Advanced Study Exercise - Year Specific Media Immersion Program [Yes-Med Program]
An exercise may be the creation of a 'year study program' where all of the members of the group must only be able to view media from a certain year. Thereby re-creating the outside feeling of the year in question. Say, for instance, that we were to choose the year of my birth, 1971. The first activity would be to acquire materials specific to that year, the media division of our group would go around to all of the archival magazine stores, picking up anything from 1971. The media division would then go through all of the items, placing them in chronological order. The more items found would be the better. At the beginning of the New Year, all outside channels would be turned off and the media division would produce 'date specific' items for the perusal of the group. Hence, an item from March 7th, 1971, would not be available to look at until March 7th of the study year and so on.
I believe that this would create an illusion of time within the organization. After the first few weeks of this undertaking, the clients would begin to grow used to their 'new year', and with the exclusion of any outer media channels, the illusion would grant a better understanding of that point in temporal space.
It has been suggested that simply controlling the media alone would not suffice, that the clients would also have to commit to the year by forsaking any devices, fashions or food items that were created after that year. I find this line of 'total immersion' to be beside the point, first of all, the media itself, I believe, would alone be enough to engage the user, secondly, a plan of total immersion would be pragmatically difficult, and depending upon the year, rather spendy. Also, there might be a danger in reaching too far backward, a risk that the experiment would fail due to the loftiness of its goal. I think that in an experiment such as this that subtlety might be a tool almost as effective as the media items themselves.
The ideas that brought me to this line of thinking can be summed up in the following study questions:
1. Why do human beings value the truth in such a fanatical manner?
People seem so married to a past that they did not inhabit that it has colored aspects of their lives in fascinating ways. Ties to the past seem as though their only function were to bind the client into a line of thought that does not carry any service for them.
2. Without constant callback to the past, would human beings create their own meaning?
3. Is all history something to be valued?
Or should it be viewed as any other sort of media, one that can be edited and remixed at will? In what way does it help to know of the hardships, indignities and injustices suffered by his ancestors? Without blame would there be any grudges?
Without grudges would all motivation be equal? Would people continue to experience difficulties in socio-political spheres or would all of the lines erase?
4. Is it possible to remove the 'negative' aspects of history, while keeping intact the lessons learned in an overall, non-specific parable?
5. If an all-powerful human being were able to eradicate all of human memory, and were able to create equality amongst every inhabitant of the planet, would humans create new prejudices?
6. How does 'being informed' of the events in the world help the individual to go about his day-to-day existence? What is truly necessary for the human being to enjoy a full quality of life?
7. Are comfort and convenience a disservice to the overall functioning of the human being?