Framing and reframing are related to hypnotic suggestion. The distinction between what is deemed important being passively detected by the listener, and what is deemed important as it is attended to in the process of some form of interaction, is illustrated in the web piece Hip Not Tech. The technology, whether performed by computers or an enactment of a tribal trance-inducing ritual, does not create meaning. The engaged, “hypnotized” participant does. This can further be reasoned as the impetus for all artistic or cultural practices, from Abstract Expressionist paintings for the formal art world to religious music or ceremonies by tribal members for the spirit-guides. By “culture,” we even broaden the term such to include any perceived behavioral coordination at the obvious verbal level, but also not-so-obvious non-verbal level (as in string quartets,).
This interactive piece exploits a feedback mechanism in the brain. Motivations and sensory processing are not—as we might intuitively believe and insist—independent, but intertwined. This renders the age old question of free will/determinism obsolete. We may be free, but we can have any precise idea how much our own subconscious coerces our behavior. We cannot possibly claim to know the full extent of our deliberate freedom, as it is even privatized from conscious introspection. We cannot claim with certainty when we are motivated by articulate-able desires, versus those motivated and interpreted by some inner agenda. An iconic example of hypnosis-by-modern- media—maracas were once a new medium, too!—is found in one of the final nationally televised addresses by Richard Nixon, claiming his innocence in the Watergate affair (available from watergate.info
). In this speech, Nixon has been implicated in an illegal affair, and, as shown a bit later in history, blatantly lies to the American people.