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Subliminal messeges in your mix?

Discussion in 'Finding Content' started by vjpixylight, Oct 29, 2002.

  1. vjpixylight

    vjpixylight AKA Will O' The Wisp

    Hey visual meistros,

    The other day in a chat here at VJC, we had quite a discusion on using Subliminals in our content/VJ mix....

    I was wondering how many of you might see fit to use some sort of 1-5 frame picture(s), word(s), or other type of subliminal to get your message across...

    Would this, in your opinion, be unethical or evil??

    How would you feel about ancient esoterical symbols being flashed into your mind?

    Would positive reinforcement of words like love, peace, respect, ect. be okay to use??

    How many of you would do this, or have done this?

    Do you think people are doing it now, without you knowing about it?

    These are just a few, of many questions we could ask on this subject...
  2. KillingFrenzy

    KillingFrenzy KillingFrenzy Visuals


    The only subliminals I would need would be for the promoters. I could install tiny LCDs in my glasses and have "pay me more" "book me more often" "visuals=$". Short of that, I'm happy to have everything be in the conscious realm. I think most of the people I deal with are experiencing life as a "cut-up" as Dyson/Burroughs would say. In that sense, my visuals may already work as a flash in the background to their perceived existence. With this in mind, I've tried to be very "clear" with what I say... in the sense that I don't feel the need to slip anyone a visual mickey. Enough people seem to get to acid without putting it in the water supply, same goes for information. Best to be above the board and honest with ones opinions. How would you feel if someone "slipped" a negative message to you? Of course, if I was a Brit, I'd probably do it just because they have laws specifically forbidding it.
  3. AudioVisualizers

    AudioVisualizers MoireLoops;)Bringing you.

    I've used "subliminal" messages from day-zero in all my art.

    When I used to do visuals in chill-out rooms before I could save enough money to buy the gear I needed to do big main room shows, I would do both the audio and the video....

    I typically mix 1 channel with selected experimental music with the other channel patched through my bose se-70's vocoder. Then I'd do freeform subliminal channeling prose whispers that would layer into the music, as I mixed my visuals in sync.

    I miss those days....

    Now I am having some other hurdles in deciding whether or not to release my next custom research unit. There have already been inquiries into this field of research by the FDA as of a few months ago...long, personal story....

    for now: http://www.cognitiveliberty.org/neuro/stmnt.html
  4. vjpixylight

    vjpixylight AKA Will O' The Wisp

    hmmm, yes, I think that trance music is made to be subliminal, and since it is pyschedelic in nature, it can be that way...

    I think that doing subliminal demo's to get in the promoters head, is a good idea since most promoters are in that mind frame anyways...

    Still, I can understand the question in ethical practice, that this would raise, and would only use subliminals for certain circumstances...

    BTW, I havn't ever used subliminals before, and havn't found need to yet..

  5. rhythmicimaging

    rhythmicimaging Always Contemplating

    surely only megalomaniac's used subliminal techniques to brainwash or takeover the world.

    To me it seems pointless as its subliminal and no one realises they've seen it so how can they appreciate it.(fully)
  6. vjpixylight

    vjpixylight AKA Will O' The Wisp

    I think the stiff opposition to this, coming from UKers, might indicate that anarchy still has a way to go in the UK...well with everything that is except being a football fan..


  7. vjpixylight

    vjpixylight AKA Will O' The Wisp

    Oh, I might ask you all, if your visualz are intended to be hypnotic, does that make them subliminal receptive as well, cause if so, then my visualz are...

    hope you all don't think that I am trying to take over the world...:p

  8. elbows

    elbows PixelRomper

    Anarchy is the exact opposite of trying to control people through subliminal messaging, but as I was in the chat the other night you already know my opinion on this stuff - get out of my brain, I dont give you permission to go there, subliminals are evil evil evil lol
  9. vjpixylight

    vjpixylight AKA Will O' The Wisp

    tyler durton from fight club used them and that was all about anarchy...

    I don't want in your head, just love to hear ppl think..lol :p


  10. wellREDman

    wellREDman Saitek Warrior

    my point as was made in the chat is that it is wrong to do anything to anyone without letting them have the choice of whether they want it.
    just because you would be using positive ideas subliminally makes it no different to coke putting in blipverts saying "drink coke".
    if you are allowed to do it then they would argue that they should be allowed to too.
  11. eXhale

    eXhale video magician

    pixy, i think you're confusing words here, music/visuals can be hypnotic and draw people into trance (like your avatar LOL) but it doesn't make them subliminal!
  12. vjpixylight

    vjpixylight AKA Will O' The Wisp

    well that is a fine line to draw I think...as any hypnotic experience delves deep into the brain...

