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Posts tagged “OUDF205 – Contextual and Theoretical Studies 2

3D Interiors

3D modelling can also be associated with interior design. http://www.sweethome3d.com/index.jsp. I really like character 3D modellong but I also like 3D modelling in general and I would definitely like a job in that area. Interiors or automotive designs are a step further I’d want to practice 3D modelling because I’ve only focused it on character animation. I would like to create a 3D environment during the holidays and maybe turn it into a game level in Unity. My aim in the summer holidays also is to practice using Unity more and other game Engines.


Hyperreality Essay

Contextual and Theoretical Studies 2 – OUDF205 Hyperreality

This essay will demonstrate the concept of ‘Hyperreality’ and how over time it is becoming more a part of reality. Hyperreality is a state of consciousness of the human mind, frequently exists due to people trying to escape the burden of reality. Citations from books and reliable sources of information from online will be used to provide evidence that hyperreality exists and how it intervenes and becomes part of reality. Books that will be used most to provide evidence are Simulacra and Simulation (Baudrillard, 1994), Jean Baudrillard Art & Artefact (Zurbrugg, 1997) and Understanding Media (McLuhan, 2001). Points made will be supported with evidence followed by explanation and analysis.

This essay will cover four main topics that are related to hyperreality and these topics are: (i) hyperreality via mediums (ii) profound reality; (iii) reality tv is not reality, it is hyperreal; (iiii) hyperrealism painting.

Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007) was a French philosopher and one of the generations French thinkers that frequently associated with post-structuralism. He was a social critic, cultural theorist, photographer etc. His main notable ideas were hyperreality and Simulacra. Hyperreality is always shaped to the individual’s preference and it depends on the individuals mind. The same story could be heard by many people but all conceive the concept in their own ways, resulting in different realities.

Hyperreality exists only because one wants to be part of a world that imitates the opposite of one’s reality. This becomes an escape route for the person and so hyperreality embeds within the consciousness of a one’s mind. Societies live in hyperreality , which is a fake reality and don’t realize that it is false. One would not be conscious of this face due to believing that what they experience is real. This concludes no questions being asked and no doubts forming in one’s mind. Due to this hyperreality is expanding because it builds around the source that cannot be recognized as hyperreal. An example could be that a woman taking her exam may be in need of her relative, whom she can contact via a mobile phone. Mobile phones can replace the need for one to be at a place at a certain time. This is hyperreal because the relative cannot physically be there but can be there through a portable phone. As McLuhan explains

“…these activities are in some way the ‘content’ of electric light, since they could not exist without the electric light”, (2001, p. 9).

In this case the relative’s presence is the content of the mobile phone because without this medium, it would be impossible to express the presence of the relative without physically being there.

Presence through a medium could result in a negative effect on the relationship between the woman and her relative. The problem of not always being present physically can become an emotional issue in relationships. For example, during the delivery of a child a woman might need her husband physically present with her for moral support and to be part of the process of giving life; this is not possible through a medium and hyperreality is preferred to be avoided. However if the person is abroad and absolutely cannot be present then mediums are an advantage but even so this hyperreal presence cannot replace the necessity of the physical presence of the father. Baudrillards says,

“Either information produces meaning (a negentropic factor), but cannot make up for the brutal loss of signification in every domain. Despite efforts to reinject message and content, meaning is lost and devoured faster than it can be reinjected.” (1994, p. 79).

This is an excellent example of how the meaning of the father being present for his child’s birth is very necessary. If the father was not present at the time of conceiving the child then the child would not be conceived. This is one of the many situations where hyperreality cannot interfere in relationships because there is no need for it.

Films, especially films of fantasy genre, often articulate the reflection and absence of a profound reality. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (Gore Verbinski, 2006) portrays the betrayal of reality. The film is set at a time in the past, which does not exist now causing it to be a film of the fiction genre. Although the film does portray the reflection of profound reality because of the characters being human, it also reflects the absence of profound reality. The film portrays fish faced men and the captain, Davy Jones, that offer bargains to any person at sea that is trapped between a life or death situation. Such bargains include a 100 years worth of service on his ship and in return their wishes will be fulfilled. This does not exist in real life, nor will anyone that comes to the aid of a person in need of help can offer such bargains, neither can such bargains be fulfilled. Films like the Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy combine the reflection and absence of a profound reality.

The CG model for the face of Davy Jones is a simulation that

“…threatens the difference between the ‘true’ and the ‘false,’ the ‘real and the ‘imaginary.’” (Baudrillard, 1994, p. 3).

This is three dimensional CG effects pretends to be a faithful copy of the original but has no original. However the copy of people reflected through the human characters pretend to be the copy of the original. It can be argued that they are a copy of people but they characters also have no origin due to them being fiction. This is why the film portrays the reflection and the absence of a profound reality.

Santa Claus also known as Saint Nicholas is a lengendary, mythical and historical figure that has folklore origins. Santa Claus has been copied throughout time and changing his appearance. The red and white theme of his clothes did not occur until Coka Cola was introduced. This proves that neither is real in the sense of profound reality because Santa Claus has been copied many times causing it to lose its origin. This is not real and yet it tries to convince societies that Santa Claus is real and that he originated with the red and white outfit. However this is not true and it has been copied many times making Santa Claus a pure simulacrum.

