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History and Philosophy of Media 2012 Seminar 4

History and Philosophy of Media 2012 Seminar 4

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  • 1. MECM90015 History and Philosophy of Media 20124: Research Methods in History and Philosophy of Media
  • 2. audiences statistical ethnographic stylistics technique interpretation history of stylistics technologies history of technologies standards / regulation historical political economy affordancespolitical economy institutions, national media workplace media film, TV, internet, wirless Media and Communications General Topics convergence, globalisation media/ICT4D
  • 3. some basic periods: prehistory: rock art and carving, ritual and dance, cities and ar- chitecture . . . writing, the alphabet and mathe- matics; tablets, scrolls and books printing global telecommunications broadcast media network mediaVenus of Willendorf c. 24,000-22,000 BCE, Oolitic limestone, 43/8 inches (11.1 cm) high
  • 4. Cubeiform script, Sumer, c.26th century BCE (2600)detail of tablet measuring 9.2×9.2×1.2 cm. Inscriptions on tomb in Yang he, Uixian County, Shan dong Province c.2500 BCE
  • 5. Manuscript of Archimedes, c.200 BCE Dead Sea Scroll, Ist centurey BCE
  • 6. Gutenberg 42-line Bible c. 1455
  • 7. The Great Eastern arriving in Heart’s Content, Newfoundland in 1866 with first successful transatlantic telegraph cable (after failures in 1858 and 1865)
  • 8. Our taverns and our metropolitanstreets, our offices and furnishedrooms, our railroad stations and ourfactories appeared to have us lockedup hopelessly. Then came the film andburst this prison-world asunder by thedynamite of the tenth of a second, sothat now, in the midst of its far-flungruins and debris, we calmly and adven-turously go traveling.Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of its Me-chanical reproduction, XIII, 1936
  • 9. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J 1881- Walter J. Ong, S.J., 1912-2003 1955 Orality and Literacy: The Technolo- The Phenomenon of Man 1955 gizing of the Word, 1962The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living - Karl Marx Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it - George Santayana
  • 10. Marshall McLuhan 1911 - 1980 The Mechanical Bride (1951) The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962) Understanding Media (1964) The Medium is the Massage (1967) War and Peace in the Global Village (1968)Harold Adams Innis (1894-1952)We can perhaps assume that the use of a medium of com-munication over a long period will to some extent deter-mine the character of knowledge to be communicatedand suggest that its pervasive influence will eventuallycreate a civilization in which life and flexibility will be-come exceedingly difficult to maintain and that the ad-vantages of a new medium will become such as to lead tothe emergence of a new civilization (Bias 33)Empire and Communications - (1950)The Bias of Communication - (1951)
  • 11. RAYMOND WILLIAMSTelevision: Technology and Cultural Form (1973)‘technology is the product of a particular so-cial system’ - symptomatic technologytelevisual flow - also segmented (Feuer) andinterruptable (Doane) – as a culturally specificuse of televisionMarxist theory of technology as means ofproduction, controlled in any era by the rulingclass who own the means of production and or-ganise the mode of production in their owninterests. Such technologies can be reorganisedand remade in the interests of a different class,a statement also important to other Marxistmedia critics notably Bertolt Brecht (on radio)and Hans Magnus Enzensberger (on video)
  • 12. H.261 CodecSTRUCTURE used to do the ‘in-betweening’, extrapolating from‘a hierarchical structure with four primary layers. first and last frames the action needed to moveFrom top to bottom the layers are: Picture; Group of from one to the other. This information is encodedBlocks, or slice, or video picture segment; Macrob- not as full-frame animation but as an instruction set,lock; Block’ (ITU 2005:13 which requires far fewer lines of code. As the Flash Video white paper notes, ‘A lower keyframe rateCOLOUR (such as one keyframe every six seconds) will resultYCbCr, which codes for luminance (Y) and two chro- in a softer or blurrier image but reduces the band-ma channels (C), blue and red, on the principle that width demand’ (Macromedia 2004: 13).the panchromatic Y channel captures the necessarydetail, while the absence of green (as used in almost VECTOR PREDICTIONall colour film, television and high-end storage media Vectors predict movement based on sequence fromlike DVD and Blu-Ray) minimises redundancy be- an initial image. Encoding artefacts are increasinglycause the green channel overlaps with both red and likely in hand-held sequences when the predictionblue, especially in the yellow segment of the spec- system is more likely to predict wrongly or as thetrum. This is a variant of 8-bit colour graphics, which Flash Video white paper has it, ‘If your camera is notallows a range of 256 colours steady, most of the image moves, causing a high per- centage of pixels in the video to change from frameKEYFRAMES to frame. A steady camera reduces the number ofuncompressed frames which are used as a reference pixels that change from frame to frame, giving youfor filling in compressed frames that come between better quality at higher compression rates (lowerthem. In Flash vector animation, a similar process is data rates’ (Macromedia 2004: 11).
  • 13. Perioodisation: emergent themes1. UNIT ENUMERATION = commodity equivalence, exchangability2 AVERAGING = biopolitical management of probabilty3. PREDICTIVE SCANNING = protocological control => Database Economy
  • 14. Methodological Principles OBJECT METHOD KNOWLEDGEConsideration - of the actually existing situation in its unique complexity (History, Past)Wonder - at the specific unexpected details, readiness to question previous habits and assumptions (Phenomenology, Present)Hope - for a ‘difference that makes a difference at some later time’ (Bateson); (Hermeneutics, Future)

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