Archive for the ‘ Contextual and Theoretical (Level 5, Year 2) ’ Category

Media Specificity

As you will see very often when new technologies come out they seem to mimic the old ones quite a lot, for example when cars came out they still resembled the cart. So could this be the same with Film, Tv and advertising, as we are now not just watching film on the television is the way TV programs are shot, the way advertisments are conceived from how can we get the message across to our audience changing. As you well know the likes of BBC Iplayer and Youtube are changing the way we watch Film and television so are the fundamentals changing or just the way we view them.

To really criticise a medium you have to say does it does it achieve its potential within the bounders that it has. (Gothold Ephraim Lessing 1966 essay  “contends that an artwork, in order to be successful, needs to adhere to the specific stylistic properties of its own medium.”. ) The problem with this is as Michel Fried 1966 essay ‘art and objecthood ‘  agues that as people who started painting just simple shapes and illusions are breaking the norms of painting as before the limitations of painting were that you had clay that dryed very fast and you were only able to paint specific things, therefore breaking the specifics of the media as it now has new bowndrys.

We are able to see this in today’s art forms as videography is now watched on so many platforms that it has opened up its boundrys, as the new tip-ex advertisement allows you to change the ending of the video, doing this by selecting another video by HTML word recognition.     


The Socio cultural tradition and The Simularca and simulation Theory

This is the Idea that you are defined by your identity whether this is Catholic, student or just part of a social group and that you may have your own norms and values.

The roles and rules are worked out interactively within the community and to an outsider they may not understand the meaning, and they could see the act in a whole different meaning. So as such acts could be interpreted to mean something else to an outsider this would mean that the way you think is determined by the people you socialise with as you with. So this could be related to the sign and symbols within film as now with the videographer creating videos for such things as the internet that are viewed not only by one culture or a specific coulture it can be accessed by anyone who has he internet, does this mean they have to change the thought process of how they create a video advertisement as different cultures have different semiotics.

The simulacra and simulation theory

The simulacra and simulation theory could disagree with this, to understand how you first need to understand about reality. First map makers wanted very detailed maps and even to this day google maps is not one hundred percent accurate as a map of my bedroom would consist of if specific my phones position, but the Position of my phone will change very frequently so if the map was in real time then which is reality? Me moving the phone and seeing its position or looking at the map, as you can see the line between reality is becoming finer. The Story of Santa clause really defines this points as in Europe were the story’s originated he was a very mischievous character, but Coke Cole in america came across theses story’s and made there own interpretations of Santa Clause, the point being that copies of copies of copies don’t in the end represent the really thing any more, so this is stating that because of this do the semiotics from 50 years ago still mean the same now.

Evolution of Religion

Lesson 5 (The Comunication Therory) SA section communicating the message

The basic Idea of the communication theory is summed up perfectly by Lasswell Maxim:

‘Who? Saying what to who? In what channel (medium)? With what effect?’

Edward R Tufte’s job is to see how things can be communicated better, and what better thing could he criticise then a program designed to communicate like Powerpoint. He argues that powerpoint makes it difficult to communicate to an audience as it stops two-way communication, eg a response. It also incureges people to put information in short incomplete sentences and this can be miss interpreted.

Comunication is about context, as the same a picture of somthing to somone in China, may mean somthing compleatly different to someone in Africa.

Transmissional – The term use to discribe sending one message, from one person to another perso,n in this specific way stated bellow it the Cybernetic theory of communication by Shannon and Weaver Bell Laboratories. 1949

This description of transmitional data is relatively accurate, and sums up the process of how a message is sent from one person to another.The info source the person who wants to get the message to the other; the Transmitter the way in which they are doing that; the noise is the thing that could detract their attention an have them misinterpret the message; the receiver what ever  the message is displayed on (the actual poster itself); and the destination the person who looks at the poster.

Problems with this way of communicating 

This way of communication is not wrong but it does have its flaws.

Technical flaws – This is making shore the person I send my message to can receive it. There is no point advertising homeless shelters on sky paper view as it is very unlikely homeless people have sky paper view.

Semantic Problems -Precision of language , how much of my message can be taken away without the meaning being lost. If I walk in the room at the end of a tooth bush advert, and just see the last 2 seconds, where it advertises the brand and tooth brush do I still know it was a tooth brush advert.

Effectiveness – Does the massage affect the behaviour the way you wanted it to, has it done its job?

This way of communication only amuses the person who you are sending the message to understands what you are saying.  The one main issue is that without a response from the person we don not know if they have under stud the message. People like Edward R Tufte’s who study how communication could be made better then later updated the model to have feedback.

The Transmissional way of communicating is very effective but it still has its disadvantage, as for the feed back to be received it will follow the same or similar channel as what it has been sent with, which will in term have its own Noises.

This is the basic way communication works but there are seven theorys on how this can be used shown in the chart bellow.