Reality television like Big Brother (2012) is not reality, it is pretending to be reality on television and this causes it to be hyperreal. This is because although reality television is based around real people, the footage has been edited to be shaped to entertain the audience. Occasionally the footage is edited in a way to portray a situation that does not exist in reality but does on television. This is a manipulative method to plant false thoughts into people’s minds about another person. Baudrillard states

“TV itself is also a nuclear process of chain reaction, but implosive: it cools and neutralizes the meaning and the energy of events.” (1994, p. 53).

This quote explains that television portrays events that are not real, yet appear real. The energy of the event of screen would not be the same as behind the camera. This is what most people fail to understand and consider this hyperreal event to be real. Negative effects of such situations can conflict depression amongst the people staying in the Big Brother house, whilst other gains fame and fortune. Who gets fame and who gets degraded is partially to do with editing. This would mean that the fate of the hyperreality of a reality programme would depend on the director. Directors could feel responsibility towards the diminished title of an ex guest at the Big Brother house. For instance, Joanne (Jo) Valda O’Meara was a guest on the Big Brother show and after leaving she became depressed and suicidal prior to her behaviour in Big Brother (2007). This is because she and Jade Goody misbehaved with another house guest called Shilpa Shetty. Both regretted their behaviors after leaving Big Brother but the hyperreality version of what happened in the house caused their image in society to become fragile and leading O’Meara to commit self harm. Goody on the other hand discovered that she had cancer, which changed her perspective of how she used to be and how she wanted to be. Another reality show was based around Goody’s last few months alive and this documentary changed the perception of Goody’s image to the world. This concludes that reality television can emphasize the nature of a person or make them appear the complete opposite under the influence of the circumstances. Big Brother is a good example that demonstrates that hyperreality can have its rewards and consequences.

Another reality television show is The Apprentice. The Apprentice is a show that gathers business potentials and requires the candidates to perform tasks and present their skills to Lord Sugar. This is also based on real people performing real tasks and in fact winning and losing in tasks but the process of the episodes are edited a lot. Sound is added and footage is edited to change the

“…meaning and the energy of events.” (1994, p. 53)

Most of the episodes frequently show the audience that one team is in lead, but when the teams are judged in the boardroom the other team wins. This may be a trick of the editors to create suspense in every episode. Even though all but one candidate are fired, the candidates that survive the longest create either a good or bad impressions of themselves to the industry of business and this could affect the choices of future employers.

News is another form of media and this media has revealed that terrorists attacked the Twin Towers for which reason the Twin Towers collapsed. News reporters edit footage and present them in a hyperreal state. Due to a repetitive mention that terrorists crashed their planes into the World Trade Centre, the viewers do not notice that although the airplane hit the top of the Twin Towers, the towers collapse from underneath, resembling a demolition. The impact of the news as a medium is so great that if individuals are told the same thing over again they will start to believe what they hear rather than what can be seen. This is definitely a good example and argues the fact whether terrorists crashed the planes or was it a conspiracy?

Art is another medium that hyperreality has become part of. Hyperrealism is a genre of painting and sculpture that resembles high resolution photography. Sometimes it might be considered an advancement of Photorealism because Hyperrealisme is a French word for Photorealism. The work of artists that practice hyperrealism painting is outstanding. The end pieces mimic reality and copies the subject incredibly well that it is difficult to differentiate between real photographs and hyperrealism paintings. Artists such as Simon Hennessey specialize in the human figures and the detail that Hennessey includes in his paintings is outstanding.

“His close ups of people’s faces can truly be appreciated when you start staring at the little details.” (Alice, 2010)

He includes details such as the blemishes of the face and the three dimensional look to the eyes that make his work stand out.

Whilst Denis Peterson on the other hand, also a hyperrealist painter who focuses more on painting architecture and cityscapes.

“ …one of the first Photorealists to emerge in New York. Widely acknowledged as the pioneer and primary architect of Hyperrealism…His meticulously detailed New York cityscapes purposely draw your eyes to the huge billboards and advertisements.” (Alice, 2010).

His work involves painting movement in the city but his hyperrealist paintings of adverts displayed in the city are very impressive. The audience would find it difficult to realize that it is a hyperreal painting and not a photograph. Although his paintings are heavily detailed without fault, the advertisements and billboard are the main focus and centre of the paintings. This might be because Peterson might want it to reflect on the contemporary society through his paintings.

Another artist that stands out from every other hyperrealist painters is Jason de Gaaf. His paintings are very realistic, he likes to

“…not just reproducing it faithfully but adding in an illusion of depth not found in photographs.” (Alice 2010).

This quote states that although the objects in Gaaf’s paintings look devastatingly real, he also adds illusions to his work that unfold and surprises the audience. The movements and colour of his paintings are phenomenal but a particular painting he has developed called Trinity looks very convincing because he has painted foil under the strawberries. The imitation of the foil in the Trinity painting looks exactly like real foil. Hyperrealistic paintings are very impressive at imitating reality and they persuade the viewer to admire the reality it reflects.

