Custom Alien Staff by Kryzsztof Wordiczko essay paper sample
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In this dialogue, Krzystof Wodiczko explains what alien staff is and how it defines the meaning of a stranger. The imagination and experience of the viewer of a screen increase with the decreasing distance making the alien's presence more real and legitimate. This change in distance, he says, provide a greater ground for "respect and self- respect" (Finkelpearl, 2001:326). This inspires the crossing of the boundary between a stranger and a non- stranger.
Krzystof goes ahead to say that through the creation of the equipment, the operators are able to come to terms with their own life conditions no matter how terrible or unbearable it is. He doesn't agree that this condition should exist though it is still human. Because they are born of it, they are able to remember the old times and find ways to talk about them. They are able to empower themselves in a difficult situation through the skills and abilities they possess because they managed to survive in even more severe conditions.
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He says there is an aspect of self-empowerment that comes as a result of alien staff. The performance on video "recorded and edited" or surrounded by individuals who the operators had never seen in the very place that they were alienated is what brings about the self- empowerment. He adds that the new projects are "more provocative in terms of the necessity to respond.
When asked whether he conducts interviews with the operators, he emphatically says no. He says it is like a history, thus he doesn't ask questions, and that when people start talking to the camera, they do so more easily than when talking to a fellow human being. It thus becomes easier to find what to say without any constraint.
As an analogy he considered the Jewish nation that was able to create sacred and ethical-companion manuals. He, however, feels sorry that those refugees may not be having a "Talmud" yet. He finally ends the dialogue by saying that he feels that this project is cultural, psychological and political because it opens up a different discourse on the identity of a community and that one reason he feels attached to this particular project is because of its "fixed physical state" (Finkelpearl, 2001:346).