Preservation Is Not A Format
An aphoristic interpretation in 10 parts
1. Authorial intent is, for all practical purposes, bunk. It presupposes, fallaciously, either the existence of the singular creator, or the total achievability of an artistic vision.
The former is false because it is a figment of the artist’s imagination. The latter, because it is a figment of the consumer’s imagination.
2. The desired qualities of a format and the availability of a format do not necessarily converge. The adoption of a format for creative uses may be a matter of convenience rather than vision and integrity.
3. Despite the philosophical crutch that Benjamin represents, the problem of reproducable media did not begin with photography. The printing press blew apart the conceptual framework and reliance on hand-copied manuscripts. This resulted in massive increases in literacy, the Protestant Reformation, and American democracy.
Agitation prompted by reproducable media of the 20th century has resulted in The People vs. George Lucas and discussion forum debates over the presentation of Friends in HD.
4. A primary pleasure of the cinema experience — sitting in the dark, the engulfing screen — is that it distracts from the worn, frequently unhygienic setting. The odors are another matter.
Multiplexes compound these issues.
6. “As it was meant to be seen” is a remnant of the VHS homevideo age, referring merely to the use of the correct aspect ratio, not to format or presentation method. Extrapolation to other aspects of media consumption in an age of non-homogenous platforms is limited at best, tedious at worst.
7. Suggested Library of Congress Subject Heading: Defining parameters of technological purity, Randomness of
8. Planned obsolescence is used as a pejorative when conducted by corporations, as a sign of artistic purity when utilized by creators. Both inhibit future access.
9. Aesthetic valuation is a result of temporal, cultural, and personal interpretation, both at the moment of creation and the moment of consumption. These interpretive moments impact continued future interpretation factatorily.
10. Were we not culturally tied to a base 10 system, 10 aphorisms would still be an arbitrary selection.