Hyperreality is a simulation of the consciousness that brings benefits as well as consequences. It occurs when a person is trying to escape reality. It has become pat of almost every person’s daily routine and is not noticed as a condition until it is pointed out. Hyperreality varies between individuals. Some may benefit from hyperreality and some may not but it is difficult for majority of the individuals to avoid hyperreality because societies that people live within associate with hyperreality.

Bibliography

Books

Baumam, Z. (2004) Identity, Cambridge, Polity Press.

Baudrillard, J., Glaser, S. F. (1994) Simulacra and Simulation, United States of America, The University of Michigan.

Eco, U. (1987) Travels In Hyperreality, London, Pan Books Ltd.

Genosko, G. (1999) McLuhan and Baudrillard: The Masters of Implosion, London, Routledge.

McLuhan, M. (2001) Understanding Media, New York, Routeledge.

Poole, E., Richardson, J. E. (2010) Muslims and the News Media, London, I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd.

Zurbrugg, N. (1997) Jean Baudrillard Art and Artefact, London, SAGE Publications Ltd.

Film

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, film, directed by Gore Verbinski, Bahamas, Disney, 2006.

Websites

Channel 5 (2012) Big Brother [online], http://www.channel5.com/bigbrother (Accessed 27 March 2012).

Falconblanco (2010) What are the dangers of Hyperreality [online], http://falconblanco.com/fbdiscus/exchange/dangers.htm (Accessed 20 March 2012)

Google (2012) Hyperreality [online], http://www.google.co.uk/webhp?rlz=1C1DVCP_en-GBGB461GB461&sourceid=chrome-instant&ix=sea&ie=UTF-8&ion=1#hl=en&rlz=1C1DVCP_en-GBGB461GB461&q=hyperreality&tbs=dfn:1&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=7e5wT8CACdTL8QPW4Oi_DQ&ved=0CB8QkQ4&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=13e771909c591aa&biw=655&bih=221&ix=sea&ion=1 (Accessed 25 March 2012)

IMDB (2012) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest [online], http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0383574/ (Accessed 20 March 2012).

Wikipedia (2012) Hyperrealism (visual arts) [online], http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperrealism_(visual_arts) (Accessed 24 March 2012).

Wikipedia (2012) Santa Claus [online], http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus (Accessed 24 March 2012).

Blogs

Alice. (2010), ’21 Mind-Blowing Hyperreal Paintings’, My Modern Met, 7 March [online], http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/21-mindblowing-hyperreal (Accessed 26 March 2012).


Simulacrum

Something is called simulacrum when it has a likeness or similarity to reality. It would be difficult to create a likeness of reality in simulacrum but not as difficult to create a reality that is pure simulacrum. Although if someone created a simulacrum of a time that has passed and presented it to a time that is present or in the future then this could also be called a simulacrum. However if the simulacrum of another time is presented to someone that is unaware of the culture the simulacrum has captured, then this would seem like pure simulacrum to the viewer of a different culture. This explains that culture effects the meaning of simulacrum.

It was too late but if it was possible to re-do the essay it would have been on simulacrum. I didn’t understand the purpose and meaning of simulacrum before that’s why I didn’t select this subject for the essay. Hyperreality is what I understood best but after several research’s simulacrum seems that it would have been a more interesting subject.


Hyperreality Essay (Draft)

Contextual and Theoretical Studies 2 – OUDF205 Hyperreality

This essay will demonstrate the concept of ‘Hyperreality’ and how over time it is becoming more a part of reality. Hyperreality is a state of consciousness of the human mind, frequently exists due to people trying to escape the burden of reality. Citations from books and reliable sources of information from online will be used to provide evidence that hyperreality exists and how it intervenes and becomes part of reality. Books that will be used most to provide evidence are Simulacra and Simulation (Baudrillard, 1994), Jean Baudrillard Art & Artefact (Zurbrugg, 1997) and Understanding Media (McLuhan, 2001). Points made will be supported with evidence followed by explanation and analysis.

This essay will cover four main topics that are related to hyperreality and these topics are: (i) hyperreality via mediums (ii) profound reality; (iii) reality tv is not reality, it is hyperreal.

Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007) was a French philosopher and one of the generation’s French thinkers that frequently associated with post-structuralism. He was a social critic, cultural theorist, photographer etc. His main notable ideas were hyperreality and Simulacra. Hyperreality is always shaped to the individual’s preference and it depends on the individuals mind. The same story could be heard by many people but all conceive the concept in their own ways, resulting in different realities.

Hyperreality exists only because one wants to be part of a world that imitates the opposite of one’s reality. This becomes an escape route for the person and so hyperreality embeds within the consciousness of a one’s mind. Societies live in hyperreality, which is a fake reality and don’t realize that it is false. One would not be conscious of this face due to believing that what they experience is real. This concludes no questions being asked and no doubts forming in one’s mind. Due to this hyperreality is expanding because it builds around the source that cannot be recognized as hyperreal. An example could be that a woman taking her exam may be in need of her relative, whom she can contact via a mobile phone. Mobile phones can replace the need for one to be at a place at a certain time. This is hyperreal because the relative cannot physically be there but can be there through a portable phone.

