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Mc1week3 09[1]


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Media Cultures NEWM 1001 - Week 3
by Tracey Meziane Benson

Published in: Technology, News & Politics
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Mc1week3 09[1]

  1. 1. Media Cultures 1 The Internet as social space 4 August 2009 Tracey Meziane Benson
  2. 2. Questions addressed in this lecture: <ul><li>What defines online space? </li></ul><ul><li>What tools are available? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the social norms of online engagement? </li></ul><ul><li>What is intertextuality? </li></ul><ul><li>Why explore ethics? </li></ul>Slide credit: Tracey Meziane
  3. 3. What defines online space? <ul><li>Two-way communications channel </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive </li></ul><ul><li>Bandwidth determining speed and capacity to engage </li></ul><ul><li>Nodal rather than hierarchical structure </li></ul>
  4. 4. What kinds media can be presented online? <ul><li>Web word document </li></ul><ul><li>Website design - including ‘blogs’ and ‘vogs’ </li></ul><ul><li>Digital video/cinema </li></ul><ul><li>Digital animation </li></ul><ul><li>Computer based art installations </li></ul><ul><li>Digital sound installations </li></ul><ul><li>MSN and email </li></ul><ul><li>Video games </li></ul><ul><li>SMS </li></ul>Slide credit: Tracey Meziane and Cathie Summerhayes
  5. 5. What tools are available? <ul><li>Data bases </li></ul><ul><li>Spatial montage </li></ul><ul><li>3-D animation </li></ul><ul><li>Networking </li></ul><ul><li>Compositing </li></ul><ul><li>Morphing </li></ul><ul><li>Social networking – twitter, facebook, myspace, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Hypertextuality </li></ul><ul><li>Interactivity/ Intervention: </li></ul><ul><li>branching/ </li></ul><ul><li>extractive </li></ul><ul><li>registrational </li></ul><ul><li>immersive </li></ul><ul><li>See Lister pp19-30. </li></ul>Slide credit: adapted from Cathie Summerhayes
  6. 6. Interactivity/Intervention <ul><li>‘ the audience for new media becomes a “user” rather than a “viewer” of visual culture, film and TV or a “reader” of literature. In interactive multimedia texts there is a sense in which it is necessary for the user actively to intervene as well as viewing or reading in order to produce meaning.’ (Lister et al. 20-1) </li></ul><ul><li>The “user” is a performer – pansensual interpreter of a work, chooser of what to hear or see next and in what order </li></ul>Slide credit: adapted from Cathie Summerhayes
  7. 7. Intertextuality <ul><li>What is Intertextuality? </li></ul><ul><li>What role does culture play in decoding meaning? </li></ul><ul><li>Unspeak </li></ul>Slide credit: Tracey Meziane
  8. 8. What is Intertextuality? Slide credit: Tracey Meziane <ul><li>Intertextuality is the shaping of texts' meanings by other texts. It can refer to an author’s borrowing and transformation of a prior text or to a reader’s referencing of one text in reading another. </li></ul><ul><li>The term “intertextuality” has, itself, been borrowed and transformed many times since it was coined by poststructuralist Julia Kristeva. Her coinage of “intertextuality” represents an attempt to synthesize Ferdinand de Saussure’s structuralist semiotics—his study of how signs derive their meaning within the structure of a text—with Bakhtin’s dialogism—his examination of the multiple meanings, or “heteroglossia,” in each text (especially novels) and word (Irwin, 228). </li></ul>
  9. 9. What is Intertextuality cont… Slide credit: Tracey Meziane <ul><li>Linda Hutcheon argues that excessive interest in intertextuality obscures the role of the author, because intertextuality can be found &quot;in the eye of the beholder&quot; and does not necessarily entail a communicator's intentions. </li></ul><ul><li>The practice of sampling, widely used in hip-hop and other forms of contemporary music, is also an example of intertextuality. By sampling previous songs, artists rely on an audience's ability to identify those tunes in order to grasp a fuller meaning of the new song. </li></ul>
  10. 10. An interesting quote … Do you agree with it? <ul><li>‘ For Roland Barthes, tmesis (my emphasis) is the unconstrained skipping and skimming of passages, a fragmentation of the linear text expression that is totally beyond the author’s control. Hypertext reading is in fact quite the opposite: as the reader explores the labyrinth, she cannot afford to tread lightly through the texts but must scrutinize the links and venues in order to avoid meeting the same text fragments over and over again.’ </li></ul><ul><li>(Aarseth, 1997: 78) on Lister et al., 29. </li></ul>Slide credit: adapted from Cathie Summerhayes
