Lecture One Review

This is just a copy of of the Professor Jones powerpoint text to use as a reference/guideline, add any notes or links you may have that elaborates on his points for each heading.

Media Analysis

• Analysis of media form, genre
• Technological analysis and determinism:
• Critical political economy
• Cultural Studies

Notes:




Brainstorming Genre

• What defines a genre?
• How can we break down definitions to increase analytical precision?
• What benefits exist in doing so? To whom? And when do we hit a point of ridiculousness in doing so?
• What genres exist?

Notes:



Principles to consider..

• All media forms can be classified into genres (some deliberately or inadvertently bridge or mix forms)
• All media forms involve technology (in the broadest sense of the word)
• All media have economic, political and cultural consequence
• Holistic understanding of media systems leads to a more grounded, less biased understanding

Notes:



Mass/Public Media & Society

• C. Wright Mills backgrounder
• Institutionalization of mass society and its shaping of mass media (sociotechnical system)

Notes:

Mills is an American Sociologist who studied the power structure in the United States. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._Wright_Mills>

Public v. Mass


Public
• Localized culture
• Horizontal power structure
• Relatively equal ratio of leaders/followers
• “Jack of all trades”
Mass
• Global culture, with little individuation
• Centralized power structures
• Few leaders, many followers
• Specialization and division of labour

Notes:



Implications for Media Form

• Mass media for mass audiences in mass societies
• Competition for amount of eyeballs, media as big business
• Mass media as central bonding experience
• Mass media as centralized cultural control structure

Notes:



Demassification

• Rise of the postmodern / postindustrial / information age
• Individuals and localized communities reemerge and gain in importance
• Media as tools of creation and expression, not simply passive channels
• Examples?

Notes:


Society and Media as STS

• Sociotechnical systems - not technologically determined or socially shaped, but a mix of the two forces operating concomitantly
• In this case, does mass culture drive the formation of mass media? Or, is it the other way around?

Notes:


Manovich

• Language of New Media - distilling the core essence of new media forms into eight propositions (a good example of media genre analysis for the Wiki?)
• More of a technological determinism approach, although does look at social and economic factors
• N.B. “New Media” is not a chronological distinction (although newer examples are more likely to be “new”)

Notes:




New Media vs. Cyberculture

• Proposes a distinction - new media studies as studies of new cultural forms and structures vs. the social use (e.g., gaming culture, digital divide issues)
• Is this a clear distinction?

Notes:

  • Cyberculture
    • networking
    • social
  • New Media
    • computing
    • culture


New Media as Distribution

• Looks at new media explicitly as channel - mediated through digital transmission, in whatever form
• Is this useful? Three limits noted - a) media forms change b) are changing towards network distribution and c) is there any common ground b/w computer mediated forms, anyway?

Notes:


New Media as Software Controlled

• Use of data structures, modularity, automation to create the cultural form
• Digital photography/video as example; due to common technical standards for coding and manipulation, media objects can be manipulated (sometimes automatically) with ease
• Other examples - e.g., embedded Google content

Notes:




Cultural conventions

• Uneven development - just because you can represent and manipulate something in digital form doesn’t mean it will work will in practice (e.g., film)
• “morph” or “composite” - earlier conceptual models survive transition to new media (e.g., desktop metaphor vs. alternatives)

Notes:




Aesthetics of New Media

• New media technologies create their own established aesthetics
• Example: DV movies and cheaper amateur production (http://48hourfilm.com/)
• Builds on previous models, however - e.g., Quicktime vs. Kinetoscope

Notes:



New Media as Efficient

• Computing technology executes various tasks considerably faster - e.g., 3D animation, composite photography
• Efficiency opens up new possibilities and phenomena (e.g., DIY photo/video editing)

Notes:



New Media as Metamedia

• New media repurposes old media, combines existing media sources (e.g., photo montage, web mashing, music sampling)
• Not new, just qualitatively different (and more efficient) than previous uses (e.g., 1920s avant-garde)

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New Media as Nexus of Art and Computing

• Computing becomes a more right-brain, creative process - a tool to represent and create new realities vs. simply crunch numbers (although there’s lots of that still required…)

Notes:



McLuhan - Laws of Media

• Universal dynamic of media change
• Represented as tetrad - four intersecting concomitant influences
• Grouped into two forces - ground (historical/cultural convention) and figure (emergent forces/media)

Notes:



Four Forces

• Enhancement (positive change, amplification)
• Retrieval (recovery of past forces)
• Reversal (new or resurgent challenges jeopardizing new media)
• Obsolescence (erosion of older values/forces)

Notes: