Post Modernism in Media Daniel Bhattacharya and Joanne Hooton
What is Post Modern? <ul><li>Postmodern media rejects the idea that any media product or text is of </li></ul><ul><li>any greater value than another. All judgements of value are merely taste. </li></ul><ul><li>Anything can be art, anything can deserve to reach an audience, and </li></ul><ul><li>culture ‘eats itself’ as there is no longer anything new to produce or </li></ul><ul><li>distribute. </li></ul><ul><li>The distinction between media and reality has collapsed, and we now </li></ul><ul><li>live in a ‘reality’ defined by images and representations – a state of </li></ul><ul><li>simulacrum. Images refer to each other and represent each other as </li></ul><ul><li>reality rather than some ‘pure’ reality that exists before the image </li></ul><ul><li>represents it – this is the state of hyper-reality. </li></ul><ul><li>All ideas of ‘the truth’ are just competing claims – or discourses and </li></ul><ul><li>what we believe to be the truth at any point is merely the ‘winning’ </li></ul><ul><li>discourse. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Postmodernism is also said to reflect modern society's feelings of alienation , insecurity and uncertainties concerning identity, history, progress and truth, and the break-up of those tradition like religion, the family or, perhaps to a lesser extent, class, which helped identify and shape who we are and our place in the world. Artists like Madonna, Michael Jackson and David Bowie are all cited as examples of postmodernism in the ways in which they have created or re-created different identities for themselves. </li></ul>
Experts Say... <ul><li>Writers on postmodernism (such as Lyotard, Baudrillard and Jameson) argued that recent economic changes produced particular 'structures of feeling' or a 'cultural logic' . Typical assertions include claims that, mostly thanks to television, and MTV in particular, we now live in a 'three-minute culture' (the length of most people's attention spans, it is said); or that we are part of an over-visual society, a 'society of the spectacle' - due to the preponderance of television and the Internet... </li></ul>
.... <ul><li>This has implications for realist forms of media, since our sense of reality is now said to be utterly dominated by popular media images; cultural forms can no longer 'hold up the mirror to reality', since reality itself is saturated by advertising, film, video games, and television images. </li></ul><ul><li>Moreover the capacity of digital imaging makes 'truth claims' or the reliability of images tricky – think about the use of Photoshop in magazine and advertising images. Advertising no longer tries seriously to convince us of its products' real quality but, just shows us a fake about the product. </li></ul>
Postmodern Media as an aesthetic <ul><li>Hybridity - (the mixing and sampling of different kinds and levels - of hip hop music, of material in television ads, films, etc.). Hybrid forms are said to level hierarchies of taste. It is said that all distinctions between high culture and popular culture, have gone, or become blurred. Postmodern texts 'raid the image bank' which is so richly available through video and computer technologies, recycle some old movies and shows on television, the Internet etc. Music, film and TV provide excellent examples of these processes. </li></ul>
Bricolage <ul><li>This is used to refer to the process of adaptation or improvisation where aspects of one style are given quite different meanings when compared with stylistic features from another. Youth subcultural groups such as punks, with their bondage gear and use of swastikas were eclectic as they took clothes associated with different class positions or work functions and converted them into fashion statements 'empty' of their original meanings. A more recent, feminised example would be the combination of Doc Martens and summer dresses worn by girls. </li></ul>
Simulation <ul><li>The blurring of real and ‘simulated’, especially in film and reality TV or celebrity magazines. Simulation or hyperreality refers to not only the increasing use of CGI in films like The Lord of the Rings films and Avatar, but also in the use of documentary style in fiction such as In This World or in the narrative enigmas of science fiction such as The Matrix or Blade Runner. </li></ul><ul><li> 'Is it human or artificial’? </li></ul>
Disjointed Narrative Structures <ul><li>These are said to mimic the uncertainties and relativism of postmodernity in films like Pulp Fiction as contemporary narratives often won’t guarantee identifications with characters, or the 'happy ending' or meta narratives like the Defeat of the Enemy, which have traditionally been achieved at the end of films. They often manage only a play with multiple, or heavily ironic, perhaps 'unfinished' or even parodic endings, Similar to Memento and Fight Club . Narratives can also be disjointed in time and space – see modern / retro films like Blade Runner </li></ul>
Blurring of boundaries <ul><li>It's easy to spot how boundaries between 'high' and 'low' culture have been eroded. This idea is alluring because of the democratic implications - there's no such thing as bad taste; you can enjoy, consume, shop for what you like - all class hierarchies have disappeared. However, paradoxically, for there to be any thrill in transgressing boundaries, like those between 'high' and 'low' forms in Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet or Shakespeare in Love (1998), those boundaries need still to have some meaning — and indeed they do, if you think of the huge industry still associated with the status and name of Shakespeare and his continuing cultural importance. </li></ul>
Summary <ul><li>We usually think of the media as being 'in between' us and reality, hence the word 'media' and the idea of 'mediation' </li></ul><ul><li>Postmodernists claim that in a media-saturated world, where we are constantly immersed in media - on the move, at work, at home - the distinction between reality and the media representation of it becomes blurred or even entirely invisible to us. In other words, we no longer have any sense of the difference between real things and images of them, or real experiences and simulations of them. Media reality is the new reality. </li></ul>
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