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Archive for the ‘media’ Category

Short Attention Span Theater by Peggy Nelson

In art, culture, information, media on April 3, 2014 at 23:40

From: Short Attention Span Theater by Peggy Nelson, Berfrois, http://www.berfrois.com

In advertising, our craving for novelty and interruption, and our drive to find patterns and make sense of it all, are lassoed together in the Costco corral. Billboards interrupt our landscapes, exhortations interrupt our songs, short videos interrupt longer videos. Shopping even interrupts shopping, as your activity is tracked through your credit cards, and targeted ads appear on your Facebook page. Phrases, fonts, songs, colors, memes — all these and more have been copyrighted, trademarked, branded, stamped with association. Soon claims will not even need to be staked, as we discover and deploy the exact frequency of yellow that makes you buy. Everywhere these signals invert their surroundings into noise, and capture our attention, even if only for a moment. But those moments accumulate, and we sequence the chaos into patterns and narratives.

There’s precedent for interruptant art in culture-jamming. We can take existing messages and alter them, for art or anarchy. But we can do more that that; there’s plenty of “there” there. Every minute brings more of it. We can seed our own messages, our own forms, our own voices, hesitant and partial though they may be, into the cultural space. In accumulation, small signals may form, if not a presence, than a pressure in the day, a direction, a bent to one’s life.

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Reposted with permission from: Berfrois

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A Mass Media Cure for Auschwitz by Henry Krips

In government, media, philosophy, politics, society, sociology, theory on January 20, 2014 at 17:13

From: A Mass Media Cure for Auschwitz : Adorno, Kafka and Žižek by Henry Krips, International Journal of Žižek Studies, http://zizekstudies.org

In today’s regulated world of mass media corporations, what space is left for a radical politics? From the theoretical perspectives of most contemporary work in cultural studies, the answer seems to be “not much.” For example, according to the classic Frankfurt School position, the mass media serve the politically conservative end of spreading ideological lies: telling us that the government bureaucracies and private corporations that control our daily lives know best and care personally for each and every one of us (Adorno and Horkheimer, 2002).

In order for these lies to be effective, however, it is not enough that they are encoded at the level of message content – after all, in today’s cynical climate few people fully trust what they are told in newspapers or see on television. How, then, can the mass media ensure that the lies that they circulate have an impact upon their audience; what, in any case, is the nature of that impact? The Frankfurt School answer (as represented, for example, in the early work of Theodor Adorno) is that a mass media presentation has two methods of encoding ideological lies: (1) it encodes the lies denotatively, at the level of its content, or (2) it encodes them connotatively, at the more abstract level of technique or form of presentation (Barthes, 1985: 111-117). Consider a familiar example: a full page magazine advertisement that places an image of a bottle of perfume next to an image of a beautiful woman who is photographed while she is staring
seductively into the camera. The advertisement encodes a message denotatively about the perfume’s power to make its wearer attractive. But also, because the woman appears to look at us directly, as if she knew us personally, a meta-message is encoded connotatively into the form of presentation: “Hey you there, this message is for you!” Furthermore, and here is the key point, even though we know that the latter message is a lie, it has an impact upon us – each of us feels, and to a certain extent acts as if through the ad she or he is being addressed personally.1 Adorno argues that it is in exactly this way, namely through their forms of presentation, that mass media presentations propagate ideological lies.

For example, advertisements, newscasts, talk shows and so on all typically engage their audience through such personal forms of address. By singling out each member of the audience for public recognition of a personal kind, this form of address contributes to the ideological lie at the heart of the liberal state, namely that it knows about and cares for each and every one of us individually (Goehr, xix-xx). And because the lie is encoded at the level of form rather than content, despite its transparency it sneaks under the audience’s critical radar and affects what they do. It general terms, we may conclude, even if mass media presentations are politically radical in their content, thanks to their form of presentation their overall impact will fall on the conservative side of the political ledger.

In The Sublime Object of Ideology Slavoj Žižek argues for a similar conclusion, but in the context of rather different theoretical premises (Žižek, 1989: 28-33). He argues that the totalitarian conditions in which we live today create a perverse split between knowledge and action: we know very well the terrible things that are going on around us, but even so – perhaps because we can’t do anything about them, or perhaps because we feel immune to their effects – we act as if we are ignorant. Like ostriches recognizing danger, we collectively stick our heads in the sand. It seems to follow that mass media exposées – or indeed any techniques of consciousness-raising – will be useless as radical political strategies for getting people to act differently. To put the argument in a nutshell: if, as Žižek claims, people don’t act on what they know then broadcasting the truth to them will make no political difference.

