SOME LIMINAL ASPECTS OF THE TECHNOLOGY TRADE: VIDEO SCREENS VERSUS HORIZON IN TOKYO AND NEW YORK
Essay by Peter Callas in Mediamatic, Vol. 5, No. 3, 1990
In 1969 the first person to step on the surface of the moon, an American and apparently a Mason, reclaimed space (and science) from the Soviets live on television. Technology (the future) was again an active myth of American nationalism.
Whatever level you interpret the actions of astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin on the surface of the lunar satellite (the event becomes laden with mystery beyond the 'marvel' of technology when you consider that Aldrin is said to have served himself a special Masonic 'communion' on the Moon and profuse Masonic symbolism surrounds the events, objects and instruments of the Lunar Mission)1 they came full circle on the 12th of February, 1986 when the Challenger Shuttle exploded at full throttle. In the intervening two decades the idea of technology in America went from romantic utopian vision to the idea of apocalypse as a spectator sport. From blinding trust to abject suspicion. Vito Acconci, another American video artist (most active in that medium in the 70s) claims that 'wherever it is located, theoretically, art-video is grounded, practically, in America'.2
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1Michael A. Hoffman II, 'Alchemical Conspiracy and the Death of the West' in: Adam Parfrey (ed), Apocalypse Culture, Amok Press. New York.
2Vito Acconci, 'The Room with the American View' in: ZG, Altered States, New York, 1989.