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WTF is a media culture...and why should I give a rats?
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WTF is a media culture...and why should I give a rats?

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WTF is a media culture...and why should I give a rats? WTF is a media culture...and why should I give a rats? Presentation Transcript

  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? WHAT IS A MEDIA CULTURE AND WHY SHOULD I GIVE A RAT’S? Los Angeles, 2019 Image: ©The Blade Runner Partnership/ courtesy Warner Home Video Los Angeles, 2019 Image: ©The Blade Runner Partnership/courtesy Warner Home Video SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010
  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? Teenage boy’s report scares world’s media bosses, The Age 19th July 2009 http://business.theage.com.au/business/teenage-boys-report-scares-worlds-media-bosses-20090718-dozb.html SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010
  • KULCHA MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010
  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? “We don’t know who discovered water, but we’re certain it wasn’t a fish.” John Culkin (qtd. in Edmund Carpenter’sThey Became What They Beheld ) SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010
  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? CULTURE? SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010
  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? CULTURE? SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010
  • CULTURE? MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010
  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? CULTURE? SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010
  • CULTURE? MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010
  • CULTURE? MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010
  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? “Culture means the total body of tradition borne by a society and transmitted from generation to generation. It thus refers to the norms, values, standards by which people act, and it includes the ways distinctive in each society of ordering the world and rendering it intelligible. Culture is...a set of mechanisms for survival, but it provides us also with a definition of reality. It is the matrix into which we are born, it is the anvil upon which our persons and destinies are forged.” Robert Murphy. Culture and Social Anthropology: An Overture. SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010 (1986: 14)
  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? ‘BIG’ CULTURE IS MADE UP OF LOTS OF SMALLER CULTURES These are the cultures that emerge from specific contexts: i.e the shared understandings, conventions and behaviors of SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010 people in that context.
  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? THEN... High-brow, Low-brow, Middle-brow: These “The thing that burns up high-brows like me is are three basic categories of a new U.S. that the dominant feature of our mental and social structure, and the high-brows have spiritual life is the overwhelming flood of cultural the whip hand sewage that is manufactured especially for the tastes of the low-brow and lower middle-brow. “According to Editor Russel Lynes in article It is difficult even for a high-brow to escape its in Harper’s Magazine, the whole of US social influence. Only eternal vigilance keeps it from structure can now be divided into three types. converting us into 100% low-brow people. This Gone, he says, are the days when social flood exists for only one reason. The oafish position was determined by birth, wealth or classes, being overwhelmingly numerous, are political eminence. Instead he points out that the biggest consumers of everything from salad true prestige now belongs only to scientists, to music, and an investment in their tastes writers, critics, commentators and thinkers is correspondingly profitable. They therefore of global thoughts. We have a society of the dominate taste in nearly all our big industries intellectual elite, run by the high-brows.” where taste is factor, the most horrible examples SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010 Life magazine, 1949 in point being the radio and Hollywood movies.” Winthrop Sargent ‘In Defense of the High-brow’ (Life ‘resident high-brow’)
  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010
  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? NOW Subcultures can be conscious and ‘exclusive’, eg footballers, bodycon, goths, bikies, gamers, cosplayers. SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010 Membership of these subcultures defines, at least in part, the member.
