The screen of the divided individuals Cover Image
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Екранът на разделените индивиди
The screen of the divided individuals

Author(s): Yosif Astrukov
Subject(s): Fine Arts / Performing Arts, Film / Cinema / Cinematography
Published by: Институт за изследване на изкуствата, Българска академия на науките
Keywords: screen; society; stuck at home; lonely; viewer; platforms; connection

Summary/Abstract: Many deem 2020 to be a breaking point. The need of self-isolation forced most people to move online and into a ‘virtual life’, where the digital screen is the dominant social connection and source of information. But was really the previous year a turning point? According to a popular joke at the time, ‘until now the IT people didn’t realise that they were living in a lockdown’. Indeed, not only is this virtual life well known to millions of people, but they have also been living it for decades now. Teams located on different continents, working full time in front of their computers, ordering food or taxi online – all this is a boring everyday workflow for all of them. The first pandemic year has just amplified this trend in a short period of time for most of the population. And they were terrified, as if living in the dystopian genre. Yet, Internet addiction is already widely discussed, even in documentaries, and is widespread in the teen generations, who are growing up with all these platforms and technologies. At a certain point, one gets trapped in a kind of vicious circle. Still, what is the specificity of the digital screen in the first place? It is fragmented, multifunctional, interactive, usually flowing from one device to another multipurpose screen, which is grabbing recently most of our everyday time. Through it we work, communicate, study, relax and even find romance. We could hardly imagine human activity that is not presented there. So we are facing the question as to why the humanity needs and develops these technologies. The prevailing opinion is that technologies are turning humans into machines, or machine-dependent creatures. In this article, the opposite is argued: all technologies developed by the humans are projections of their needs. In the end, it is people who push forward only the technologies they need. Should everyone ignore the IT technologies that were on the rise in the 1990s, they wouldn’t be what we see them now. From such a vantage point, the looming anti-utopian world is just a reflection of the latter-day society, a snapshot of the divided individuals, who are struggling with alienation and loneliness in a virtual world.

  • Issue Year: 2021
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 38-42
  • Page Count: 5
  • Language: Bulgarian