Reduction and the Tachistoscopi Flash: A Marginalised Technology

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Session Title:

  • Transformative Cinema

Presentation Title:

  • Reduction and the Tachistoscopi Flash: A Marginalised Technology

Abstract:

  • Keywords: tachistoscope, flash frame, subliminal, perceptual psychology, digital Easter egg, mind control

    The subliminal flash has had a long and colourful history in perceptual psychology, from its origins in WWII military and law enforcement training, through use as a tool for market research and by structuralist filmmakers of the 1960s, to more dubious associations with mind control. In more recent times the subliminal flash has been used in television advertising as a gimmick rather than a surreptitious form of brainwashing – though the practice is still officially banned in Australia. This paper explores the history of the tachistocopic flash as a methodology both cultural and technological, and more recently as an outlawed practice in commercial screen culture.

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