modern times final – Habituation

In Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times, the factory scene where the Tramp transitions from his task of turning knobs to other activities interested me. After such repetitive, mechanical action the Tramp has a difficult time performing new actions. I was interested in the idea of how the Tramp had done one single action for so long that he becomes a single-action automaton. In regards to daily life, I wanted to express how humans have a tendency to repeat the same actions in the same way. Our hands become accustomed to moving in certain ways that we are not usually aware of. In my video, I wanted to expose the automaticity in our movements by removing the hand from its usual context. I also wanted to express the idea of neuroplasticity, or how our behaviors ‘wear grooves’ in our brains that form habits. Therefore I chose to perform these isolated movements on a blank piece of maleable clay. Beginning with a sort of tabula rasa, the end result are imprints on the clay that come from the repeated actions of the hand. The hand has a difficult time transitioning from one action to another, as the Tramp continues to twitch as though turning invisible knobs.

 
{ 12/12/2012    4 Assignment 9   
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