The Norwegian producer Thomas Hellum taped a 7 hour long train ride, an 18 hour fishing trip and – to top it off – a 5 day boat journey. The train ride was broadcast in Norway in 2009 and with 1.2 million viewers it was a massive television hit. Slow TV was born. In 2011 the 134 hour boat trip had 2.5 million viewers: half of the Norwegian population!
Dr Adam Galpin, Senior Lecturer in Media Psychology at The University of Salfor, describes that the popularity of slow TV may come from the calming and relaxing effect it has on the viewer. We are not overloaded with images and sounds as is the norm in modern media. Instead, scenes gradually unfold before our eyes. The camera is moving slowly through a landscape and your only task is to observe the image. You have plenty of time to guide your attention to different aspects of the image. This is the same experience as you would have in real live when, for example, walking through a forest.
Dr Galpin mentions the parallel with mindfulness training.
Slow TV seems a welcome addition to the current media landscape.
Would you care for some slow TV yourself?