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Realism & Recording


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Minimalist introduction to a course on realism, reality effects, recording, literature, and technology. Designed as a kind of teaser for "Realism & Recording," an undergraduate elective course taught by Prof. Craig Carey, USM, Fall 2014. Visit the course website at:

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Realism & Recording

  1. 1. Realism & Recording ! @ccareylit #eng471 08.20.2014
  2. 2. what is… ! real reality realism
  3. 3. realism in popular culture
  4. 4. Reality TV
  5. 5. The Problem of Language If language ≠ reality, how can literature represent “reality”?
  6. 6. realism vs. antirealism in philosophy
  7. 7. why recording?
  8. 8. Winslow Homer, Eight Bells (1886)
  9. 9. –Richard Gilder “It is getting to be a serious question as to how far the world shall go in the way of self-record.”
  10. 10. “the smiling aspects of life”
  11. 11. Augmented Reality
  12. 12. realism ! recording ! writing ! watching ! attention ! notation Thomas Eakins, The Gross Clinic (1875)
  13. 13. inscription
  14. 14. “All novels attempt to cut neural routes through the brain, to convince us that down this road the true future of the novel lies. In healthy times, we cut multiple roads, allowing for the possibility of a Jean Genet as surely as a Graham Greene. ! These aren’t particularly healthy times. A breed of lyrical Realism has had the freedom of the highway for some time now, with most other exits blocked.” ! Zadie Smith, “Two Paths for the Novel”
  15. 15. Where do we locate the real?
  16. 16. on the ground?
  17. 17. in voices?
  18. 18. in emotions?
  19. 19. in reporting?
  20. 20. in data?
  21. 21. on surfaces?
  22. 22. in storage?
  23. 23. in people and places?
  24. 24. in remix?
  25. 25. in bodies and machines?
  26. 26. in the soul?
  27. 27. in art?
  28. 28. –Immanuel Kant “Look closely. The beautiful may be small.”
  29. 29. ! ! What did you see in the previous eight slides? ! Were they photographs? ! Think again. ! ! ! ! “Look closely.” !
  30. 30. reality effects
  31. 31. what are effects?
  32. 32. Mark Twain’s Boyhood Selfie “Look! I created my own reality effect!”
  33. 33. “ Reality is a very subjective affair. I can only define it as a kind of gradual accumulation of information; and as specialization. If we take a lily, for instance, or any other kind of natural object, a lily is more real to a naturalist than it is to an ordinary person. But it is still more real to a botanist. And yet another stage of reality is reached with that botanist who is a specialist in lilies. You can get nearer and nearer, so to speak, to reality; but you never get near enough because reality is an infinite succession of steps, levels of perception, false bottoms, and hence unquenchable, unattainable. You can know more and more about one thing but you can never know everything about one thing: it’s hopeless. So that we live surrounded by more or less ghostly objects— that machine, there, for instance. It’s a complete ghost to me— I don’t understand a thing about it and, well, it’s a mystery to me, as much of a mystery as it would be to Lord Byron. ! Vladimir Nabokov
  34. 34. style
  35. 35. • realism is fraught with contradictions • realism cuts across media ! ! ! • realism is not boring • realism is about mediation • realism produces reality effects
  36. 36. Slide 29: 3D painting of sea creature by Keng Lye ! Slide 30: Photo-realistic pencil drawing by Diego Fazio ! Slide 31; Hyper-realistic oil painting by Robin Eley ! Slide 32: Hyperrealistic painting by Jason de Graaf ! Slide 33: Pencil illustration by Franco Clun ! Slide 34: Hyper-realist oil painting by Pedro Campos ! Slide 35: Acrylic painting by Jason de Graaf ! Slide 36: Oil painting by Gregory Thielker image credits Marcin Ryczek
  37. 37. This slideshow by Craig Carey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial- ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License