    In Psychology, J. Campbell would say the archetypes are what determine how we view the world around us...so hypnosis and subliminal imaegry are related IMHO
  13. eXhale

    eXhale video magician

    everything affects how we view the world around us, advertising, books, conversations, movies, music, forums, etc, it doesn't have to be unconscious, although i guess having it unconscious makes it possible to pass message/meaning which would have not been understood (or understood wrongly) consciously. you can bypass the part of the brain which analyze everything and go directly to the core of the brain. actually advertising has always worked on the unconscious side so ditch my earlier comment.

    personnaly i don't think i'd trust any stranger to send me the right subliminal message i need ;) but if it was exposed to subliminal messages by people like you or dave i probably wouldn't mind about it.
  14. vjpixylight

    vjpixylight AKA Will O' The Wisp

    I guess what I am saying is that subliminals are already being used, and we don't even know it...so good positive reenforcement of this would help counter any negative subliminals out there...

    I am sure daves subs are all positive...right Dave???
  15. eXhale

    eXhale video magician

  16. vjpixylight

    vjpixylight AKA Will O' The Wisp

    yea, I have seen it already, but that was about using the smell and subs of popcorn to sell it in a movie theatre...

    I think that would be completely unrelated to what we are talking about here...
  17. eXhale

    eXhale video magician

    no, read the full page, the first study on subliminal advertising was fake and it's what provoked all the media hip which resulted in subliminals being banned on some countries despite their unproved effect.

    that said i'm sure subliminals have *some* effect but i don't know if it's really worth the trouble and additional hardware. maybe if you play them to re-enforce (sp?) the conscious message they can work better than if they come totally out of context (like would all forms of subliminal advertising).
  18. vjpixylight

    vjpixylight AKA Will O' The Wisp

    I view subliminals in that manner like a speed reader reads...it all goes in, and that does have an effect on the subconcious mind...

    It becomes stored information, and when the mind sees another something like it, it gives the mind a Deja-Vu effect...
  19. PilotX

    PilotX Tom syzygy, not Dan ;)

    Personally, I reckon that if you think that the subconcious works in the way you seem to be suggesting, then subliminal messaging would be too subtle for us to notice. This makes them more dangerous as we are unlikely to question the impulses/desires that arise from the subconcious.

    However, it is by definition impossible for us to formulate notions of how the subconcious works. Personally, I would not use subliminal stuff not because of a moral issue, but because I want people to know that we are affecting how they feel, not wonder where that vague feeling of happiness came from.

    SyZyGy Visuals
  20. vjpixylight

    vjpixylight AKA Will O' The Wisp

  21. wellREDman

    wellREDman Saitek Warrior

    i wholeheartedly support positive reinforcement of environmental issues and green product placement but these things are only subliminal in the broadest sense of the word.
    i thought what we were discussing was the more hidden blipvert
    ie one frame of text saying "be a hippy" or some such
    if this isnt the case i apologise formy vehemence
    if it is then i still think its immoral
  22. PilotX

    PilotX Tom syzygy, not Dan ;)

    I agree with WellRedMan here, the things mentioned in the article are not, to me, subliminal.

    The question which arises is whether exposing ppl to subliminal messages leaves their mind more malleable to other influences. If this is the case, then using them will be counterproductive in the end, as capitalism will always have more money to spend on advertising than you.
    I think it is better to challenge people on a conscious level, because they can form solid ideas to decide the actions they take, which will be stronger than the vague desires that arise from the subsconcious. Don't play the world at it's own game, the rules are fixed in it's favour.

  23. vjpixylight

    vjpixylight AKA Will O' The Wisp

    Red and Tom,

    I agree with you both, that using subliminal messages, is not the best way to bring a better understanding of what we, as visual artists, are in most cases trying to communicate. It is, however, a tool to work with...

    Subliminals as we can see, have many forms...Many subliminal pictures, have some kind of sublime sexual reference to them; Why? Because sex sells...I don't advocate this form of subliminal message. Still other subliminal messages out there are made, with some belief, that by being exposed to them, you can overcome personal problems and/or weakness; I really do think that these sort of self help subliminals are unproven, and antedotal at best...

    There will always be ppl and business, that try to invent a better mousetrap, or use different techniques to sell the same old outdated mousetrap to unwitting ppl...It is the world we live in.

