sized things. How is it that everything on it appears real and life-like?
There are a number of experiments included in Zen TV that anyone can try. These experiments are designed to make you question why you feel certain things when watching television, and question how it influences your view of reality and its function.
Almost every household's living room is arranged around the television set. As a weight room is arranged for weight training, our living rooms are arranged for TV training. The furniture is purposely arranged for the transcendent practice of "watching TV," rather than for the immanent, human practice of communication or interaction. The interior design of the average American living room with its lines of attention, hierarchy, and transcendent TV is very similar to the interior design of the average American church with its transcendent altar, lines of homage and gestures of genuflection.
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