The 3D Machine: An Experiment With Aura, Television, and Installation
by Daniel C. Faltesek — University of Iowa
December 16, 2010 – 00:00
In April 2010, the criticism of 3D reprocessing technologies had piqued my curiosity, and the limits of the technology were becoming quite clear. My research question was this: are 3D reprocessing technologies really adding to the image, or are they ways of producing aura? What was needed was an experiment; an installation experiment where stereo-optically reprocessed material could be showcased outside of the theatrical context. I began with the premise that any program could be reprocessed in 3D, developed a method for cheaply reprocessing material, and executed with an installation.
With engineering out of the way, I turned to execution, reprocessing old television shows including: I Dream of Jeanie, Quantum Leap, Star Trek, Alf, and several others. With a montage of reprocessed footage in hand I set up my installation, calling it a "3D Ride" that would "Take You Into The Televisual Past." On both occasions where the installation has been setup, a carnival installation has prevailed. As I brought groups of riders into a darkened booth I made audacious claims about the power of 3D reprocessing technology. Riders leaving the installation reported experiences ranging from enjoyment to nausea. Even those who could not appreciate the artificially enhanced perception of convergence knew that they had just seen "something."
Thus, I present the montage of reprocessed 3D archival television material that audiences encountered in my installation. Images of your favorite shows have been enhanced with stereo-optical convergence. Here are instructions on how to make glasses to enjoy this artifact. Use pink and green for your lens colors. Does this experiment democratize 3D? Does it provide dispositive evidence that television is auditory rather than visual? Or does the act of naming and describing the technology show the continued relevance of the curator, editor, director, and the caption in the age of digital technology?