Oh no! I’ve been robbed by my eyes!

October 5, 2011

We love of Fun Houses, Expos, cheap thrills and anything that is somehow mysterious or experience oriented, these thing can be either man made or nature made. Naturally occurring wonders that have been contained or claimed so that their access can be enjoyed by all for a tourist friendly price are the synthesis of these interests. We are particularly interested in natural wonders that have been claimed for tourism and theatrically enhanced.

 Eddie is a big fan of the Jenolan caves  and Kenzie recently experienced the majesty of the Grand (Grandest) Canyon. The Jenolan caves are just outside of Sydney and they are really big and old and made out limestone. They create a naturally occurring amphitheatre and you can go on tours and all that. In some parts of the caves you can experience the majestic caves amplified by theatrics, as there are lights set up to reinforce the caves natural occurring romanticism and mysteriousness. This use of stage lighting could be quite effective but I’m sure you could have your own mystical experience of these caves without the special effects.

You can also go on a ‘ghost tour’ of the caves, which none of us have been on but is also hilarious and would definitely use the grandeur and mystery of the cavernous forms to invoke a different experience of the caves.

The Grand Canyon is a bit different as it is so big (or grand even…) that there is not much that humans can do to enhance it. It is all the more mysterious for its inability to be contained. As a viewer you have control of how you want to experience it. You can go to the man- made lookouts or you can find a very good view from your own point somewhere around the rim.

The Canyon invokes a feeling of the mystery and ancientness of nature. Seeing the logic to which the earth has been changed by itself over the years is surprisingly overwhelming. It is this feeling of time passing and the many unknowable facets of nature and the human desire to contain or frame the the experience of these wonders that we want to explore further in out collaboration.

The human intervention of special effects to change or enhance natural wonders is a magical union in our eyes. As natural wonders are already a wonder but it is interesting that humans feel they have to control and frame the viewers experience of something that any human would already have a reaction too. We are wondering if these theatrics coupled with natures own mystical displays distort our experiences and align our natural experiences more with the uncanny rather than majesty of nature.

The feeling of the familiar and the strange we are working towards, fun houses, ghost trains and lo- fi special effects also resonates with the ‘unheimlich’ for us. In the case of B horror, limited means or poor production that exposes the mechanism of the special effects which breaks the illusion. Creating an effect of seeing the obvious means of production coupled with the illusion or effect that is being simulated.

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