  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? We aren’t always conscious of our ‘literacy’ of a specific culture. Some- times they are so embedded in our everyday life that we aren’t even http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgzbhEc6VVo aware of them, yet they pervade our experience and actions. Media cultures are a good example of this. Whilst they may be as explicit SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010 as the famous ‘Mac vs PC’ divide:
  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? ...they are often as ubiquitous, yet complex and nuanced, as the way that we use our phones... SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010
  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? “The obvious is usually invisible...” Marshall McLuhen SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010
  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? Media and culture are so intertwined that many be- lieve that they have become copies of each other... hyperreal... simulacra A common definition of the ‘simulacrum’ is a copy of a copy whose relation to the model has become so attenuated that it can no longer properly be said to be a copy. It stands on its own as a copy without a model. Fredric Jameson cites the example of photorealism. The painting is a copy not of reality, but of a photo- graph, which is already a copy of the original. Modern French social theorist Jean Baudrillard argues that a simulacrum is not a copy of the real, but becomes truth in its own right: the hyperreal. SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xL6mB1y_20I
  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? MEDIA? CULTURE? SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010 Wonder Girls’ New Album Self-made superstars http://starberriipopteen.wordpress.com/2008/05/20/wonder-girls- http://www.smh.com.au/news/relationships/selfmade-super- new-album/ stars/2008/06/25/1214073324481.html
  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? “Media is a commodity. Media is something that is sold to us. Media can be something that we are sold to, even. Media is an everyday thing. You can buy bandwidth in job lots. You can watch television, buy books, videos, records, CDs, but that’s not it. That’s not what’s interesting. Media is an extension of the senses. Media is a mode of consciousness. Media is extra-somatic memory. It’s a crystallization of human thought that survives the death of the individual. Media generates simulacra. The mechanical reproduction of images is media. Media is a means of social interaction. Media is a means of command and control. Media is statistics, knowledge that is gathered and generated by the state. Media is economics, transactions, records, contracts, money and the records of money. Media is the means of civil society and public opinion. Media is a means of debate and decision and agitpropaganda.” SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010 Bruce Sterling “The Life and Death of Media”, Speech at Sixth International Symposium on Electronic Art ISEA ‘95Montreal Sept 19 1995
  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? Media matters because it changes us and our world SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010 THIS VIEWPOINT IS KNOWN AS ‘TECHNOLOGIC AL DETERMINISM’
  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? “Any technology tends to create a new human environment... Technological environments are not merely passive containers of people but are active processes that reshape people and other technologies alike.” SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010 Marshall McLuhen
  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? Canadian media theorist and a political economist, Harold Innis (1894-1952) is a seminal figure in media theory. Before, digital technology, media extended communication: • Through space (telephone, radio, telegraph, paper musical instruments), or • Through time (e.g. inscriptions, alphabetical writing, movable type printing, musical notation, painting etc). Digital is the first media which extends communications through both of these dimensions simultaneously; it allows the extension of communication: • Through time in its role as a storage mechanism, display device/s etc., and SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010 • Through space particularly through the Internet, digital telephone networks, etc. http://www.media-studies.ca/articles/innis.htm
  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? Innis claimed that the dominant media in a society determined what kind of society it was. Time-based media are durable, but also difficult to move about. They encourage societies that are: • hierarchical, • religious, • conservative, • long-lasting, • Expand slowly. • exemplified by ancient Egypt Space-biased media are light and portable. They are associated with • secular , • territorial, • spatially expansive, • socially mobile , • Exemplified by Ancient Rome -- or Revolutionary SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010 France
  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? Innis believed that stable societies were able to achieve a balance between time- and space-biased communications media. He also believed that change came from the margins of society, since people on the margins invariably developed their own media. The new media allow those on the periphery to develop and consolidate power, and ultimately to challenge the authority of the centre. Latin written on parchment, the medium of the Christian Church, was attacked through the secular SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010 medium of vernaculars written on paper.
  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? Marshall McLuhen Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, (1964) ‘the medium is the message’ “This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium - that is, of any extension of ourselves - result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.” McLuhen points out that a medium does not have to have interpretable content - a message as such. He describes the “content” of a medium as a juicy piece of meat carried by the burglar to distract the watchdog of the mind. He meant that people tend to focus on the obvious, which is the content, but in the process, miss the structural changes in our affairs that are introduced subtly, or over long periods of time. As the society’s values, norms and ways of doing things change because of SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010 the technology, it is then we realize the social implications of the medium. These range from cultural or religious issues and historical precedents, through interplay with existing conditions, to the secondary or tertiary effects in a cascade of interactions that we are not aware of.
  • NEXT WEEK... MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? “Media is an extension of the ? senses.” SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010
  • MEDIA CULTURES 1 :: WTF IS MEDIA CULTURE...? EXERCISE : Subcultures are people too... In small groups or individually 1. Identify a (real) subculture -- some examples: Emos, Elvis fans, polo players, ballerinas, headbangers, elderly Turkish men. 2. What are the specific conventions, etc. that define that subculture. These might include (but are not limited to): * age * gender * ethnicity * clothing codes * behavior and speech codes * income * geography * entertainment or other venues that ‘belong’ to that subculture * special events or rituals 3. Devise a new iphone or iPad app for this subculture. Research existing apps that may be similar to ensure that you’re developing something new. Write a synopsis and a feature list for the proposed app. Explain why you think that this app would appeal to your target marget. SHIRALEE SAUL : 2010 4 Short class presentation in which your group presents the subculture (include pictures if possible) and the app you have invented. Post to Ning and place copy on server.