Cybernetic Transmissional Semiotic Constitutive Phenomenological Constitutive Rhetorical Constitutive Socio-Psychological Constitutive Socio-Cultural Constitutive Critical Constitutive
Communication theorized as: Information processing Intersubjective mediation by signs Experience of otherness; dialogue The practical art of discourse Expression, inter-action, & influence (Re)production of social order Discursive reflection
Problems of communication theorized as: Noise; overload; underload; a malfunction or “bug ” in a system Misunderstanding or gap between subjective viewpoints Absence of, or failure to sustain, authentic human relationship Social exigency requiring collective deliberation and judgment Situation requiring manipulation of causes of behavior to achieve specified outcomes Conflict; alienation; misalignment; failure of coordination Hegemonic ideology; systematically distorted speech situation
Metadiscursive vocabulary such as: Source, receiver, signal, information, noise, feed-back, redundancy, network, function Sign, symbol, icon, index, meaning, referent, code, language, medium, (mis)understanding Experience, self &other, dialogue, genuineness, supportiveness, openness Art, method, communicator, audience, strategy, commonplace, logic, emotion Behavior, variable, effect, personality, emotion, perception, cognition, attitude, interaction Society, structure, practice, ritual, rule, socialization, culture, identity, co-construction Ideology, dialectic, oppression, consciousness-raising, resistance, emancipation
Plausible when appeals to metadiscursive commonplaces such as: Identity of mind and brain; value of information and logic; complex systems can be unpredictable Understanding requires common language; omnipresent danger of miscommunication All need human contact, should treat others as persons, respect differences, seek common ground Power of words; value of informed judgment; improvability of practice Communication reflects personality; beliefs & feelings bias judgments; people in groups affect one another. The individual is a product of society; every society has a distinct culture; social actions have unintended effects. Self-perpetuation of power & wealth; values of freedom, equality & reason; discussion produces awareness, insight
Interesting when challenges metadiscursive commonplaces such as: Humans and machines differ; emotion is not logical; linear order of cause and effect Words have correct meanings & stand for thoughts; codes & media are neutral channels Communication is skill; the word is not the thing; facts are objective and values subjective Mere words are not actions; appearance is not reality; style is not substance; opinion is not truth Humans are rational beings; we know our own minds; we know what we see. Individual agency & responsibility; absolute identity of self; naturalness of the social order Naturalness & rationality of traditional social order; objectivity of science & technology

The Systems theory – This theory uses common patters to try to comuicate to someone,using the basses  everything is connected together in some way, this is part of this which effects this.

Semiotics – this uses the fact that are brains are programmed to pattern recognition, so simple signs can give great meaning. This is used greatly in advertising as it is hard to convince someone to buy something though just words alone. So often signs and symbols are added subliminal the way the picture is laid out to indicate the product is fresh or organic, how it good quality ect. Now in these modern time we have got advertising on Television and also the new transmedia of the internet and video being used on there also, however with this new type of advertising has this taken away the media specificity of advertising and changed the roles of videographers or are the fundamentals sill the same.

go into history of radio advertising and how this is media specific different to tv

Transmedia environment overlaps meaning that the media is carried by different communication forms such as the TV, mobile devices ect. So as media is being crated for many different communication methods are we taking away the media specificity and creating a media generalisation. An example of this is how we can understand a photograph, the semiotics of photograph are still the same as a video in the terms of semiotic that are used, if we want to represent danger we could used the colour red ect. An essay  by Lars Ellestrom suggests that if you take somthing as simple as an X, the moment we decided it means something it becomes a sign, and if we then put it in some sort of context we then have a better understanding of what it means. He suggest that there are very many sign systems such as the greek and latin alphabet, the use of sign in mathematics, If I were to take the symbol X and put it in a word such as Mix instantly you will be able to know what this sign means in this situation. This can be said the same as if I put the X in 3 X 6, both 2 different sign systems that use one sign that overlaps. After reading this information it is very clear were the originations of semiotics come from not the film or media industry but the humans ability to create signs and symbols and this is not a new thing as they have been doing this since the ancient Egyptian times and even further back to simple cave paintings. As a development into Television and film are that a original film will use some sort of style not on purpose, as film were new so it was the people who were creating the films to decide what certain movements mean ect. So like Lars Ellestrom suggests these actions will not have meant anything until we made the decision they do, resulting in that the the next time this is used it becomes a sign. All that semiotics are, are the signs and symbols that are placed into a film/TV advertisement/ poster as a system of communication to the audience.

Were as other authors believe that meaning is carried by different communication formats as a still image is used to capture only that moment and to then be interpreted, were as a moving image can tell a story so th this is specific to the moving image.


Three basic concepts

Semantics  – What the signs stand for, a dictioary is a type of semantic it tells use what the signs mean eg latin alphabet and english language.

