Current film editing techniques are more than likely partly responsible for the silly naive realism that seems to underpin so much of our thinking about ourselves. It used be, in early film, and hence also in experimental film, that the camera represented a single point of view, and that was important. But with modern editing, view changes. The distributed logic of film editing does violence to the notion of a single point of view. I bet that’s a modern change brought about by film. Perhaps changing again right now though, with the proliferation of cameras that do stand in rough correspondence to single points of view. The Tsunami, for example.
We need not belabour the apparent similarity between us and bonobos. Increasingly, we find evidence of similarity between us and some surprising counterparts, like cuttlefish, or dogs. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. To look at the ape connection is to believe that “we are the product of our genes”. But you can look at forms of coupling, at lots and lots of different kinds of things, and see “us” just as surely. Because we are not merely the product of our genes. That is not what it is to be “us”, even though we increasingly see what “that” is. “We”, the word, increasingly refers to media, coupling media. We need to learn to read the surfaces around us, with due accord paid to our differences as well as our commonalities.