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The Trauma of the Accident and the Investigation Report as its Remedy : the Case of Guam Crash of Korean Air 801

  • The Journal of Aesthetics and Science of Art
  • Abbr : JASA
  • 2010, 31(), pp.5-40
  • Publisher : 한국미학예술학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Published : June 30, 2010

Lee Young-Jun 1

1계원디자인예술대학

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This thesis analyzes the accident report piled by National Transportation Safety Board about the crash of Korean Air 801 at Guam in 1997. This analysis will extend the range of aesthetics and the study of art to that of the perception in technology. At first, this thesis describes the overal aspect of the accident and discusses what an accident is, why aviation accident is more traumatic than other accidents and what the measures to cope with them are. Finally, this thesis investigates how our perception of the accident is formulated by the representation and discourses in an accident report. This thesis argues that the ultimate purpose of the accident report is to suture our own being in a world ridden with all kinds of accidents that threat the coherence of our existence. This thesis focuses on how the details of representatio such as texts, drawing, diagram and photographs play their roles to cope with the trauma of the accident. Although there are only two photographs of the scene of the accident, they are enough to help us deduce the connotation of the accident report. It is the contrast between the chaos, disorder and trauma of the accident on the one hand and the orderly format of the report. It revisits the scene of the accident with a well organized format and relives it and finally tries to overcome the trauma of the accident. An accident report can be seen as an effort to eliminate the dangerous chance element that penetrates into the system like a harmful cosmic ray and fill the void with the discourse of objectivity and neccessity. Or, it can be seen as an effort to recuperate the neccessity in system which has been damaged by the above mentioned penetration of the chance element and restore an order to this world governed by technology. An accident is defined as a moment in which the system and the order of meaning collapse. The subject that controls the system collapses along with them. Facing it, the accident report tries to “repeat the death and overcome the happening of the death”. However, this is impossible. The main feature of the narrative of the accident report is ‘proximity’. It reaches close enough to the cause of the accident but can not really touch it. Thus the accident report and the moment of the accident are in a relationship of metonymy. As the symbol and its referent have only a contiguous relation to each other in metonymy, the accident tries to cover this gap by reinstate the subject of the accident. The accident report acts as the author of the accident and define the nature and character of the accident. That is how the contemporary humans cope with the alien phenomenon of accident.

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