Audiovisuality as ethical challenge
In his study, the author undertakes the analysis of audiovisuality as a new and determinant phenomenon of culture, which projects an entire new area of ethical consequences with particular emphasis on the problem of responsibility. A starting point for the analysis is provided by an idea taken from culture philosophy which appeared in Spengler's and Heidegger's works, i.e. the notion that the world has become an image. Such assumption bring about particular ethical consequences. Film theory has been aware of such threats from the very beginnings of the cinema. This awareness is testified by Münsterberg's work. Thus, the determination of culture through the techniques of audiovisual communication requires a complementary ethical dimension leading to fundamental awareness of responsibility. A significant contribution in this area is provided by H. Jonas's 'The Imperative of Responsibility', which constitutes a new project of ethics for technological civilization. According to Jonas, a true reaction to audiovisual condition of modernity could be provided by material responsibility taken on by an individual (assuming he/she is powerful enough to fulfill it). Rather than responsibility for something, it is a default responsibility, i.e. responsibility for neglecting actions that should be performed. In the development of interactive media, this claim appears even more forcefully. It is a non-reducible need of responsibility awareness in material sense, since the receiver - who is regularly interpreted as object of responsibility - grows to be the subject, also bound by the power given to him/her by this new medium.
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