An Emotional Prehistory: A Scientifically Driven Generated Art Approach to Removing Anthropomorphism and Artistic Interpretation from Prehistoric Visualisations
Reynolds, Dean Cameron
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Documentary is often perceived as an authoritative voice of experts and scientists exploring a topic for our benefit. The audience responding to the authoritative tone believe the content to be based on fact, represented correctly, unbiased and free of entertainment based constructs such as a scripted narrative, anthropomorphism of animals and inanimate objects, emotional dialogue, mood manipulating music and unrealistic behaviours. However, documentaries do display these entertainment-orientated constructs and in so doing misrepresent reality to the detriment of the trusting audience. This is particularly evident in documentaries dealing with visualising prehistoric life, as every movement, behaviour and aspect of its physiology is designed and constructed for the audience and not simply filmed from the wild. In spite of the continuing improvement in visualisation technologies which represent the extinct creatures in a more photorealistic manner, the artificial constructs by filmmakers such as anthropomorphism, scripted actions and emotive content wilfully lead the film from being documentary to being entertainment. Instead of educating an audience, they can mislead and damage an audience's perceptions of the past. These additions or distortions of evidence are unnecessary, as more than a century of research has shown that prehistoric life was varied and fascinating. Photorealistic visualisations of these prehistoric animals that is evidence based can be enthralling to viewers whilst not showing a distorted emotionally manipulating narrative driven version.