    If we were filmmakers, or television producers, we could use a fully conscious visual means, to try to persuade the viewing public to a certain point of view... but we are not filmakers per say... We are, for lack of a better word, visual decoration specialist,(which also interact with other artistic forms such as music, and therefore can't expect the full, unbridled attention, of the ppl who are exposed to what we do...In this respect, we are needing to open the subconcious mind to get our visions across..

    This is how the use of sublimainals, can help make ppl realize, that there is more to what we do, than meets the eye...
    The EMA has figured this out, and so should we as artists, find a reasonable delivery method for doing what we can, to affect change...
  24. PilotX

    PilotX Tom syzygy, not Dan ;)

    I reckon that if we take a wider definition of subliminal then I'd pretty much agree with you, I just think that if something is too subtle it'll get missed. Having said that, lots of exposure to similar subtle things may not (hence saturation of a particular advert by companies over a short space of time).

    For me, I think its more of a question of not using footage that could, for instance, be seen as racist etc. as of seeking to promote a particuar cause.

  25. Yetimon

    Yetimon Somewhat Mad

    If you want to be exposed to subliminal messages, just turn on your TV! Television has an amazing affect on your brainwaves, with a definate increase in the alpha wave activity (I think it's the alpha - anyone know more about this want to correct me?), which can put you into a trance like state.

    The frequency of the alpha waves are about the same as the 1/16 beat you get in psytrance, which indeed is the whole point of trance music - to put you into this headspace. Only prob with television doing this, is that you're now absorbing all these advertising messages at a sub-concious level.

    Actually saw a reference to an interesting film on this subject this evening....

    Evidence - http://www.koyaanisqatsi.org/films/evidence.php
    "Evidence looks into the eyes of children watching television - in this case Walt Disney?s "Dumbo". Though engaged in a daily routine, they appear drugged, retarded, like the patients of a mental hospital. Evidence is about the behavior of children watching television - an activity whose physiological aspects have been overlooked in the current controversy surrounding television."

    Have a look through the rest of the site as well - Koyaanisqatsi and Naqoyqatsi look like a couple of must-sees as well.

    So if you VJ to good psytrance, or even just to a room of tripping partygoers, you're already working at a sub-concious, subliminal level. :)


    (Disclaimer - I don't claim to be an expert in any of this - just trying to throw a few more interesting ideas/URLs into the mix) :)
  26. PilotX

    PilotX Tom syzygy, not Dan ;)

    Thats interesting - I'd alays thought that the TV's ability to get you watching if its on was down to your mind being attracted to something that is changing (defensive mechanism - animal instinct about knowing the environment your in kicking in).

    I know even less about the subject than you.

  27. eXhale

    eXhale video magician

  28. vjpixylight

    vjpixylight AKA Will O' The Wisp

    Now you all might know and realize why the so many ppl in the states are so fucked up!!! It is true that the modern evil in the world today is TV and advertising...no doubt in my mind about it..

    My friend won't even let his little girl watch the tube for the reasons mentioned in the 'evidence' piece...and I have seen kids glued to the TV, especially cartoons, in the manner that was mentioned..it is like they are absorbed...

    But TV's influence doesn't stop with the young, it hit everyone...
    A few years back, the FCC allowed drug companys to start advertising their drugs directly to the consumer on TV..
    The results have been one drug commercial after another blasting our subconsious...if you don't need "Lipator' now, chances are you will in the future after being hit with their ad campaign thousands and thousands of times..
    It all, is really a sham. It has made medical doctors into legalized drug dealers, and it is only getting worse...
    I never liked American TV shows, because they present a distorted picture to the rest of the world of what many percieve Americans to be like...Well most of us aren't like Rossanne or Raymond,(not everyone loves Raymond) or any of the other characters they see coming from american TV...

    That is why I do advocate the use of counter tactics such as subliminals in what we do...

    Sorry for the tirade, but this kind of stuff really sets me off, and I want to try and do something about it...
  29. PilotX

    PilotX Tom syzygy, not Dan ;)

    I feel exactly the same about advertising methods as you. Thats why I love, and support the BBC - for those abroad, in the UK we pay a TV licence fee which goes to the BBC to pay for its programming - no adverts :) :)

    I just think that to counter subconcious advertising you need to place firm ideas into peoples mind - this can only be done through concious arguments in my opinion.

  30. eXhale

    eXhale video magician

    Yeah there is just too much propaganda on the other side. On the article I linked above it says that americans see an average of 1500 ads every day :eek:

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