Mc1 Week 2 09


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Media Cultures 1 - NEWM1001 - Lecturer: Tracey Meziane Benson

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Mc1 Week 2 09

  1. 1. Recap from Wk1 <ul><li>Assessment items </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wiki </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Essay – topics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tutorial paper </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Blog and wiki </li></ul><ul><li>Lecture – Cultural practice </li></ul>
  2. 2. Cultural Practice Media Cultures 1 (NEWM1001) Week 2 28 July 2009
  3. 3. Introduction: New Media and Cultural Practice <ul><li>Live – Analog – Digital </li></ul><ul><li>What is ‘culture’? </li></ul><ul><li>What Is New Media Culture? </li></ul><ul><li>Theories of Representation </li></ul><ul><li>Reading ‘culture’ from Images </li></ul>
  4. 4. (New) Media: Analog vs Digital <ul><li>Analog technology responds to a live signal (voice, visual image) and translates it into electronic impulses or chemical reactions: eg phonograph records, film, non-digital cameras. </li></ul><ul><li>Digital technology breaks the live signal down into a binary code and then via a receiving device (monitor, phone) it reassembles them into the original pattern. </li></ul><ul><li>Analog may not get replication completely ‘right’, as digital does, but analog does still allow a warmer, richer range of replication </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  5. 5. So why “new” media? <ul><li>Available New Technologies : </li></ul><ul><li>A coming together of numerical calculating technology, cinema and broadcast. </li></ul><ul><li>New and Emerging Ways of Thinking: </li></ul><ul><li>Postmodern, Poststructural </li></ul><ul><li>Eg. Intertextuality – ‘all texts only make sense to us in relation to other texts, that we understand them as a part of a web of textuality’ (Lister 28) </li></ul><ul><li>:Not so much the death of the author as the rise of the reader </li></ul>
  6. 6. Defining Concepts in New Media (Lister et al.) <ul><li>Digitality </li></ul><ul><li>Interctivity </li></ul><ul><li>Hypertextuality </li></ul><ul><li>Dispersal </li></ul><ul><li>Virtuality </li></ul>
  7. 7. Other Key terms <ul><li>VR – Virtual Reality </li></ul><ul><li>Convergence </li></ul><ul><li>Cyberspace </li></ul>
  8. 8. Manovich’s Principles of New Media Manovich, Lev (2001). Language of New Media , Cambridge, Massachusetts, London, England: The MIT Press, pp 27-48 <ul><li>Numerical representation </li></ul><ul><li>Modularity </li></ul><ul><li>Automation </li></ul><ul><li>Variability </li></ul><ul><li>Transcoding </li></ul>
  9. 9. New Media Culture <ul><li>Diversified, mass distribution but relies on individuals passing information on -a viral process. Individual to individual to individual to individual …. </li></ul><ul><li>Communications via new media have the potential to continue ad infinitum </li></ul><ul><li>Mass audience for the sublime and the dreadful, the amateur and the professional </li></ul><ul><li>(how to distinguish between the 2?) </li></ul><ul><li>Portable, mobile and personalised points of access </li></ul><ul><li>Increasingly becoming less expensive: a lot can be done on old machines </li></ul>
  10. 10. What Is Culture? <ul><li>The way in which people communicate and live together, including the tools they use to communicate and live together : language, film, fashion, houses, cities, music, visual art, computers, transportation, and all the various discourses which people use to organise the world (and other people). </li></ul><ul><li>Definitions of Culture (also in Readings) </li></ul>
  11. 11. New Media and Representation <ul><li>A new signifying practice based on digital technology </li></ul><ul><li>New Media offers various ways of representing the world, whether by immersing our senses in fictionalised ‘real life’ or fantasy or by allowing us access to ‘live’, ‘happening now’ information and dialogue </li></ul>
  12. 12. Theories of Representation (a) <ul><li>Reflective/Mimetic </li></ul><ul><li>‘ the truth is out there’ and language or some other system of communication can accurately imitate it. </li></ul><ul><li>Intentional </li></ul><ul><li>The person who does the communicating (speaking, drawing, web-design, filmmaking, sculpting etc) is in total control of the ‘message’. Meaning is fixed. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Theories of Representation (b) <ul><li>Constructionist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Language, art, the web are all ‘signifying practices’: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The symbols that are used in these signifying practices can all be used in many ways to mean many things. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The way we make the message is not the message itself and no message is ever ‘fixed’ forever. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People construct ‘meanings’, and often very different ones, from the same symbol. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Reading Culture from Images <ul><li>Denotation: </li></ul><ul><li>what is denoted by an image, what it ‘literally’ refers to </li></ul><ul><li>Connotation: </li></ul><ul><li>the many meanings that are available from the image, depending on our own personal experience, the viewing context, cultural assumptions. </li></ul><ul><li>What stories/meanings do these images convey? </li></ul>
  15. 15. ‘ Typing’ , Categorising, Recognising … <ul><li>We do this all the time in order to make sense of the world. When we meet someone for the first time, we look for clues in the way they represent themselves, the way others interact with them, the context in which we meet them, in order to appropriately address them, describe them to others, deal with them. And don’t we all make mistakes! </li></ul>
  16. 16. Stereotypes <ul><li>A ‘difficult to change’, reductive construction of identity which is created through representation </li></ul><ul><li>A fixed identity which is used to describe particular groups of people in order to support a dominant discourse about what is ‘normal’, ‘natural’, right’ in society – they support the ‘status quo’. </li></ul><ul><li>Stereotypes are also often used as quick ways of describing people whom we do not know </li></ul><ul><li>A marking of ‘difference’ between people which favors the status quo – stereotyped people are usually marked as outside and are denied power . </li></ul>
  17. 17. Hall’s thinking on stereotypes <ul><li>‘ Stereotyping reduces people to a few, simple, essential characteristics, which are represented as fixed by Nature. Here, we examine four further aspects: (a) the construction of 'otherness' and exclusion; (b) stereotyping and power; (c) the role of fantasy; and (d) fetishism.’ (257) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ stereotyping reduces, essentializes, naturalizes and fixes 'difference'.’ (258) </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>‘ stereotyping deploys a strategy of “splitting”. It divides the normal and the acceptable from the abnormal and the unacceptable. It then excludes or expels everything which does not fit, which is different.’ (258) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ stereotyping tends to occur where there are gross inequalities of power. Power is usually directed against the subordinate or excluded group.’ (258) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Semiotics and Interpretation <ul><li>Ferdinand Sassure’s structure of language: </li></ul><ul><li>Signified object is ‘denoted’ by a Signifier </li></ul><ul><li>(an actual tree) (the word ‘tree’ or in another language …?) </li></ul><ul><li>The combination of the Signified + the Signifier = SIGN </li></ul><ul><li>(the object) + (the word) </li></ul><ul><li>This combination, this SIGN, ‘connotes’ many different meanings, and depending on how many of these we are familiar with, we interpret the sign’s meanings </li></ul>
  20. 20. Bush Mechanics
  21. 21. Nice Coloured Girls
  22. 22. Adapted by Tracey Meziane from the original presentation by Dr. Catherine Summerhayes Credits:
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