New Media and Art

Dewey explores the characteristics of the art experience. He explains that a work of art represents the true nature that the creator experiences. The aesthetic experience is not found in museums, or in books. It is in the action of the person. Aesthetic is different for every human. When an individual is engaged in their practice, they are experiencing aesthetic enjoyment. The real art is in making the object. Art is the purist form of the human experience. It comes from emotion within the soul. It organizes the chaos of daily experience into its own meaning. It is not that artists perceive the world differently than others, but its how they make sense of it. The colors, shapes and lines that decide to use, is language that translates their relationship to their experience. What the artists view as important is a result of their own past experiences. Dewey States “In such experiences, every successive part flows freely, without seam and without unfilled blanks, into what ensues” Dewey states that art changes through time. The original work that artists make holds the deepest experience because it is in its purist nature.

Brun’s article was a little confusing for me. I thought it was interesting that he was so ahead of his time, when computers were not even part of everyday life. He discusses the difference between the original tradition of writing music versus the digital way. He says that composer who creates with pencil and paper is more hands on when creating the music. He states the computer can “witness the process in every detail and thus can add or withdraw consequences, redundancies and the like, can audaciously, bitterly, moodily or lazily modify everything by direct, point by point inspection of what they had just written or of what they were just about to be write.” Meanwhile the composer who is using the computer risks truly being part of the creative experience. Only at the end of the computer run, can they edit what was created. The computer’s process takes away the human nature of creating the piece. The computer can create new meaning to the music because emotion of the musician is left out from the new media. It is a different experience that generated a new understanding of the music. Music is brought into a new light with technology, and the opportunities to analyze it. Bruns state that the computer does not threaten to replace humans, but its up to us to understand the systems themselves and how it can conquer chaos.

Both views of Bruns and Dewey state the importance of the actions that go into the aesthetics of art. The experience plays a huge role in the personal value of the piece. An artist’s engagement with digital media differs from “old” media, because digital media creates a new world within itself. The whole step-by-step human process that goes into creating art is more valuable than it’s overall outcome. Musician’s and Artists go through a human ritual of creating. They are living through the art, and making it come to life. Artists are able to organize chaos they experience and communicate it. The meaning has to do with the intention they put in it.


Benjamin and Rancièr

Benjamin discuses the affect of mechanical reproduction on the authenticity of art. He states that the overall experience of viewing art is lessened when not in its original form the artist created it in. The true essence of the art is lost when reproduced into other mediums. Benjamin believes that the true sense of the “aura” is not available when viewing a mechanically reproduced piece. When art is reproduced on a screen or photograph, there is a whole new perception that the viewers have. Benjamin is concerned that the “authenticity” of the piece that is taken away when mechanically reproduced. There is a tension that rises between the new mediums, and the originality of the piece.

Rancièr has a different approach when speaking about art in the modern age. He states how his own philosophical framework has a relation to this argument of modernism and the end of art. Politically, Rancière favors the concept of equality. He states that the aesthetics is in this battle because it takes place over the image of society. There is autonomy and heterogeneity of the art experience. The aesthetics, take place in what the viewer sees, and conceptualizes. He says how the Autonomy of art affects the hope of changing life of the viewer. This experience must carry within them; understanding both the art of beauty, and the art of life. Rancier mentions avant-garde, and how it “isolates art from cultural demand so that it may testify all the more starkly to the heteronomy of thought”. Avant-Garde art is reserved for those who know how to take in the essence of art, and understand its true nature.

Rancièr and Benjamin both believe the affects non-reproduced art has for the viewer, and the dignity of the artist.Art is the most purist form of the human experience. It is very special to create something beautiful, but that also has a emotional connection. If reproduced, many viewers will not understand the language of the artist, and take its convenience for granted. Personally, seeing a great piece of art is a totally different experience than seeing it in a book or online. You are able to really stand in its true beauty, and “aura” as Benjamin says. I think there is more appreciation for the authorship, when seeing it in a museum. There is gratefulness that goes into being fortunate enough to see its originality. Viewing art in its authentic form creates a sublime experience and leads to inspiration.