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Reposted with permission from: International Journal of Žižek Studies

Alternative to Wikileaks Arises in Iceland by Lowana Veal

In Europe, information, internet, media, politics on May 13, 2013 at 21:16

From: Alternative to Wikileaks Arises in Iceland by Lowana Veal, Common Dreams, https://www.commondreams.org

With the imprisonment of Bradley Manning and detainment of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks is effectively on hold. But that does not mean that leaks and whistleblowing activities have stopped.

The Associated Whistle-blowing Press (AWP) seeks to provide impartial news based on wikileaks’ raw data. Credit: Bradley Manning Support Network/CC-BY-SA-2.0 GlobaLeaks lists a large number of leak sites, which are active to different degrees. Soon The Associated Whistleblowing Press (AWP) will be added to the list.

Iceland may seem a strange place to house a whistleblowing service, but Noel says one of the main reasons for the decision is the Iceland Modern Media Initiative (IMMI) parliamentary resolution that was passed unanimously in 2010 by the Icelandic Althingi (parliament) with the aim of giving safe space to whistleblowers and investigative journalists.

The resolution also wants the Althingi to introduce a new legislative regime to protect and strengthen freedom of expression, allowing Iceland to become an international transparency haven.

Initiated by activist and parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir, the IMMI resolution pulls together the best sections of transparency legislation from all over the world. To become law, it now has to be put through the legislative process. This has suffered some setbacks, but is progressing slowly.

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Reposted with permission from: Common Dreams

Boston Marathon Bombings by Philippe Theophanidis

In government, human rights, law, media, news, North America, politics, war on April 27, 2013 at 19:52

From: Boston Marathon Bombings: the Emergency Declaration as a State of Exception by Philippe Theophanidis, Aphelis, http://aphelis.net

NGUYEN_2013_Boston_manhunt-620x826Up until recently (First World War), warfare had traditionally made a clear distinction between civilian and military targets. The bombings in Boston is yet another striking reminder that things have since drastically changed. The front lines that need to be protected have moved within the most intimate spaces of the civilian sphere. The war zone extend all the way into private living rooms and backyards.

Such an inversion (further) blurs the traditional distinction between what is public and what is private. Indeed, when the front lawn of private homes becomes a theatre for military-like operations in a democratic country, two issues arise. First, the extent of a government’s authority into the intimacy of private lives become spectacularly visible. The fact that such an intervention is conducted for the population’s “own good”, as it was repeatedly argued in the past few days, does not invalidate the relevance of this observation. Second, it raises some questions regarding the democratic principle of the separation of powers.

Which brings the question of the Emergency Declaration that was signed by President Barack Obama for the state of Massachusetts on April 17, 2013. At the time of writing, there doesn’t seem to be much information available online about this presidential declaration. Mainstream media have been very generous in providing the public with various informations regarding the events, including extensive coverage about the lifting of the Miranda rule for the captured suspect in the name of a “public safety exception”. However, informed analysis about the legal aspects surrounding an Emergency Declaration are scarce. A couple of informative points relative to the exceptional character of the authorities’s response are worth highlighting.

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Reposted with permission from: Philippe Theophanidis

Voices of Opposition Against CISPA

In government, media, news, privacy, technology on April 22, 2013 at 02:31

From: Voices of Opposition Against CISPA, Electronic Frontier Foundation, http://www.eff.org

Here is a list of organizations and influential people that expressed concerns about the dangerous civil liberties implications of the bill. Though each organization or person may differ in their terminology, they all reach the same conclusion—CISPA is not a “sharing of information bill only.” It is an expansive bill that enables spying on users and allows for unaccountable companies and government agencies that can skirt privacy laws.

American Library Association in ALA CISPA Information Page

“This bill would trump all current privacy laws including the forty-eight state library record confidentiality laws as well as the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Wiretap Act, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and the Privacy Act.

Mozilla in a statement to Forbes:

“While we wholeheartedly support a more secure Internet, CISPA has a broad and alarming reach that goes far beyond Internet security. The bill infringes on our privacy, includes vague definitions of cybersecurity, and grants immunities to companies and government that are too broad around information misuse. We hope the Senate takes the time to fully and openly consider these issues with stakeholder input before moving forward with this legislation.”

Free Press in Free Press Action Fund Joins Stop Cyber Spying Week to Protest CISPA

“As it stands, CISPA could lead all too easily to governmental and corporate violations of our privacy and attacks on our right to speak freely via the Internet. While there is a need to protect vital national interests, we can’t do it at the expense of our freedoms.”