  11. 11. What role does culture play in decoding meaning? Slide credit: Tracey Meziane <ul><li>Representation is presently a much debated topic not only in postcolonial studies and academia, but in the larger cultural milieu. Edward Said, in his analysis of textual representations of the Orient in Orientalism , emphasizes the fact that representations can never be exactly realistic: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In any instance of at least written language, there is no such thing as a delivered presence, but a re-presence, or a representation. The value, efficacy, strength, apparent veracity of a written statement about the Orient therefore relies very little, and cannot instrumentally depend, on the Orient as such. On the contrary, the written statement is a presence to the reader by virtue of its having excluded, displaced, made supererogatory any such real thing as &quot;the Orient&quot;. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Representations, then can never really be 'natural' depictions of the orient. Instead, they are constructed images, images that need to be interrogated for their ideological content. </li></ul>
  12. 12. What role does culture play in decoding meaning? Slide credit: Tracey Meziane Spivak achieved a certain degree of misplaced notoriety for her 1985 article &quot;Can the Subaltern Speak?: Speculations on Widow Sacrifice&quot; ( Wedge 7/8 [Winter/Spring 1985]: 120-130). In it, she describes the circumstances surrounding the suicide of a young Bengali woman that indicates a failed attempt at self-representation. Because her attempt at &quot;speaking&quot; outside normal patriarchal channels was not understood or supported, Spivak concluded that &quot;the subaltern cannot speak.&quot; Her extremely nuanced argument, admittedly confounded by her sometimes opaque style, led some incautious readers to accuse her of phallocentric complicity, of not recognizing or even not letting the subaltern speak. Some critics, missing the point, buttressed their arguments with anecdotal evidence of messages cried out by burning widows. Her point was not that the subaltern does not cry out in various ways, but that speaking is &quot;a transaction between speaker and listener&quot; (Landry and MacLean interview). Subaltern talk, in other words, does not achieve the dialogic level of utterance.
  13. 13. What is unspeak? Slide credit: Tracey Meziane <ul><li>According to Steven Poole it is: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>an attempt to say something without saying it, without getting into an argument and so having to justify itself. At the same time, it tries to unspeak —in the sense of erasing, or silencing—any possible opposing point of view, by laying a claim right at the start to only one choice of looking at a problem. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fro example - Pro-life supposes that a fetus is a person and that those who are anti-pro-life are against life, he writes. Pro-choice distances its speakers from actually advocating abortion, while casting &quot;adversaries as 'anti-choice'; as interfering, patriarchal dictators.&quot; </li></ul>
  14. 14. What is unspeak cont… Slide credit: Tracey Meziane <ul><li>Poole calls community one of the most perfect political words in English because it </li></ul><ul><ul><li>can mean several things at once, or nothing at all. It can conjure things that don't exist, and deny the existence of those that do. It can be used in celebration, or in passive-aggressive attack. Its use in public language is almost always evidence of an Unspeak strategy at work. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The plasticity of community allows it to encompass geography, ethnicity, profession, hobby, or religion, and in the mouths of diplomats and journalists can expand to include everybody, as in the international community , a concept that Justice Antonin Scalia once described—rightly—as &quot;fictional.&quot; </li></ul>
  15. 15. Other issues Slide credit: Tracey Meziane What means something to you might mean something else to me – this is not double speak or unspeak but issues of perception Intertextuality should be considered from an ethical position – just because you want to incorporate a reference to something in a creative work doesn’t mean you should. Also – the role of usability and accessibility is crucial to understanding and interpreting online material
  16. 16. Why explore ethics? Slide credit: Tracey Meziane <ul><li>Despite all this media being available for remixing and appropriation. Online space has it own rules of engagement and legal frameworks – just like the real world. </li></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><li>to avoid being sued </li></ul><ul><li>to avoid offending specific groups </li></ul><ul><li>to ensure that the work produced is informed and sensitive to the issues or imagery being presented </li></ul>
  17. 17. Let’s start at the top… Slide credit: Tracey Meziane About Copyright: “ The purpose of copyright law is to provide a limited monopoly on a creative work so that the artist can benefit and has an incentive to produce more. Unlike physical property -- a house, a diamond ring, a car -- a work of intellectual property can not be tied up forever. Ideas ultimately belong to society at large; they build on existing culture and form the foundation for new ideas and new creative work.”