In this case the relative’s presence is the content of the mobile phone because without this medium, it would be impossible to express the presence of the relative without physically being there.

Presence through a medium could result in a negative effect on the relationship between the woman and her relative. The problem of not always being present physically can become an emotional issue in relationships. For example, during the delivery of a child a woman might need her husband physically present with her for moral support and to be part of the process of giving life; this is not possible through a medium and hyperreality is preferred to be avoided. However if the person is abroad and absolutely cannot be present then mediums are an advantage but even so this hyperreal presence cannot replace the necessity of the physical presence of the father. Baudrillards says, “Either information produces meaning (a negentropic factor), but cannot make up for the brutal loss of signification in every domain. Despite efforts to reinject message and content, meaning is lost and devoured faster than it can be reinjected.” (1994, p. 79). This is an excellent example of how the meaning of the father being present for his child’s birth is very necessary. If the father was not present at the time of conceiving the child then the child would not be conceived. This is one of the many situations where hyperreality cannot interfere in relationships because there is no need for it.

Films, especially films of fantasy genre, often articulate the reflection and absence of a profound reality. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (Gore Verbinski, 2006) portrays the betrayal of reality. The film is set at a time in the past, which does not exist now causing it to be a film of the fiction genre. Although the film does portray the reflection of profound reality because of the characters being human, it also reflects the absence of profound reality. The film portrays fish faced men and the captain, Davy Jones, that offer bargains to any person at sea that is trapped between a life or death situation. Such bargains include a 100 years worth of service on his ship and in return their wishes will be fulfilled. This does not exist in real life, nor will anyone that comes to the aid of a person in need of help can offer such bargains, neither can such bargains be fulfilled. Films like the Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy combine the reflection and absence of a profound reality. The CG model for the face of Davy Jones is a simulation that “…threatens the difference between the ‘true’ and the ‘false,’ the ‘real and the ‘imaginary.’” (Baudrillard, 1994, p. 3).This is three dimensional CG effects pretends to be a faithful copy of the original but has no original. However the copy of people reflected through the human characters pretend to be the copy of the original. It can be argued that they are a copy of people but they characters also have no origin due to them being fiction. This is why the film portrays the reflection and the absence of a profound reality.

Santa Claus also known as Saint Nicholas is a lengendary, mythical and historical figure that has folklore origins. Santa Claus has been copied throughout time and changing his appearance. The red and white theme of his clothes did not occur until Coka Cola was introduced. This proves that neither is real in the sense of profound reality because Santa Claus has been copied many times causing it to lose its origin. This is not real and yet it tries to convince societies that Santa Claus is real and that he originated with the red and white outfit. However this is not true and it has been copied many times making Santa Claus a pure simulacrum.

Reality television like Big Brother (2012) is not reality, it is pretending to be reality on television and this causes it to be hyperreal. This is because although reality television is based around real people, the footage has been edited to be shaped to entertain the audience. Occasionally the footage is edited in a way to portray a situation that does not exist in reality but does on television. This is a manipulative method to plant false thoughts into people’s minds about another person.

This quote explains that television portrays events that are not real, yet appear real. The energy of the event of screen would not be the same as behind the camera. This is what most people fail to understand and consider this hyperreal event to be real. Negative effects of such situations can conflict depression amongst the people staying in the Big Brother house, whilst other gains fame and fortune. Who gets fame and who gets degraded is partially to do with editing. This would mean that the fate of the hyperreality of a reality programme would depend on the director. Directors could feel responsibility towards the diminished title of an ex guest at the Big Brother house. For instance, Joanne (Jo) Valda O’Meara was a guest on the Big Brother show and after leaving she became depressed and suicidal prior to her behaviour in Big Brother (2007). This is because she and Jade Goody misbehaved with another house guest called Shilpa Shetty. Both regretted their behaviors after leaving Big Brother but the hyperreality version of what happened in the house caused their image in society to become fragile and leading O’Meara to commit self harm. Goody on the other hand discovered that she had cancer, which changed her perspective of how she used to be and how she wanted to be. Another reality show was based around Goody’s last few months alive and this documentary changed the perception of Goody’s image to the world. This concludes that reality television can emphasize the nature of a person or make them appear the complete opposite under the influence of the circumstances.

Another reality television show is The Apprentice. The Apprentice is a show that gathers business potentials and requires the candidates to perform tasks and present their skills to Lord Sugar. This is also based on real people performing real tasks and in fact winning and losing in tasks but the process of the episodes are edited a lot.

Most of the episodes frequently show the audience that one team is in lead, but when the teams are judged in the boardroom the other team wins. This may be a trick of the editors to create suspense in every episode. Even though all but one candidate are fired, the candidates that survive the longest create either a good or bad impressions of themselves to the industry of business and this could affect the choices of future employers.