Find out more at the EFF website

 

Fear Going On by Peter Stockland

In media, news, North America, psychology, society on April 17, 2013 at 19:41

From: Fear Going On by Peter Stockland, Cardus, http://www.cardus.ca

I had just returned from a run myself on a gorgeous Montreal April day, up Mount Royal to the Cross at the top and back, when I heard the news as I came into the change room of the Montreal Amateur Athletic building. My first concern was for the 30-plus members of the MAA running club who were at Boston. Reassured they were safe, my subsequent emotion was a bright flash of blackest revenge fantasy that involved inflicting horrible pain on those ultimately found responsible.

That, too, required a quick reality check. Vengeance will not beget justice no matter how odious the crime. So, where did that leave me? Where does that leave us as a people? Here is an image of what I am concerned might emerge from the struggle for an answer.

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Reposted with permission from: Cardus

Video: The K-Pop Effect

In Asia, documentary, media, music, video, visual arts on April 8, 2013 at 17:35

From: Video: The K-Pop Effect: Plastic Surgery, Documentary.net, http://documentary.net

k-pop-effect-220x120

Viral sensation ‘Gangnam style’ sparked imitations worldwide. Yet closer to home, the dream to be like such K-Pop idols is driving young South Koreans to a darker level of imitation: plastic surgery.

“Once people graduate almost all of them get double-eyelid surgery”, explains Gina, who recently left high-school. “In Korea they say, ‘please make my nose into the style of this star’.” In the district that is home to K-Pop’s major entertainment companies there are over 300 plastic surgery clinics on a single street. But some fear this growing beauty obsession is threatening young people’s sense of identity; “they treat their body as a product. They are losing the meaning of who they are”.

Watch the video

Disclaimer from the website: “Yes it is free and legal. Films are provided by the filmmakers or rights-holders themselves. Or they claim their copyright protected contents on YouTube and monetize it (like National Geographic).”

Reposted with permission from: Documentary.net

Glad I Didn’t Have Facebook In High School! from Cyborgology

In internet, media, privacy, psychology, sociology on March 21, 2013 at 12:36

From: Glad I Didn’t Have Facebook In High School! from Cyborgology, The Society Pages, http://thesocietypages.org

“Glad we didn’t have Facebook then!” isn’t always wrong, but the statement makes at least two very arguable suppositions and it also carries the implicit belief that identity-change is something that should be hidden, reinforcing the stigma that generates the phrase to begin with.

First, the statement assumes that the net effect of social media for teens now and in the future will be negative. Bullying, harassment, and embarrassment as a result of online activity are certainly real—and not evenly distributed, with vulnerable populations at increased risk. However, social media visibility isn’t only a source of harassment but also a source of support. Things like the It Gets Better Project, Harssmap, Hollaback, to say nothing of, for example, the many potentially supportive comments on a Facebook post where a teen comes out of the closet demonstrate visibility, harm, and support in a complicated relationship, something true long before Zuckerberg started coding. I’m not sure how we can make a definitive calculation here, but before being so thankful we didn’t have Facebook to embarrass us, we might also think of how it could have also been a foundation of encouragement, assistance, and validation that many of us might have benefited from.

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Reposted with permission from: The Society Pages

The Humanist Interview with Gloria Steinem by Jennifer Bardi

In gender, government, human rights, interview, media, religion on February 24, 2013 at 00:53

From: The Humanist Interview with Gloria Steinem by Jennifer Bardi, The Humanist, http://thehumanist.org

The Humanist: So let’s talk a little about women in secularism. I attended the first-ever Women in Secularism conference in May, and I’m wondering if it would surprise you to learn that there are problems with sexist behavior within the secular movement, including in online forums and at conferences.

Steinem: No, it doesn’t surprise me to learn that there is bias and sexism everywhere, just like there are problems of racism and homophobia stemming from the whole notion that we’re arranged in a hierarchy, that we’re ranked rather than linked. I think we’ve learned that we have to contend with these divisions everywhere.

There might have been more surprise, say, in the 1960s and ’70s when people were active in the antiwar movement or in the Civil Rights movement, only to discover that women sometimes had the same kinds of conventional positions there. But I think there’s a much deeper understanding now of how widespread patriarchy is, on the one hand, and that it didn’t always exist, on the other.

The Humanist: So, if humanists and secularists consider themselves enlightened individuals—reasonable, progressive, and so forth—shouldn’t we hold these men up to a higher standard in terms of sexist behavior?

Steinem: Yes. But, it’s not only holding humanist men up to a higher standard, it’s saying you can’t win unless you’re a feminist. Because the patterns that are normalized in the family—the whole idea that some people cook and some people eat, that some listen and others talk, and even that some people control others in very economic or even violent ways—that kind of hierarchy is what makes us vulnerable to believing in class hierarchy, to believing in racial hierarchy, and so on.

