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I can't say for certain how my close-up turned out (like I said, I wasn't looking), but I still appreciated being part of Larson's exercise. Like the Harun Farocki short Counter-Music (2002), which screened at the Nightingale in January, the performance made me ponder how many images I regularly encounter that I don't even think of as images. I didn't need Larson's comment to remind me of surveillance footage—that was the first thing I thought of when I saw my fellow spectators onscreen. Yet how often does one see the face of another on a security feed and think of portraiture? Also, does the ubiquity of security feeds—as well as countless other moving images that are captured without creative intent—inhibit our ability to appreciate genuine portraiture when we see it?
I wonder if cinephilia will come to seem like an affectation as moving images become so ubiquitous as to seem inescapable. (Nothing sums up the phenomenon better than those bars and restaurants with so many TV monitors that you can't sit anywhere without having to look at one. Even if The Rules of the Game were playing on every monitor, I'd still find the experience overbearing and creepy.) Apart from Larson personally controlling the zoom, the main thing distinguishing his video feed from that of a security camera was his instruction for us to approach the results as images rather than information. Perhaps in the future all movie screenings will be preceded with such an exhortation.