In response to Picture Motion SB writes….
Interesting stuff.Is this 'complicity' something that is voluntary though? While it might be true that "... we the viewer are actively engaged in making the series of individual frames into a continuity of motion..." and "...we make the illusion happen" it doesn't necessarily follow that we do this 'willingly'. Perhaps we make make the illusion happen 'in spite of' ourselves - perhaps it is a response (other than a conditioned response)that is psychologically 'hard wired', acting independent of will. How much of this is unconscious or sublimated, and further what is the impact of the cultural context? Is this comething that the Andersons consider?
The degree of free will displayed in the process of seeing motion where there is none is clearly a key issue. The Andersons posit it thus "To reject the mechanism of persistence of vision is to reject the myth of persistence of vision and the passivity of the viewer it implies"
Complicity implies a level of active participation and in the sense that the viewer creates for himself or herself the picture motion (it is not on the screen) then they are actively engaging in the filmmaking process. But has the viewer the free will to stop seeing the illusion? As with magic tricks where one can train oneself to see the sleight of hand, the possibility that a viewer could learn to see the "reality" of the individual frames is tantalising though untested. Certainly though film can be said to be a 'trick' which we make happen.
The Anderson’s annoyance with the film community for continuing to advocate "the myth of the persistence of vision" rests less perhaps on complete free will than on a subtle shift of emphasis from the eye to the brain. "The concept of a passive viewer implied by the myth must be replaced by the viewer implied by an enlightened understanding of the illusion: a meaning-seeking creature who engages the film as actively as he engages the real world about him" …and with specific regard to certain strands of film theory "psychoanalytic-Marxist film scholars have retained the model implied by persistence of vision: theirs is a passive viewer, a spectator who is "positioned," unwittingly "sutured" into the text, and victimised by excess ideology" In effect the Anderson’s are empowering the viewer and making them far more active part of the process.
There may well be a number of implications here for a reconsideration of the practice/theory of strands of structural/experimental filmmaking. Paul Sharits and Peter Gidal not surprisingly springing to mind. The Andersons suggest that process of short-range apparent motion is identical to that in everyday ‘real life’ motion perception. The suggestion here is not that we see 25 frames per second but that vision is a highly active process in which we are constantly taking in new visual information out of which we construct an artificial continuity In other words the illusion of filmic continuity and motion is the illusion of vision itself.