The digital has speeded up multi-platform image delivery, to impose sampling and collagic strategies into the way we process information. This is a trauma inducing situation. During an earlier period of technological change reading the moving landscape similarly overwhelmed the early train traveller. Wolfgang Schivelbusch noted that ‘The inability to acquire a mode of perception adequate to technological travel crossed all political, ideological and aesthetic lines.’ (1983) New perceptual strategies had to be developed that contextualized the blur and the streak produced by looking out the train window without overwhelming the viewer. Utilizing Chris Brewin’s (2001) model of two parallel memory systems, this paper argues that, as another round of unprecedented technological change impacts on our senses, another ‘re-alignment’ of the senses is required. Chris Brewin’s (2001) model of two parallel memory systems, of Verbally Accessible Memory (VAM) and Situational Accessible Memory (SAM), suggests that the current information explosion requires a greater emphasis on the SAM system for processing information and critical thinking. Processed through the amygdala, SAM is implicit, situationally triggered, information intensive and conveys no sense of time. Found footage films, like those of Martin Arnold and Peter Tscherkassky that cut up, layer, repeat and recycle historic imagery perform the sampling and collagic strategies that characterize this SAM memory system to demonstrate a more visually based mode of critical thinking.
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