News is another form of media and this media has revealed that terrorists attacked the Twin Towers for which reason the Twin Towers collapsed. News reporters edit footage and present them in a hyperreal state. Due to a repetitive mention that terrorists crashed their planes into the World Trade Centre, the viewers do not notice that although the airplane hit the top of the Twin Towers, the towers collapse from underneath, resembling a demolition. The impact of the news as a medium is so great that if individuals are told the same thing over again they will start to believe what they hear rather than what can be seen. This is definitely a good example and argues the fact whether terrorists crashed the planes or was it a conspiracy?

Hyperreality is a simulation of the consciousness that brings benefits as well as consequences. It occurs when a person is trying to escape reality. It has become part of almost every person’s daily routine and is not noticed as a condition until it is pointed out. Hyperreality varies between individuals. Some may benefit from hyperreality and some may not but it is difficult for majority of the individuals to avoid hyperreality because societies that people live within associate with hyperreality.


Essay Skeleton

Essay Title

Introduction

Orientate the reader

Identify the focus/purpose

Outline Scope

State thesis

Body

Point 1 – Topic Sentence 1

Evidence – Supporting Details

Explain – Concluding sentence 1

Analyze

Point 2 – Topic Sentence 2

Evidence – Supporting Details

Explain – Concluding sentence 2

Analyze

Point 3 – Topic Sentence 3

Evidence – Supporting Details

Explain – Concluding sentence 3

Analyze

And so on…

Conclusion

Restate thesis

Summarise argument


Hyperreality – Mind Map


Hyperreality & Other Notes


Annotating Overcoming the Monster


Marshall McLuhan – Understanding Media (The Medium Is The Message)


Racing Simulacra

http://journal.media-culture.org.au/9812/racing.php

“Such would be the successive phases of the image:

it is the reflection of a profound reality;

it masks and denatures a profound reality;

it masks the absence of a profound reality;

it has no relation to any reality whatsoever:

it is its own pure simulacrum.” (Baudrillard 6)


MARSHALL MCLUHAN

MARSHALL MCLUHAN

  • Medium is a (1967) form of message, it can be used to manipulate the thruth or make lies seem true.
  • All media are extensions of some human faculty psychic or physical – so a person can portray a message according to how they feel or think or use it to manipulate others and their thinking which might influence their actions.
  • Technology is reshaping with time and this reconstructs patterns of social behaviour. E.g. Facebook would develop a new game like Farmville, which becomes popular and gets suggested to other Facebook users.
  • After seeing a message media has put across in their own it becomes an extension of the person who wanted to out the message across. This message heard by another might be passed on as an extension of theirs and your own thoughts.
  • When the extension is manipulated it becomes common, spread and evolves.
  • Medium changes as people begin to fiddle with the information.
  • Societies have been shaped more by the nature of media by which men communicate whether it’s verbally in person, text, phone or news. Alphabet is a form of technology that is absorbed by a child in an unconscious state of manner. I think the media use this to manipulate extensions of people who are adults by continuously repeated the same thing to make it stick to ones mind and manipulate the way they think.
  • “In the study of ideas, it is necessary to remember that insistence on hard-headed clarity issues from sentimental feeling, as it were a mist, cloaking the perplexities of fact. Insistence on clarity at all costs is based on sheer superstition as to the mode in which human intelligence functions. Our reasoning’s grasp at straws for premises and float on gossamers for deductions.” A.N. Whitehead, “adventures in ideas.”
  • Societies seem to be programmed rather that think for themselves. I think the illusion that we have free will is there to stop us from thinking that what the media is portraying is not playing a part in the way we think or present our thoughts/extensions.
  • I notice that we have been programmed to get up every day, breakfast or no breakfast, work 9-5, come home, eat and go to sleep. This is the way the world has been programmed; some might call this a structure and might call it manipulation.
  • Reached a point where remedial control is born out of knowledge of media and their total effects on us.
  • The source of information has expanded, the family circle has expanded.
  • Electric circuity is everywhere, it is instant and continuous.
  • Children are drawn to television and grow up watching it and then in their adulthood they watch news – inflation, rioting, wars, taxes, crimes…
  • The education of a person from childhood to adulthood is fed through a television.
  • “Child” is an invention of the 17th century.
  • Childhood doesn’t exist anymore.
  • Growing up is our new work – it is total.
  • Media alters the envirionmeny – evokes us to have to vary in sense of perception – “The extension of anyone alters the way we think and act – the way we perceive the world” pg. 41.
  • Hence different people have different ways of understand. They take out meaning from media through different perceptions.
  • Extension of oneself in individual perception.
  • Before writing existed men were boundless, directionless, horizon less.
  • In dark of mind, in the world of emotion, by primordial intuition by terror.
  • Writing abolished mystery. It gave architecture/towns; armies and roads; bureaucracy – government by many bureaus, administrators etc…
  • The environment man creates becomes his medium for defining his role in it.
  • Issue is to produce the unconscious/interpret it – produce new statements, difference desires, the rhizome is production of the unconscious.
  • Finally its not about exterior or interior (which are mainly relatives).
  • Distinction to be made is between different types of multiplicities that coexist, interpenetrate and change places.
  • By thinking there are things outside our thought, we are bringing them into our thoughts – Hegel.