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Reposted with permission from: The Humanist

The Spam of the Earth by Hito Steyerl

In culture, government, information science, internet, media, photography, privacy, society on February 17, 2013 at 22:05

From: The Spam of the Earth: Withdrawal from Representation by Hito Steyerl, e-flux, http://www.e-flux.com

Dense clusters of radio waves leave our planet every second. Our letters and snapshots, intimate and official communications, TV broadcasts and text messages drift away from earth in rings, a tectonic architecture of the desires and fears of our times.1 In a few hundred thousand years, extraterrestrial forms of intelligence may incredulously sift through our wireless communications. But imagine the perplexity of those creatures when they actually look at the material. Because a huge percentage of the pictures inadvertently sent off into deep space is actually spam. Any archaeologist, forensic, or historian—in this world or another—will look at it as our legacy and our likeness, a true portrait of our times and ourselves. Imagine a human reconstruction somehow made from this digital rubble. Chances are, it would look like image spam.

Image spam is one of the many dark matters of the digital world; spam tries to avoid detection by filters by presenting its message as an image file. An inordinate amount of these images floats around the globe, desperately vying for human attention.2 They advertise pharmaceuticals, replica items, body enhancements, penny stocks, and degrees. According to the pictures dispersed via image spam, humanity consists of scantily dressed degree-holders with jolly smiles enhanced by orthodontic braces.

Image spam is our message to the future. Instead of a modernist space capsule showing a woman and man on the outside—a family of “man”—our contemporary dispatch to the universe is image spam showing enhanced advertisement mannequins.3 And this is how the universe will see us; it is perhaps even how it sees us now.

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Reposted with permission from: e-flux

Buckwild and Downtown Abbey by David Mould

In film, media, society on January 29, 2013 at 18:04

From: Buckwild and Downtown Abbey: TV’s Social Reality by David Mould, The Montreal Review, http://www.themontrealreview.com

It’s a long way-in geographical distance and creative quality-from the down and dirty world of MTV’s reality show hit Buckwild to the rarefied world of U.S. public television’s Downton Abbey, but the two TV series have one thing in common, apart from having their new season premieres within a week in January 2013. Both perpetuate social and class stereotypes.

Buckwild claims to document the lives of young people in Sissonville, a small and economically depressed town in West Virginia, the state where I now live. The criticism of its stereotyping of poor, white Appalachians has been well-meaning, although it has certainly contributed to the show’s notoriety and may even have helped boost its ratings. Reality TV is a proven formula. Although they won’t admit it, viewers like to see people behaving badly.

The social stereotyping in Downton Abbey, first aired on ITV in the U.K. and now on public television’s Masterpiece Classic series, is more subtle and, at least on the surface, less offensive. But both series send a similar message about barriers to social mobility. Whether you’re living on welfare in a broken-down trailer, are a servant in a great English house, or own the house and employ the servants, you’re pretty much stuck where you are. It’s tough to change position on the social and economic ladder.

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Reposted with permission from: The Montreal Review

Only “Lone Wolves” Commit Terror? by Russ Baker

In government, history, media, politics, war on January 27, 2013 at 03:41

From: Only “Lone Wolves” Commit Terror? by Russ Baker, WhoWhatWhy, http://whowhatwhy.com

Just before the opening of the London games, a former Olympic Committee executive declared in a New York Times interview that he had confidence in how this year’s spectacle would unfold:

“I think in the end London will more than hold its own against any previous Games. The only black cloud for me is the security agenda and whether there is some crazy, as they say, lone wolf out there.”

As they say…some lone wolf.

If that gives you chills, you aren’t alone. We’ve had enough experience to know that these statements shouldn’t be taken lightly. Nor should the underlying principle go unchallenged: that only deranged individuals provoke mayhem by design.

Media reports and government statements pretty much reduce terror sponsors to two types:  the “lone wolf,” and countries and entities in current ill repute. To be sure, for many, the archetype of Olympic terror is the organized attack: Palestinian Black September members taking the Israeli team hostage at the 1972 Munich games, and the bloody climax. Since then, we’ve also had our share of lone (or allegedly lone) gunmen and bombers, and of (allegedly) sponsored terror by identified enemies.

Originally published at http://www.WhoWhatWhy.com

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Reposted with permission from: WhoWhatWhy

The internet and Tolstoy’s vision of history by Andy Yee

In government, history, information science, media, politics, society on January 19, 2013 at 00:04

From: The internet and Tolstoy’s vision of history by Andy Yee, openDemocracy, http://www.opendemocracy.net

The digital age brings with it the promise of micro observation and indefinite memory. This will bring about a different approach to history – similar to what Tolstoy described one and a half century ago.

