Considering Aesthetic Communication Mediated by Images: the Case of “Remoscope”

KANAME Mariko and MAEDA Shigeru

This paper is an attempt to estimate the significance of a visual workshop that the Japanese NPO, “Remo” (Record, Expression and Medium Organization), offers openly to the general public. This study was conducted in reference to Kantian aesthetics and its contemporary reconsideration by French philosopher, Thierry de Duve.
Remo’s” staff are conducting workshops using a type of video footage they refer to as “Remoscope”. They are motivated by the critical feeling that in modern life, people are in danger of loosing their sense of initiative and independence as a result of the overwhelming diversity of visual media that exists and the content they contain. “Remo” proposes that its workshop functions as a form of basic media-training that helps people to actively make good use of visual media.
“Remoscope” requires its participants to film an “everyday” image using a digital video camera that is user-friendly for amateurs. This filming undergoes a unique set of rules called “Lumiere-rules”, that reflect filming techniques from early cinema: “1) Maximum 60 seconds; 2) Fixed angle (using a tripod); 3) No sound; 4) No editing; 5) No effects; and 6) No zoom”. With these restricted filming rules, the participants share their “everyday” images and they watch them together. This paper addresses the aesthetic significance of this workshop process, and the function of these “everyday” images for the participants.

Keywords: Immanuel Kant, Judgement of taste, Appreciation education, Thierry de Duve, Media literacy