“In the end, we are self-perceiving, self-inventing, locked-in mirages that are little miracles of self-reference”— Douglas Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop p.363

the .gif

.gif: Christopher Walken/Michael Brace and Joe Dorsey/Hal Abramson both experiencing playback in Brainstorm 1983

stills: Joe Dorsey/Hal Abramson splicing tape in order to make a pleasure loop

that he will watch over and over and over and over and over

and over saying later in the film “I’m more than I was.”

a Loop is:

-a continuous sequence of film created by splicing together the end of the film so that it runs in a never-ending circle

-an electronic circle

-a recursive picture

-a self-referential system

-a dragon that continually consumes itself

-the scopophilic instinct and identification to look at = to devour


4 films that foreground the playback loop as significant to the human psyche:

Brainstorm 1983, a team of brilliant researchers have found a way to record and play back the actual experiences of people

Strange Days 1995, a minidisc-like device, a “SQUID’, allows a user to have the same sensory experiences as if in reality

The Cell 2000, a virtual reality device that allows a psychologist to enter into the minds of her patients

Paprika 2006, a device called the “DC Mini” allows the user to view people’s dreams

Waiting for Godot follows two days in the lives of a group of men who divert themselves while they wait expectantly and in vain for someone named Godot to arrive. They claim him as an acquaintance but in fact hardly know him, admitting that they would not recognise him were they to see him. To occupy themselves, they eat, sleep, converse, argue, sing, play games, exercise, swap hats, and contemplate suicide — anything "to hold the terrible silence at bay"