Don DeLillo and TV Buddha
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This thesis interprets Don DeLillo's more recent novels and video artist Nam June Paik's video installation TV Buddha as parallel critiques of the presentation of media and consciousness in Western thought. It argues that Western philosophy has used the dominant visual media technology of the given era as a conceptual model for understanding human cognition and perception since Plato. It then gives a thorough analysis of Paik's TV Buddha, leading to the conclusion that the work is a Buddhist deconstruction of Cartesian consciousness that reveals the vanity and circularity of the traditional Cartesian way of imagining human cognition. Finally, it attempts to show that a similar critique runs through DeLillo's work in the form of a career-long exploration of the relationship between media and consciousness that culminates in three works, Cosmopolis, Falling Man, and Point Omega, that strongly critique the use of technological media as models for consciousness.