Communication Theory

Communication Theory

  • The Medium is the Message – Marshall McLuhan.
  • Tufte argues that PowerPoint makes it hard to communicate. The slides are ultra short, incomplete thoughts listed with bullet points.
  • Theory and perspectives shape the field of communication studies.
  • 7 traditions of the field: Cybernetic or Information Theory (Transmissional); Semiotics (All these are Constitutive); The Phenomenological Tradition; Rhetorical; Socio-Psychological; Socio-Cultural; Critical Theory.
  • Two models:
    • Transmission (informational) – sending and receiving messages or transferring information from one mind to another. Disadvantage is that there are gaps in communication. Communication signs are perceived differently by different people.
    • Constitutive – (process of production and reproduction of shared meaning). Limitations – gaps in an understanding of the communication process either due to socio-cultural diversity or due to the limitations of being able to measure authentic communication between people.

The Information or Cybernetic Theory of Communication

  • Useful for: researching how as a designer your work makes effective communication. Limitations: linear process; not concerned with the production of meaning.

 

Three Levels of Potential Communication Problems

 

  • Level 1 – Technical – accuracy, encoding, decoding, compatibility.
  • Level 2 – Semantic – language precision, message briefed without losing meaning, language to use.
  • Level 3 – Effectiveness – does message do what we want, what is plan B.
  • See http://mtq.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/7/4/307 for communication theory applied to advertising/marketing

 

System Theory

 

Macro Feedback

  • Someone speaks > crowded room > Buzzing.

 

BARB (Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board)

 

  • Audience: individuals, adults, men, women, children and housewives.
  • Subdivided by age and social class – main audience categories.

 

Semiotics-Three basic concepts

 

  • Semantics – Dictionaries are semantic reference books, they tell us what signs mean.
    • Syntactics – Relationships between signs. Signs are part of a larger sign system referred to as codes. Codes are organised rules that inform us what signs stand for.
    • Pragmatics – practicle use and effects of signs.

 

Semiotics and the ‘Semiosphere

 

  • Semiotics examines signs as if they are part of a language.

 

Semiotics

 

  • Helps to identify meaning and how art/design is ‘read’ within the situation.
  • Reality can be read as a system of signs.
    • Makes us more aware of reality’s construction and roles we all play in constructing reality.
    • Meaning is not transmitted to us, it is created by us. We create is with complex interplay of codes.
    • Prioritises verbal/linguistic structures over embodied knowledge/
    • Fails to explain factors that influence production and interpretation of messages.
    • Meaning is a site of social conflict because it is not fixed.

 

How to analyse an image using semiotics

 

  • First code – linguistic. Learn French to encode.
  • Linguistic sign – Panzani (Italian), encodes name of firm and also an additional signified, that of ‘Italianicity’.
  • This would not work in Italy.
  • The image.
  • The scene represents a return from the market.
  • Two vavles: Signs of fresh product and prepared for domestic preparations.
  • Signifier – half open bag lets the fresh province spill over the table ‘unpacked’.
  • Variety of sign – bag is a net, fishing is a basic form of catching food.
  • Food in the net signifies fresh food.
  • Tomato, pepper and the tricoloured hues (yellow, green, red) signifies Italianicity.
  • Different foods (onions, tomatoes, mushrooms etc) makes it seems as though Panzani provides everything necessary for a carefully balanced dish. Message is tinned food is equivalent to natural food – quality product.

 

Analyse text

 

  • A text is in itself a complex sign containing other signs.

 

The Phenomenological Tradition

 

  • Direct experience is how humans come to understand the world.
  • Phenomenon is the appearance of an object, event or condition in one’s perception.
  • Actual lived experience is the basic data of reality.

 

Our senses are dominated by touch.

 

The Embodied Mind

 

  • Communication – extension of the nervous system.
  • Language is seen as a neural pathway to the brain.

 

Semiotics separates interpretation from reality but in phenomenological tradition it matters what is real for the person.

 

Three schools of the phenomenological tradition

 

  • Classical phenomenology – Edward Husserl, world can be experienced through bracketing, not biased, objective.
  • The phenomenology of perception – Maurice Merleau-Ponty, rejects objectivist view. Believes we can only know things through personal relationship to things.
  • Hermeneutic phenomenology – extends subjective tradition.
  • Hermeneutic – like reading between the lines, interpretations of interpretations.

 

Define judgement by placing value on what we perceive, velieving it to be good or bad instead of accepting that it just is.

 

Rhetoric

 

  • Thinking through how to achieve certain effects on reader or audience.
  • Intervention in complex systems involves technical problems rhetoric fails to grasp.
  • Rhetoric lacks good empirical evidence.
  • Rhetorical theory is culture bound & overemphasizes individual agency vs. social structure.
  • Persuasive to read or see things differently.
  • Rhetoric relies on communication as a social activity – it helps individuals exert their ideas and views onto others depleting the chance of other views.
  • Pictures without contexts are meaningless – needs to be anchored with something to define the message being portrayed.
  • The use of ‘pathos’ a means of persuasion in classical rhetoric that appeals to the audience’s emotions.