In his epic novel War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy sets out his vision of history. Drawing on the analogy of integration in mathematical calculus, Tolstoy believes historians’ use of discrete events and distinguished personalities to represent the continuous flow of history is doomed to fail. The ocean of individual actions that shape the course of history leaves no place for grand leaders like Napoleon. History must travel down the road exact sciences must take: only by entering the process of the integration of infinitely small quantities – the innumerable arbitrary human wills in the case of history – can we hope to arrive at the laws governing history itself.

With successive generations of technological advance, we have moved from a world in which history exists in perishable documents and objects to a world in which information can be stored permanently. In the 1930s and 40s, the microfilm stirred the imagination of visionaries such as H.G. Wells and Vannevar Bush. The Wellsian world brain envisions an efficient index to all human knowledge, ideas and achievements, that is, a complete planetary memory for all mankind. Bush predicted that new forms of encyclopaedias, with a memex structure similar to today’s World Wide Web, would perfect man’s command over the inherited knowledge of the ages.

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Reposted with permission from: openDemocracy

Young European directors by Amélie Mougey

In Europe, film, interview, media, visual arts on January 12, 2013 at 22:52

From: Young European directors: ‘You can spot a French film a mile off’ by Amélie Mougey, Cafebabel, http://www.cafebabel.co.uk/

They are aged 24, 26 or 31, hail from Croatia, England, Belgium or Germany, and they all have one thing in common: a desire to create magic with a camera, and to transform their passion into a job. At film school, these budding directors create stories for film. Freshly graduated, they are now throwing themselves at the mercy of the festivals to at last compete with the big boys.

They all dream of making a film with universal appeal. But the public is quick to catch on and their audiences can surprise them. In Volume, the 27-minute short film she is presenting at the rencontres Henri Langlois festival between 30 November and 9 December 2012, English director Mahalia Belo transports her viewers to a prim suburb that is indifferent (or almost) to the disappearance of one of its inhabitants. ‘Here in Poitiers, my film was perceived as being very profound, whilst in Munich, the audience laughed,’ she says, confounded. For the directors, the public’s expectations often remain more obscure than the work of their colleagues.

‘You can spot French films a mile off,’ teases Croatian director Sonja Tarokic, 24. ‘They are usually set in pretty, upper middle class interiors. The singer or pianist who’s in the corner of the bar while the characters are having a drink: that would be completely incongruous in Croatia.’ Mahalia Belo has also developed this radar for detecting different nationalities. ‘After trawling the festival circuit, I can now recognise the very black Finnish sense of humour,’ says the London-based director, who says she is often pigeonholed herself. So all is fair in love and war. ‘At the end of a screening, some audience members tell me my films have nothing to do with English cinema, while others say that they are terribly British,’ she smiles.

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Reposted with permission from: Cafebabel

Sloterdijk’s Moment by David Beer

In books, civilisation, culture, media, philosophy, science, technology, theory, writers on December 16, 2012 at 16:44

From: Sloterdijk’s Moment by David Beer, berfrois, http://www.berfrois.com

Bubbles: Spheres I
by Peter Sloterdijk, translated by Wieland Hoban,
Semiotext(e), Los Angeles, 663 pp.

This weighty text is the first part of what is seen as Sloterdijk’s defining and most important intellectual contribution. In this particular text the focus is upon small-scale microsphereology. Volumes two and three build upon this foundational text through a focus upon the macrospherology of globes and the plural spherology of foam (see Couture, 2009). The book itself highlights a genuine openness, resourcefulness and creativity in Sloterdijk’s thinking. He pulls together wide-ranging points of reference in his writing, many of which are unexpected and revealing. His use of art in particular opens up a visual imagination that sits alongside a set of knowing encounters with a number of important philosophical figures. Soterdijk carves a way through the tangential possibilities of bubbles by drawing upon this type of intellectual eclecticism. Actually this is something of an understatement, this book runs-riot as it lurches across the major issues of our time. These issues include globalisation on a small scale, the understanding of the divergence of nature into culture, how history shapes the now, how the individual becomes isolated into social connections, and so on. There is a rhythm at work here, with long takes interspersed with short cuts. There are slowly argued explorations of all-sorts of references juxtaposed with sudden, and sometimes disoientating, blasts of philosophical proclamation.

