Human Document 2: The Documentary Method of Interpretation

Curator's Note

My curator's comment is embedded as the audio track of the remix video that serves as my post for today's In Media Res. The video compresses the opening 18 minutes of video track from the BBC Documentary, The Ascent of Man hosted by 1970's public intellectual Jacob Bronowski. With my affectless curator's note, I hope to spur thought about a point of interplay that exists between new media theory and documentary studies.

A note of thanks is in order to Damaris Nielsen and Ed Tywoniak for assistance in recording the audio track. Please do listen.


The first time viewing this clip I felt as if I were getting caught up in a throwback sci-fi documentary with the subtle monotone voice, though after reading the curators note and viewing it a second time I was able to come up with a few conclusions. What I took from the video was that through psychotherapy humans obtain a perception of reality from images. Machines like “Doctor” attribute this reality by forming patterns with the people’s responses to the images. The association between humans and robots contributes to the questions raised as to whether we can cognitively manifest emotions and understand the truth to the materialization of electronics. I am not positive that my conclusions were fully accurate as I feel there is some need for further explanation.   

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