 

Metaphor

 

  • Original used as a rhetorical trope.
  • Enables us to grasp new concept.
  • Create associations to help remember things.
  • Paradox: opposed to common sense, yet some truth exists.

 

The Sociopsychological Tradition

 

Study of an individual as a social being

Three key areas

  • Behavioural
  • Cognitive
  • Biological

 

Psychological Communication

Act of sending a message to a receiver and assessing feelings and thoughts of the receiver after interpreting the message and how it affects the understanding of the message.

 

Gestalt Psychology (a type of cognitive theory) – refers to a structure, configuration or layout that is unified.

A person sees a word and perceives its meaning rather than the letters that form the word.

 

The Sociocultural tradition

Identity definition: father, Catholic, student, lesbian, Asian, Yorkshire etc. Definition of self in terms of identity is part of a group. The group frames cultural identity.

Context: Forms and meanings of communication

 

“Humans are the only species to have created culture, and every human child develops in the context of a culture. Therefore, a child’s learning development is affected in ways large and small by the culture–including the culture of family environment–in which he or she is enmeshed. (Vygotsky)”

 

Learning a language is for the purpose of communication.

Difference between what children can do with help and on its own – proximal development.


Film Review

Review of the Opening Credit – Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)

From the title of the film it’s clear that the story of the film is based in Persia. The opening few scenes show the dessert and an evening sky with the sun setting in the horizon. This scene and the music in the background give the impression that the culture would most likely be Arabian-Middle Eastern. Sound is very important during the beginning of the film to depict what the film could be about. If the title did not include Persia in it, then the music in the beginning tells the audience that it is a film or the beginning of the film is based in a Middle Eastern country.

A map appears showing how big the country of Persia looks amongst other small countries. The narrator also emphasises this image by stating, “There once was an empire that stretched from the steps of China, to the shores of the Mediterranean. That Empire was Persia.” The narrator introduces the story with a prologue to establish the background of the protagonist. The narrator’s part also lasts until the story of the films reaches the present.

In the beginning of the film the story is told through the voice of a narrator, which is one media and the rest of the story in the film is expressed in a different media.

The film expresses the roles of the characters from the beginning and states the status of the characters too. This may give the audience an idea of what problems the characters will face in the film considering the status of the characters.

From the beginning the characters are religious in some sense as the King believes that though he has two sons, his family is not complete in the eyes of the Gods, until he adopts an orphan boy who shows a selfless act of courage. This is when Dastan the protagonist saves his friend from the soldiers by throwing an apple at them. The Gods also play a more active role in this religion. As we don’t see anyone portraying the Gods, the characters do speak of them as if they have somehow interacted with them.

The film then heads straight into the discussion of a war between two kingdoms. This portrays the strength, courage and a little arrogance of the Persian army and their royal family.

The actor portraying the protagonist at first I didn’t think he suited the part from the trailers but during the film I feel that He acted the part and really became Dastan. His dry humour and confidence in the character he portrayed made the character seem real. As Dastan is the youngest amongst his brothers, the carelessness and courage of the character really suited the actor.

The CGI effect in the film, when he jumps off a tower whilst holding onto a rope to swing in through the window, is very could. It didn’t feel like it was created with a computer software. The 3D camera that pans around the 3D model and faces him head first and shows his face made it look real.

There was good chemistry between the male (princess of the city invaded by the Persians) and female leads I think. Both of them are humorous amongst each other and betray each other, although when they reunite they have no choice but to support each other, in the end resulting them to fall in love.

I like that in the beginning they communicate in sarcasm and rebel against each other eventually falling in love. In the end when the sand of time is restored, time returns to how it was at the beginning of the story and only Dastan remembers what has happened. When he returns the dagger he stole from the princess, she looks as if somehow she believes he is sincere and knows about the dagger that controls time.

The film also diverges from the plot of the game but I still think the film was amazing. I hope that there will be a sequel to the film as time travel films are unpredictable making it more exciting for the viewer to watch.


Jean Baudrillard and Hyperreality – 15/11/11: Notes


Transmedia and Comics – Notes

Transmedia

  • Storytelling using different medias and each of them having their own element contribute to the understanding of a story.
  • Transmedia creates entry points by being presented in different media formats. This is what makes the story world more immersive.
  • Multi-platform storytelling; cross-platform storytelling; transmedia narrative.
  • Desire of audience can be used as innovation for complicated narratives allowing participation and sharing.
  • Stories have and are contents of our lives.
  • Narratives are played out in different media as they are invented and used by different societies.
  • Orally, songs, painted images, sculpture, written text, printed page, photographs, film, games etc.
  • Ulysses, odyssey.