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Reposted with permission from: berfrois

Snow Job by Anastasia Taylor-Lind

In Asia, ethnicity, Europe, media, photography, sexuality, society on November 25, 2012 at 20:39

From: Snow Job by Anastasia Taylor-Lind, The Caravan, http://www.caravanmagazine.in

THE BLEMISHLESS SUPERMODELS in the glad-rag mags and the haute runways of the London, Paris, New York and Milan fashion weeks are among the most photographed women in the world. Increasingly, these girls originate in Siberia, that legendarily vast Cold War wasteland associated with the terrifying Stalinist Gulag, which today houses a hyper model-casting industry and training schools for kindergarteners to midteens.

Stalin’s paranoid regime, and those that came after, exiled into northeast Russia entire ethnic groups, the spetsposelentsy (special settlers): Volga Germans (the Russlanddeutsche, invited in the 18th century to immigrate by Catherine the Great), Chechens from the Caucasus, Baltic Latvians, Mongol tribes, Inuit, Tatars, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz….

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Reposted with permission from: The Caravan

Radical Measures: 9/11 and|as Deleuze’s Time-Image by Daniel Ziegert

In academia, film, government, media, North America, philosophy, politics on November 18, 2012 at 22:30

From: Radical Measures: 9/11 and|as Deleuze’s Time-Image by Daniel Ziegert, Rhizomes, http://www.rhizomes.net

Instead of seeing the images as what they were, “we” immediately related them to a register of action-images, specifically those depicting disaster. Additionally, many discourses limited themselves to grappling with epistemological, hard science questons: why and how was it possible to hijack four planes, and why could CIA and FBI not prevent the terrible events? [4] Academic responses from the humanities and especially film and visual studies have been surprisingly sparse until quite recently. [5] But as the number of panels and talks at conferences of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies since 2002 shows, scholarly interest in approaching medial aspects of 9/11 has constantly grown. [6] This development parallels or follows that of Hollywood’s productions dealing with and thereby rendering “fictional” the attacks, such as United 93 and WTC.

[3] A void has opened up between the largely subjective essays written shortly after the attacks, [7] the “discourses of sobriety,” [8] and more recent work focusing on political aspects and effects of the images [9] – therefore, already on a level of what the images mean rather than what they are. This void opens up conceptual [10] approaches to images of 9/11. While there is important work being done on issues of culture, race and gender in relation to a post-9/11 world, scholars must also inquire more basically as to what it is in the moving image(s) that constitutes or supports these issues. It is precisely in this void where this essay – through an appropriation and re-activation of Gilles Deleuze’s “time-image” – may offer a productive perspective on 9/11-images and a post-9/11 mediascape beyond questions of ontology and psychology. [11]

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Reposted with permission from: Rhizomes

The Kodachrome Era Ends by Russell Arben Fox

In film, history, media, North America on November 17, 2012 at 18:46

From: The Kodachrome Era Ends, Right Here in Kansas by Russell Arben Fox, Front Porch Republic, http://www.frontporchrepublic.com

Today, Dwayne’s Photo, a family-owned and operated film-processing business that has operated in the small town of Parsons, Kansas, for over 50 years, will stop handling Kodachrome film. After they close shop today for the holiday, there will be no other place on earth still handling what was for many years the absolute standard when it came to color film. According to the NYT article:

Last year, Kodak stopped producing the chemicals needed to develop the film, providing the business with enough to continue processing through the end of 2010. And last week, right on schedule, the lab opened up the last canister of blue dye….

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Reposted with permission from: Front Porch Republic

Are you immune to received images?

In culture, media, politics, society on October 24, 2012 at 22:22

From: Are you immune to received images?, berfrois, www.berfrois.com

Most people, especially if they are well educated, still believe that advertising (or television, for that matter) has no effect on them or on their beliefs. Their intelligence protects them against invasive imposed imagery, even when an image is repeated a hundred times in their heads. People believe in their immunity even though the imagery does not actually communicate through the language of logic or contemplation. Images ride a freeway into your brain and remain there permanently. No thought is involved. Every advertiser knows this. As a viewer, you may sometimes say, “I don’t believe this,” but the image remains anyway.

My late partner in the advertising business, Howard Gossage, spoke frequently to audiences about “the dirty little secret” among advertisers: that their silly superficial meaningless trivial imagery nonetheless goes into your brain and doesn’t come back out. “It doesn’t matter how observant or intelligent you are,” he said. If you are watching television, you will absorb the images. Once the image is embedded, it is permanently embedded. You cannot get rid of it.