Syntactics – The relationship between signs as they really stand alone, they are almost alway part of a bigger sign system.

Pragmatics – studies the practical use and effects of signs.

Lesson 4(Sound In Films)

When film first started using sound many people were skeptical, this is most likely because it is  new medium and they are scared it will be used correctly.

Eisenstein was around at the time when sound was first being used and he argued that everyone is using sound wrong, and that films strength is in its montage. He thought that sound would threaten film as a media and all of its achievements will also be threatened as film would no longer be film. His view was film itself was an art form and working with visuals has a powerful effect, but what he has not considered it that sound could enhance the visuals.

Bela Balazs was a person who was very enthusiastic about sound in films and it can enhance such things as the micro visuals or setting off our micro-physiononomy (our small expectations), looking in hindsight lots of horror films use such techniques. In fact all the things Bela Balazs states  such as sound influencing emotion, making film more natural are all true they all do exist today in modern-day cinema.

Both points of view are valid as for Eisenstein sound is changing film and film is no longer as her knows it, but he can not see that film is just expending, just the same as the still  image turned into the moving image. Bela Balazs also has a valid point as the silent film for him is now just a genre of film and film is now becoming every more immersive, but he can not see that silent film to some people is film and film with sound is something completely different.

How sound is used in modern-day films to create effects like emotion -Wall-E :

The main character in Wall-E has no speech so to emphasise his emotions sound is used, fundamentally it is still made in the same way it was 150 years ago. Sound in modern films is not about recording a sound it has turned more into business as copyright and ethical issues now have to be thought about first.

Lesson 3 (How Comics Work)

  • Scott McClowed  First started looking at how comics were traditional made.
  • Early comics were just wordless novels.
What is a comic?
  • Images in a deliberate sequence to convey information.
  • The arrangement of art and balloons in a sequence
  • Pictorial narrative were the words add to the meaning.
Comics have al sorts of layers from realistic to cartoon.
  • Sometimes in order to convey a story it does not have to be realistic as cartoon characters may be easier to show emotion though.
  • Comic may have had a influence on how information on our TV screens are shown now as we have show that we can understand lots of information in one box.
  • Comics have a close relation to film in the shot compassion, close ups ect.
  •  they often show minimal to save time e.g instead of showing a full tree just show the steam.
  • The communication theory the problem of getting information to another person, your message and know if they have under stud.
The History of comics.
  • In 1930 it was the star of transferable media with characters such as Popeye were going from comic to animation.
  • The first colour printing was very crud so they many characters used to have simple bright coloured clothing , the could be the start of the super hero uniform later.
  • In 1939 the super hero became more popular, also becoming more popular during the war as often such super hero’s were seen to be fighting Hitler. They were almost being loyal to the American way with such characters as Captin America.
  • At the end of the end of world war two the super hero character had become a little over played and people did not want this any more and sales began to fall.
  • To stop this the age rang of comics were change trying to bring in other audiences, with comic book writers indulging in other storeys such as horror and detective.
  • The american government did not like this as comic books often mad fun of Political people, this was also the high of the cold war and they were scared of the concept of the communist way of life. They did not want it to effect the American way of life so they bean to sensor comics.
  • Comic characters bean to be suttled sown and started showing the great way of the American life.
  • All the DC characters became boring and sales began to fall.
  • In the 1960 underground comic makers began to make there own comics unknown to the government so they could not be censored.
  • With the change of technologies comics and the way comics were designed was changing.
  • As DC and Marvel dominated the comic industry by about 80% with there super hero comics the under ground comic writers that were not censored began to find a niche in the market and started writing about other things such as the conflict between ideas.
  • Ghost world comic was not about super heroes stuff it was about real life issues.
Comics In Europe.
  • Tin tin and other comics in Europe did not have the influence of America and were often very serious.
  • They were not called comics as the word comic depicted them to be humours, they were called picture strips.
  • After the second world war the French had American influence and often used the hero concept.
  • As the French comic were aimed at adult a lot of intellectuals were reading them, so some of the comics were turned into films.
  • The talked about the concept the fourth wall.
To summarise post modernism has allowed character development to come from all different places, the old super hero character is no the only one being developed so there are more trans-media characters.

Lesson 2 ( Deleuze and Guattari)

This is a book wrote by a philosopher and a psychologist to give two views on new media and its effect on the world.

  • New Media cause’s us to have a slight case of schizophrenia as we have to act out more than one person –  we one identity on facebook – one with our parents – and with the advatising people who kep telling on how we should look, act and feel making us try and live up to expectations.
  • So then we feel we can not be ourselves and worrier about how people precise us.
  • They talk about that there is so much information out there how do we know what to think of it all, hard to have just one way of thinking.
  • Theory’s are Power structure, to try and get you to think like other people, maybe to be controlled – this way is right.
  • That there ins’t a limit to what we can think.