  18. 18. Copyright and fair use… Slide credit: Tracey Meziane About Copyright: “ Copying is not illegal. Magazines, for example, are protected by copyright. Photocopying a magazine article to give to a friend or a student has long been accepted as &quot;fair use,&quot; personal, educational, non-commercial. Printing a million copies of the same article -- whether you charge for it or just give it away because it has your company's picture is in it -- is obviously wrong and violates the author's and publisher's copyrights. Very understandable.”
  19. 19. Artist’s rights - VISCOPY Slide credit: Tracey Meziane Copyright collecting agencies and societies such as VISCOPY (Visual Arts Copyright Collecting Agency) provide the most efficient and effective way for visual artists and rights owners to administer their copyrights on a national and international basis. Through reciprocal agreements, these agencies and societies agree to administer each other's repertoire in their respective territories for specific or non-specific rights. The agencies are traditionally non-profit, non-government, and directed by their members. VISCOPY is the only dedicated visual artists’ copyright agency in the Australia Pacific region representing over 5,000 regional artists, and over 200,000 artists internationally for the Australasian territory.
  20. 20. How this was challenged Slide credit: Tracey Meziane Napster Napster was a file sharing service that paved the way for decentralized P2P file-sharing programs such as Kazaa, Limewire, iMesh, Morpheus (computer program), and BearShare, which are now used for many of the same reasons and can download music, pictures, and other files. The popularity and repercussions of the first Napster have made it a legendary icon in the computer and entertainment fields
  21. 21. Napster time line Slide credit: Tracey Meziane <ul><li>A snap shot… </li></ul><ul><li>May 1999: Napster online music service is founded by Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker. </li></ul><ul><li>December 1999: The RIAA file a suit against Napster </li></ul><ul><li>January 2000: Napster's popularity grinds many academic computer networks to a halt. This prompts some universities to ban the service. </li></ul><ul><li>April 2000: Metallica and Dr. Dre sue Napster for violating state and federal copyright laws and racketeering. </li></ul><ul><li>May 2000: Rapper Chuck D, representing pro-Napster groups, tells the committee of House Small Business that the Web poses &quot;a unique opportunity for consumers and artists&quot;. Rap-metal band Limp Bizkit, along with Offspring and Courtney Love, join him in speaking out on Napster's behalf. </li></ul><ul><li>October 2000: Napster is credited by pundits for driving Radiohead's Kid A album to the top of the Billboard charts. Tracks from the album were released onto Napster three months before the CD was shipped to stores. </li></ul><ul><li>July 2001: Judge Patel orders Napster offline until such time as it is proven to be entirely free of illegal music. Metallica and Dr. Dre finally settle their lawsuits with Napster and Hank Barry is replaced as CEO by former BMG executive Konrad Hilbers.   </li></ul> Napster's brand and logo continue to be used by a pay service, having been acquired by Roxio
  22. 22. What about creative commons? Slide credit: Tracey Meziane
  23. 23. How do CC licenses work? Slide credit: Tracey Meziane Too often the debate over creative control tends to the extremes. At one pole is a vision of total control — a world in which every last use of a work is regulated and in which “all rights reserved” (and then some) is the norm. At the other end is a vision of anarchy — a world in which creators enjoy a wide range of freedom but are left vulnerable to exploitation. Balance, compromise, and moderation — once the driving forces of a copyright system that valued innovation and protection equally — have become endangered species.
  24. 24. How do CC licenses work cont… Slide credit: Tracey Meziane Creative Commons is working to revive them. We use private rights to create public goods: creative works set free for certain uses. Like the free software and open-source movements, our ends are cooperative and community-minded, but our means are voluntary and libertarian. We work to offer creators a best-of-both-worlds way to protect their works while encouraging certain uses of them — to declare “some rights reserved.”