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Reposted with permission from: berfrois

Kate Middleton: the female body in the post-Berlusconi media by Heather McRobie

In culture, ethics, Europe, gender, government, media, photography, politics, privacy, sexuality on October 3, 2012 at 06:51

From: Kate Middleton: the female body in the post-Berlusconi media by Heather McRobie, Open Democracy, www.opendemocracy.net

So, we have misogyny, power, and lurid gossip-media…feel like something’s missing in the picture? Oh don’t worry, he’s here.  Yes, Berlusconi – the man who made the last year better just because we didn’t have to say his name so often anymore when discussing European politics – in fact owned the media outlet that originally published the photographs of Kate Middleton (a fact which led to some conspiracy-theorising that this was Berlusconi’s revenge on perceived snubs by the British monarchy, according to the Daily Beast’s Barbie Latza Nadeau).  The publication of the photos by a Berlusconi-owned media outlet should thus be a good opportunity for all European media to reflect on how much damage the former Italian prime minister has had on media standards even outside of Italy, not least in respect to the treatment of women.  The 2009 Italian documentary Il Corpo delle Donne analysed how, under Berlusconi’s effective 95% ownership of Italian media, public depictions of women were infantilised, used (often literally) only as decorative props on Italian television, essentially making invisible from public life any woman who was not willing to pneumatically, breathlessly play along with the narrow, porn-ified role granted for them in the media space.  Journalists who tried to report on the dual dominance of corruption and misogyny while Berlusconi held the dual role of head of state and media mogul found themselves intimidated, critics invariably dismissed as prudes.

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Reposted according to CC copyright notice from Open Democracy website

Here There Be Monsters by Brendan Fitzgerald

In academia, community, education, internet, media, research, universities on September 30, 2012 at 04:14

From: Here There Be Monsters by Brendan Fitzgerald, The Morning News, http://www.themorningnews.org

The first warning came in 2008. Kelly, a history professor at George Mason, had launched a new course called “Lying About the Past.” For two months, his students studied “the history of historical hoaxes”—photographs of the Loch Ness monster, forged Hitler diaries, Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds broadcast. Then, they created their own hoax—a deception Kelly previewed on the first day of the semester on his blog.

“We will work together as a group to create an online historical hoax that we will then turn loose on the internet to see if we can actually fool anyone,” wrote Kelly. He signed off: “You have been warned.”

Kelly’s students decided on a project they called “The Last American Pirate.” They invented a man named Edward Owens. He was a Virginian. He lost his money and job after the Panic of 1873. Desperate, he turned to robbing boats on the Chesapeake Bay to regain his lost wealth. And with that, once Owens’s background was complete, the students lowered him delicately into history, like optimistically introducing a Chinese mystery snail into an Appalachian lake.

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Reposted with permission from: The Morning News

Detropia with Amy Goodman and Rachel Grady

In community, documentary, economics, film, interview, media, North America, politics, society on September 19, 2012 at 04:34

From: Detropia: New Doc Takes Intimate Look at Detroit’s Struggle with Manufacturing Collapse, Urban Decay with Amy Goodman and Rachel Grady, Democracy Now!, http://www.democracynow.org

Once known as the Motor City, where the middle class was born, Detroit’s auto industry and manufacturing sector have collapsed. Today the city is on the verge of bankruptcy, facing a thinning population and massive cuts to basic services. The new film “Detropia” takes an intimate look at at some of the city’s former members of the middle class as they struggle to make ends meet and refuse to abandon hope. We’re joined by the film’s co-director, Rachel Grady, a private investigator turned filmmaker who, along with her co-director Heidi Ewing, has made several films, including the Academy Award-nominated “Jesus Camp.”

AMY GOODMAN: We’re broadcasting from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at the PBS station WGVU. I’m Amy Goodman, as we turn now to a new documentary about one of Michigan’s hardest-hit cities, Detroit. Once known as the Motor City, where the middle class was born, Detroit’s auto industry and manufacturing sector have collapsed. Today the city is on the verge of bankruptcy, facing a thinning population and massive cuts to basic services.

Well, the new film Detropia takes an intimate look at some of the city’s former members of the middle class as they struggle to make ends meet and refuse to abandon hope. I want to turn for a moment to a clip of Detropia.

REPORTER: This is the downsizing of Detroit. You’re watching it live. These are houses that are never coming back. It’s going back to the prairie, and these houses are just disappearing from the landscape.

GEORGE McGREGOR: I want to show you something. All this is empty. They built a new plant in Mexico and took all the work to Mexico.

NICOLE: For factory support, which is the guys that are making $14.35, their new proposal is $11 an hour, which means they would lose $3.35 an hour on their wage.

AUTO WORKER: Why? What do you think you’re going to feel every day going into work?

