Week 1 style post modern aesthetics jameson


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Week 1 style post modern aesthetics jameson

  1. 1. Postmodern Media Aesthetics (Style) 'What Pomo looks like' Theorist 1: Jameson
  2. 2. Postmodern Media Aesthetics  Our key 3 theorists Lyotard, Baudrillard, and Jameson argued recent social-economic changes mostly thanks to television, and MTV in particular, we now live in a 'threeminute culture' (the length of most people's attention spans, it is said, shaped by advertising and zapping).  Another theorist Debord suggested that we are part of a 'society of the spectacle’ - ‘a social relationship between people that is mediated by images’.  Baudrillard concluded we are involved in an overvisual ‘ecstasy of communication’ due to our reliance on television, films and the Internet to replace ‘real’ connections with each other.
  3. 3. Postmodern Media Aesthetics  This has implications for any realist form of media like X-Factor, since our sense of reality is now said to be dominated by popular media images;  Cultural forms can no longer 'hold up the mirror to reality’ (Strinati), since reality itself is saturated by advertising, film, video games, and television images.  The idea of 'truth' or 'reality' becomes problematic when we are surrounded by a landscape of advertising and image.  Think about the use of Photoshop in magazine and advertising images…
  4. 4. Postmodern Media Aesthetics  Advertising no longer tries seriously to convince us of its products' real quality but just shows us a cool joke about the product…
  5. 5. Postmodern Media Aesthetics  Postmodernism suggests that we’ve run out of things to say.  Lyotard wrote of the 'death of the metanarratives' - this refers to previous Modernist ideals importance of reason, scientific theory, technological invention and 'the knowability' of the world.  If the world could be known, it could be changed – even for the better…human progress and 'utopian' ideals  Postmodernism, however, describes these ‘grand narratives’ - Environmentalism, Consumerism, Democracy, belief in scientific progress etc - as nothing more than 'stories' about history, naively structured with happy endings.  More cynically Postmodernism views these 'grand narratives' as 'constructed truths' to re-enforce the interests of mainly European Cultures  Instead postmodernism offers micro-narratives (ie conspiracy theories) which do not necessarily add up, but which may be woven together, in a jumble of forms and styles.
  6. 6. Postmodern Media Aesthetics Argument – The Hypocrite  Remember that postmodernism is in itself only a theory...  There is some truth in the perception that large claims to truth often serve the  But however conscious we are of narratives in science and politics, it seems we cannot easily do without them and the meaning they give to experience.  Just to confuse things, what else is postmodern theory but another such story or ‘grand narrative’?  Isn’t it just a very cynical one, pretending to not be a ‘metanarrative’ at all?
  7. 7. Postmodern Media Aesthetics Does it look PoMo? The exam will ask you to explain to what extent a media text is Postmodern This will help you decide if the text you are analysing contains elements of the postmodern. Aesthetic is what Postmodernism 'looks like' but is linked to the Theories behind it
  8. 8. Postmodern Media Aesthetics This will help you spot the ‘structures of feeling’ – to see the ‘cultural logic’ that gives rise to Postmodern Media forms. It will allow you to spot ‘spectacle’ and ‘micronarratives’ that we weave together to make a coherent theory of postmodernism. First up…
  9. 9. 1. Hybridity  Definition - something heterogeneous – from more than one source - in origin or composition.  Examples include the mixing and sampling of different kinds and levels - of music, of material in television adverts, in films and TV Drama or comedy etc.  Hybrid forms are said to level hierarchies of taste - 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 digital technologies, recycle some old movies and shows on television, the Internet.  Music, film and TV all provide excellent examples of these processes.
  10. 10. 2. Bricolage Similar to hybridity - ‘bricolage’ is a French word meaning 'jumble‘. This is used to refer to the process of adaptation or improvisation where aspects of one style are given quite different meanings when mixed with stylistic features from another.
  11. 11. 1. Hybridity Hybridity and bricolage can take various forms across most media. I’m going to use a couple of examples to show you how to apply these two similar, yet distinct, terms accurately. First hip-hop…
  12. 12. The Beatles (1968) The White Album Jay-Z (2004) The Black Album Danger Mouse (2005) The Grey Album
  13. 13. Danger Mouse (2005) The Grey Album So is the Grey Album Hybrid? Bricolage? Parody? Pastiche? Intertextual?
  14. 14. 3. Simulacra (Simulation)  Based on the work of Jean Baudrillard - the blurring of real and ‘simulated’, especially in film and reality TV or celebrity magazines is a familiar feature of postmodern texts.  Simulation or hyperreality refers to not only the increasing use of CGI in films like ‘The Lord of the Rings’ films (2001-2004) and ‘Avatar’ (2009), but also in the use of scripted documentary and actors in TOWIE, or in the narrative enigmas of science fiction such as ‘The Matrix’ (1999) or ‘Blade Runner’ (1982) - 'Is it human or artificial’?
  15. 15. 4. Intertextuality From referencing the structure of the slasher horror film in ‘Scream’ (1996) to the Italian American gangsters watching ‘The Godfather’ films in ‘The Sopranos’ television series (2001), intertextuality is now a familiar postmodern flourish across most moving image media. Jameson also specifies pastiche and parody as belonging to a similar idea. This self-reflexive awareness of itself as a text is also termed hyperconsciousness.
  16. 16. 4. Intertextuality  Pastiche, parody and intertextuality are terms that come from Fredric Jameson’s (1991) theories.  Jameson saw parody as the comic intention to ‘produce an imitation which mocks the original’ that acknowledges what it imitates.  Pastiche, however, is less about comedy and more about plagiarism.  ‘Pastiche is blank parody. Parody that has lost its sense of humour’. Just copying really…
  17. 17. 5. Disjointed narrative structures  These contemporary narratives often won’t guarantee identifications with characters;  Or the 'happy ending‘  Or metanarratives like the 'Freedom overcomes Oppression' 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 - see ‘Memento’ (2000), ‘Fight Club’ (1999), or ‘Atonement’ (2007).  Narratives can also be disjointed in time and space – Inglorious Basterds.
  18. 18. 6. The erosion of history This can be seen in Inglorious Basterds where Hitler is shot Historical facts and characters are telescoped, merged or discarded entirely. History can be viewed nostalgically or with suspicion.
  19. 19. 7. Kitsch Culture  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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hpEnLtqUDg
  20. 20. 9. Style over Substance Postmodern media texts share a delight in surface style and superficiality; A delight in trivial rather than ‘dominant forms’ - from conversations about burgers in ‘Pulp Fiction’ (1994) to Lindsay Lohan or Victoria Beckham appearing in Ugly Betty (2008); or One Direction covering songs The tone of this is Ironic and Playful and sceptical and cynical about serious values.
  21. 21. 9. A society of spectacle Debord sees celebrities as people who have become ‘role models’ for us to identify with to ‘compensate for the crumbling of directly experienced…productive activity’. Celebrities provide us with false representations of life and ultimately become the reality of our everyday lives.
  22. 22. 10. Alienation This delight in superficiality is countered by a different postmodern approach that involves an atmosphere of decay and alienation - dystopia These find echoes in the music videos of Radiohead or Aphex Twin, the films ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘Fight Club’, the television of Charlie Brookers 'Dead Set' Zombies