  25. 25. What are the implications of ethics in photojournalism? Although the role of a photojournalist is somewhat different to a cultural producer in the field of new media, there are some relevant linkages in terms of the ethical approaches that should be taken. Like what??? For example: early photographic history is filled with artists-turned-photographers who set up situations with models and backdrops and made elaborate compositions from several negatives. Ahh – image manipulation! Slide credit: Tracey Meziane
  26. 26. What are the implications of ethics in photojournalism? In Approaches to Ethics , Jones et al. (1969) recommended that a person with an ethical dilemma first &quot;ascertain the facts, sort and weigh the conflicting principles, apply partially indeterminate principles to the particular circumstances, and then, come to a decision&quot; As John Hulteng (1984) wrote in his book on media ethics, The Messenger's Motives , &quot;One of the least enviable situations in the debate over what is ethical and what is not in the handling of news photographs is that of the photographer&quot; (p. 154). A writer can observe a news scene quietly and anonymously and report the facts back in the newsroom. A photographer is uniquely tied to a machine-the camera. There is little opportunity for concealment, nor are hidden techniques desirable. Slide credit: Tracey Meziane
  27. 27. What are the implications of ethics in photojournalism? The price of being responsible for the documentation of life in all its gloriously happy and tragically sad moments is that if some people do not like what they see, they will question a photojournalist's moral character. That reaction, however, is a necessary barometer of a photojournalist's ethics. It is a photographer's moral responsibility that the decision to take pictures is based on sound personal ethics that can be justified to all who disagree. Study hypothetical situations, know the values, principles, and loyalties that are a part of journalistic principles, and be familiar with the six major philosophies. With such a strong foundation, you will be better able to act decisively during a controversial situation. Slide credit: Tracey Meziane
  28. 28. Looking ahead to Week 4 Ethics, representation and identity Sumanyu Satpathy in Ethics of RepreseNtATION: Media and the Indian Queer states that: “ When the “Other” is sought to be represented by the dominant self, power politics or ideology immediately comes into play. Since the mass media is of the dominant for the dominant and by the dominant, any insensitive media representation of a member of the minority group or the group itself runs the risk of using a stereotype, which is more often than not a mis-representation.” Lyotard and Foucault are referenced a lot in this discussion Slide credit: Tracey Meziane
  29. 29. Why is any of this relevant? <ul><li>The Internet provides a rich source of diverse media </li></ul><ul><li>As cultural producers we have a responsibility to respect others on a range of levels </li></ul><ul><li>The lecture has discussed ethics is about demonstrating sensitivity to the issue and the people affected </li></ul><ul><li>Ethics is also about respecting the ownership of the cultural object or image. </li></ul><ul><li>Intertextuality is a popular way of creating work, but there are lines of boundary to consider. </li></ul>Slide credit: Tracey Meziane
  30. 30. References: <ul><li>Charles Stuart University 'The Ethics/Skills Interface in Image Manipulation', (1999) </li></ul><ul><li>( ) </li></ul><ul><li>Photojournalism-An Ethical Approach 'Photojournalism: An ethical approach' (1999) ( http:// ) </li></ul><ul><li> M/Cyclopedia of new media </li></ul><ul><li>http:// Ethics for Digital Information Providers </li></ul><ul><li>http:// Digital Media Ethics Discussion Points </li></ul><ul><li> M/Cyclopedia of new media </li></ul>Slide credit: Tracey Meziane
  31. 31. References cont… <ul><li> Copyright, Piracy and Personal Ethics, By Jack Powers, The Journal of the International Informatics Institute, Published: February 27, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>http:// What is Digital Ethics? </li></ul><ul><li> Copyright and Digital Media in a Post-Napster World, Version 2 (Updated January 2005), By GartnerG2 and The Berkman, Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School </li></ul><ul><li> Repositories, Copyright and Creative Commons for Scholarly Communication by Esther Hoorn </li></ul><ul><li> VISCOPY </li></ul><ul><li> Ethics of RepreseNtATION: Media and the Indian Queer by Sumanyu Satpathy </li></ul>Slide credit: Tracey Meziane
  32. 32. References cont: <ul><li>Chandler, D., ‘Semiotics for Beginners’ ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ New Media: New Pleasures?’ STeM Working Paper, Final research report of a pilot research project by Dr Aphra Kerr, Dr Pat Brereton, Julian Kh, M.A. Dr Roddy Flynn ( http:// ) </li></ul><ul><li>Irwin, William. ''Against Intertextuality''. Philosophy and Literature , v28, Number 2, October 2004, pp. 227-242. </li></ul><ul><li>Kristeva, Julia. Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art. New York: Columbia University Press, 1980 </li></ul><ul><li>Poole, S. ‘Unspeak: How Words Become Weapons, How Weapons Become a Message, and How That Message Becomes Reality’ Grove Atlantic 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Shafer, J. ‘The Devil's Lexicon’ Slate 22 January 2007 ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>Spivak, G. &quot;Can the Subaltern Speak?: Speculations on Widow Sacrifice&quot; ( Wedge 7/8 [Winter/Spring 1985]: 120-130). </li></ul>Slide credit: Tracey Meziane