National Art & Culture Quiz

A jokey quiz that questions the ways in which the viewer might actively participate in shaping their perception of the world and of the media.

00:00Copy video clip URL Instructions on how to properly adjust your television set’s color and contrast.  

01:15Copy video clip URL “Did you just get up from your seat to adjust your set? How actively do you participate in forming your picture of the world? How actively can you participate in forming your picture of the world? And what is the nature of that participation? We’ve designed a quiz which will ask you to consider these questions.” Onscreen text: “The National Arts & Culture Quiz.” 

01:50Copy video clip URL Instructions for the quiz, asking you to write down answers on a sheet of paper, with the example question “1. Did you adjust your set?” 

02:03Copy video clip URL In a park, a sign onscreen reads “Society for Preservation of Ambiguous Effects. Perception Test. win a prize!” Nick Despota asks participant Margaret Smith what she sees in a series of Rorschack tests and what the images suggest to her, what it function might be. “Radar,” she says, about the first one. Dipota interviews several other participants, including a mustachioed man who identifies it as “a Rorschach test ink blot” before being pressed and admitting, “It looks like an angel to me.” Another woman says a picture looks like “fallopian tubes.” 

04:45Copy video clip URL “In each of the following questions, are ‘A’ and ‘B’ the same?” Two boxes, on the left and right sides of the screen, either filled with a solid color or highlighting an element of a background image. 

05:38Copy video clip URL Comparing “A. organ” and “B. organ,” followed by the playing of an electronic organ with the word “organ” superimposed over it and by an open mouth, also with the word “organ” superimposed. 

05:57 Despota asks participants to compare two scratch and sniff stickers. 

07:12 “Craig Goldwin is a professional wine taster and columnist. His system for evaluating wines has received national recognition.” Goldwin discusses the function of the tongue and where on the tongue it is most sensitive to which tastes, and how little the general public understands about taste and smell. He offers a brief, simple vocabulary lesson to allow people to converse more freely about wine, and then demonstrates his method of rating and evaluating a wine. 

10:16 Orson Welles’ wine commercial for Paul Masson wine is the “B” for Craig Goldwin’s “A”: “We will sell no wine before its time.”

10:54Copy video clip URL Despota asks people what an arch symbol means. Nobody knows, but one speculates that it means: “Danger: Church Crossing.”

13:34 “In each of the following questions, decide whether the central figure, in this case a square, is concealed in “A”, “B”, or “C.”  Starts with simple line drawings, then moves to real world images, a painting of The Assumption, a weather report, and a TV preacher. 

20:11 People in the park wear a pair of tinted glasses and look through magnifying glasses.

20:44 End credits. 

21:30 Answer Sheet. 

21:46Copy video clip URL Excerpt from “Potential Applications and Limitations”: Images of video tapes and video equipment, intercut with footage of children playing, diagrams, animals, a TV set, various other images in the montage. 



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