Media Specifity

  • Media specifity – The Medium is the Message (Marshall McLuhan)

Comics

  • “Pictorial narratives or expositions in which words usually contribute to the meaning of the pictures and vice versa.”
  • Panels/frames.
  • A characters thoughts or conversation with another character is recognised through individual speech bubbles/balloons.
  • The story is sequenced in panels to guide the reader’s eyes.
  • Sequential art – type of graphic storytelling.
  • Forms cannot be merely imported; it has to be adapted to the new media and cannot be called a duplicate of the old media. New identity! New ways to perceive a story.
  • http://www2.gsu.edu/~jougms/Maxx.htm

Comic History

  • 1845 – Modern comic books grew from comic strips. Comic strips were always humorous thus, the word “comic”.
  • 1845 – “The Yellow Kid” was a short narrative with just a few panels. Also one of the first strips to use speech balloons.
  • 1930s – Publishers printed hundreds of different strips featuring still-famous characters – Dick Tracy, Popeye and Little Orphan Annie. I remember watching the cartoon series of Popeye the Sailor Man when I was younger; this means it was a different media form of the same story.
  • 1933 – These short comic strips were reprinted on tabloid-sized pages by Eastern Colour Printing. This means publication was a smaller size than newspapers of the time. Eastern Colour capitalised on its momentum by selling comic books.
  • 1935 – DC Comics printed the first comic book filled with new material instead of comic strip reprints – this was “New Fun” Comics No. 1. The sixth issue on “New Fun” introduced the character Superman.
  • 1938 – Superman debuted in “Action Comics No. 1.” First superhero comic book.
  • 1937 – DC Comics published its “Detective Comics”. This publication introduced Batman.
  • Superhero-themed comic books were enormously popular during WWII. Non-hero characters were also popular – Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.
  • Superheroes lost their grip on the public imagination when the war ended. Comic publishers introduced more subjects such as science fiction, drama, animal, Western, crime and horror in their comics to enlarge readership.
  • 1954 – Psychiatrist and author Fredric Wertham published a book – Seduction of the Innocence. This gave horror comics in particular a bad name as they were being help responsible for adolescent depravity and misbehaviour.
  • Self censoring Comics Code Authority (CCA) was created by publishers to set standards for comic content. This was to make sure that comics would stay within limits and ensure the safety of the industry. Whitewashed comics for non-offensive, politically correct and non-threatening to children and institutions of that time. Due to this mainstream comics were losing their audience.
  • 1960s – Independent publishers and authors unbound by CCA rules featured every sort of subject that mainstream comics could not – sex, drugs, politics and both visual and written obscenities of every kind. These were underground comics were called commix and they featured “Fritz the Cat,” “Trashman” and “Wonder Wart-Hog.”
  • Made more sophisticated (unburdened with sales quotas and censorship) – literary writing styles matched with equally advanced artwork.
  • 1970s and 1980s – longer form comics became popular and were called graphic novels. Contained complicated subjects like morality and philosophy; these introduced conflicted characters, imperfect superheroes.
  • 1986 – Key year for “Watchmen”, “Maus” and “The Dark Knight Returns”.
  • DC Comics (Warner Bros) and Marvel (Sony) were best sellers in U.S. and are best source of transmedia characters.
  • Japan saw a similar rise in comic art. After WWII Japanese fell in love with comics and began producing manga.Managa is more popular in Japan and comics are in U.S. Manga creators target books to a variety of audiences – cyoung children, teens and adults.

European Comic History

  • Humorous adventure vein – Tintin and Asterix.
  • Wordless books were very influenctial.
  • Frans Masereel’s ‘the Passionate Journey’ and ‘the Sun’ are key.
  • Famous artists of the Franco-Belgian comics started during WW2 when American comics were banned.
  • André Franquin and Peyo started in, and Willy Vandersteen, Jacques Martin and Albert Uderzo all worked for Bravo.
  • 1960s – Ninth art designation stems from the cartoonist Morris’s articles about the history of comics. Morris (Maurice De Bevere) a Belgian cartoonist who created Lucky Luke.
  • 1940s – Many of his characters were based on famous actors such as Jack Palance, Gary Cooper and W. C. Fields.
  • 1984 – Hannah-Barbera made a series of 52 cartoons of Lucky Luke.
  • 1990 – 52 more cartoons were made and three live actions movies.
  • Video games based on series were made for PlayStation 1 and Game Boy Colour.
  • Lucky Luke – currently best selling European comics series ever – 300 million copies sold in 30+ languages.
  • Moebius – European comic book key figure. The Long Tomorrow prototype for Blade Runner.
  • His design appeared in Tron, Alien and The Abyss.
  • Kurosawa was producing The Airtitght garage but that was shelved afta he passed away. It was meant to be animated by the same people who did Akira.

Fantamos

  • Created by French writer Marcel Allain (1885-1970) and Pierre Souvestre (1874-1914) in 1911.
  • 1911-1913 – Duo wrote 32 Fantamos novels – several adapted to the screen in a series of equally successful movies between 1913 and 1914.
  • Fantamos is a good example of Adaptation Expansio

Transmedia and Media Hybridity – Notes: 27/09/11


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