REPORTER: One of the big hot-button issues in Detroit is the layout of the city, and right now there’s questions about what parts of the city may be shrunk.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I don’t know if y’all understand, but they’re shutting down schools. They’re shutting down futures, basically.

DETROIT RESIDENT: We’re not going to accept any more downsizing. We want to hear about upsizing, big-sizing, super-sizing Detroit.

MAYOR DAVID BING: It’s going to be difficult. The city is broke. I don’t know how many times I have to say that.

STEVE COY: I mean, we looked at Baltimore. We were looking into New York City. And Detroit came up. We can experiment here.

TOMMY STEPHENS: What happened in Detroit is now spreading throughout. There’s no buffer between the rich and the poor. Only thing left is revolution.

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Reposted according to copyright notice from: Democracy Now! website

 

Your e-Reading Habits are “Public” by David Brin

In books, ethics, government, information science, media, politics, privacy, technology on August 20, 2012 at 05:31

 

From:  Your e-Reading Habits are “Public”- Kindles, iPads and Nooks are Tracking You  by David Brin, IEET, http://ieet.org

The major players in e-book publishing—Amazon, Apple and Google—can easily track how far readers are getting into novels and nonfiction, how long they spend and which search terms they use to find books. Book apps for tablets like the iPad, Kindle Fire and Nook record how many times readers open the app and how much time they spend reading. Retailers and some publishers are beginning to sift through the data, gaining unprecedented insight into how people engage with books.

“We think of it as the collective intelligence of all the people reading on Kindle,” says Amazon spokeswoman. But how will all this data be used? Who can access it? The Electronic Frontier Foundation has pushed for legislation to prevent information about consumer’s reading habits from being turned over to law enforcement agencies without a court’s approval.

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Reposted with permission from: The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

The White Correspondent’s Burden by Jina Moore

In Africa, culture, ethics, media, politics, society on August 14, 2012 at 02:04

 

From: The White Correspondent’s Burden by Jina Moore, Boston Review, http://www.bostonreview.net

Journalists in Africa talk often about misrepresentations of the continent we cover. But this isn’t an easy conversation: we’re all far from home, working for pennies, because we care about what we do. Broad criticism of our profession can feel personal. Often, even though we’re ostensibly in charge of the story, we feel disempowered. The best journalism takes time and money, and often, we complain, we have neither. Travel budgets have shrunk, and the Internet demands ever more content.

But this doesn’t explain why journalism from Africa looks and sounds as it does. For this, we blame our editors, who (we like to say) oversimplify our copy and cut out context. They also introduce clichéd shorthand, such as “Arab north versus Christian and animist south” (Sudan), or boilerplate background, such as “the 1994 genocide, in which 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed” (Rwanda). Virtually any story can be sold more easily if set in a “war-torn country.”

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Reposted with permission from: Boston Review

The Forbidden History of Unpopular People by Topher

In ethics, history, media, philosophy, politics, video on June 17, 2012 at 00:40

 

From: The Forbidden History of Unpopular People: Why Free Speech is Worth the Price by Topher, The Forbidden History, http://theforbiddenhistory.com/

In episode #1 of the ‘Forbidden History’ trilogy Topher takes a stand on freedom of speech, using some of history’s most unpopular people to show that free speech is worth it, no matter what the price.

Watch on the website

“Scarers in Print”

In books, humanities, languages, media, universities on May 30, 2012 at 09:27

 

“Scarers in Print”: Media Literacy and Media Practice from Our Mutual Friend to Friend Me On Facebook. Part 2 – Jim Mussell – http://jimmussell.com

The materiality of media must become disciplined so they can function, in a particular instance as a particular type of object. Bill Brown’s distinction between ‘object’ and ‘thing’, where objects become socialized through discourse while things remain obliquely out of view, is useful here. As Brown notes, ‘we begin to confront the thingness of objects when they stop working for us’.5 But what if rather than positing a binary we rethink thingness as a repository or resource, something that can be drawn upon to recast objects from one form to another? In her book, Writing Machines, N. Katherine Hayles posits a materiality that is emergent and shifting, linking together representation and the physicality of the object that allows representation to operate. If, as Hayles suggests, ‘the physical attributes constituting any artefact are potentially infinite’, then objects – standing on the threshold of a generative, unknowable, thingness – are repositories of materiality.6 The object world marks the boundary between the socialized properties of things and the vast repository of the unknown that constitutes their thingness. As use is social practice, the form of this threshold constantly changes: objects manifest different properties and, in turn, recast the social relations in which they are embedded. As Brown suggests, the ‘thing really names less an object than a particular subject-object relation.’7 In a very real way, then, objects are interfaces because they make things happen.

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