Reading Into Technology

In Authors, Bolter, Jay David and Richard Grusin’s article, they discus how media has controlled our the views of the western world.  Mediums have changed over the course of time, and technology plays a role in its development. Immediacy is the idea that the consumer of media , craves for the medium to be invisible in their experience. They want to disappear in its form, and become lost in it. One example  of Immediacy is a Virtuality Reality Golfing Range. This is a new technology that lets golfers practice their swing indoors. They are put in front of a big screen, and given a golf club. There is a green set up, but no ball. When they swing it automatically connects to the screen, as if you virtually hit the ball. These golf goers become immersed in the media, and feel as if they are really at a real golfing range. Hypermediacy, is different from the idea of this. The viewer is aware of the medium, and it becomes part of their experience. This idea requires the viewers to be conscience of the medium and desire that technology. This technology is familiar to the viewer because of its similarity to real life objects. An example of this is the new Stationary bike craze “Peloton”. Peloton mimics a bike, and makes the user feel like they are in a cycling class. In reality they are at home, exercising. The screen that comes with the bike can mimic real life landscapes, like the beach, forests, etc. The bike and the screen is part of the experience, as users can stream cycling classes to follow. They are able to race other Peloton users, as if it were real life. Remediation is the is combination of old media taking a new technical form. I saw an example with Kindles, Ipads, and tablets. Many people say books will disappear, because so many people are buying their reading material virtually. EBooks, a low people to read material, on a new medium. Books are still popular, but eBooks are trying to show more convenience. One can copy and paste from the eBook pages, highlight, and some even have interactive visuals. The EBook is trying to take over the classic medium of a hard copy book. It is still obvious it is a book, but just a more “high tech” version. I think that the peloton bike, and EBook can be viewed as both Hypermediacy and remediacy. The technology is part of both experiences, and its convenience is what makes it attractive. Peloton revolutionized the stationary bike, and made it more a virtual experience. The eBook, takes the model of a book, but in a virtual form.

Understanding these examples in a more material form, helps you understand the technologies affects on our culture. We can see how the history of technology unfolds, and where it develops from.  Hayles demonstrates how media was evolved from literacy. She encourages to really observe the technology, and try to encode it. If we understand technology deeper with a sense of awareness we are able to recognize the language it is communicating in our society. We are able to point out the roles it has had in our culture and make connections between mediums.

The Cyborg

Lahti’s article explores the human nature of video game playing, and what it does to our mind. He states how video games can become part of someone’s identity. Someone can express their gender, weather it is align with their sex or not (not that it even has to be, but society believes it does) with out being judged. They can be themselves on this online world and immerse them selves into this virtual realm. Immersion and embeddedness are related, but embeddedness is actually life consuming. When someone embeds themselves to technology, they are dependent on it and need it to survive. It is really part of their physical lives unlike immersion. Immersion is a virtual realm that people feel part of. They feel like they belong to the video game they play. You can take yourself out of immersing to something, but it is much for difficult than to un-embedded yourself. Immersion connects the body and mind, which can be separated.

I feel like Haraway is expressing that robots are birthed out of a flawed patriarchal society. With this in mind, it can be seen as imperfect. Humans might need robots, but robots do not need humans. A robot might want to overthrow its origins, which alludes to the politics of feminism. The roots in the military industry looks at the cyborg as a monster. She states that it is a figure of hope for progressive theories because it is not loyal to its militaristic maker. The cyborg is expressed as both a metaphor for the political and postmodernism aspects of identity and also as a real form of new technology in our lives.

I think the Utopian approaches to technology believe that technology could be the answer to a progressive world. She believes that “We have all been injured, profoundly. We require regeneration, not rebirth, and the possibilities for our reconstitution include the utopian dream of the hope for a monstrous world without gender.” The technological approaches do not challenge the norms in society. Lahti’s example of gender in video games, does not allude to the real world. It instead makes the opportunity to be yourself more difficult in real life.


Lets not let technology take over

Wiener states that everything in the world is structured in a certain way, society revolves around hierarchy. There is an Animal side of communication. As humans Wiener states we communicate through our senses. There is a animal side of communication, which is non-verbal. This has to do with hierarchy because it is a way of selling things. Companies need to know how humans perceive things to sell them. Everything in society is bought and sold, only exist through profit. He concludes that when you study social science you can never know anything truly unlike statistical measures because it will never be for sure. Social Sciences are important to understand but not tangible. With social sciences there are many factor that go into studying it. People are in touched with their needs, but if you put something else in front of them they react different depending on the situation. Language is very important for this matter. Technology is a means of communicating but we need to understand how people think in order to get them to listen. To sell newspapers, or any type of media is important to under stand social sciences.

Hayles argues that Wiener sees communication as a relation. The quote that I think best describes her view is when she states “He realized that one of the subtle implications of this view is that messages are constitrrted, measured, and communicated not as things-in-themselves but as relational differences between elements in a field. Communication is about relation, not essence” Hayles is saying that it’s not about what is being communicated but it is about the relation of the communicators. Hayles analyzes Wieners writings and clears them up in her own theory. Wiener had a hard time studying social sciences, because it is not as tangible as say physics. Hayles states “Confronted with two situations, he was much more inclined to move easily and quickly to an abstract level, where similarities in patterns became evident, than to remain attentive to the particularities that made each situation unique”. Here she critiques Wieners understanding of communication, was not on a social studies level. Humans are more complex than Wiener states them to be.

The advantages of thinking about humans as technology as part of an integrated system let’s us see what machines can do for us. It makes us realize what we are missing, and how machines can assist us. If we look at what we have in relation to technology, we can see more clearly the possibilities it can do. We are not like animals though, and cannot follow such Hierarchy that Wiener states. I believe humans are more powerful than technology, and we have the ability to be imaginative and have pure thought. We are individuals with separate experiences, and it is dehumanizing to expect us all to conform.

Wiener believes that we can be summed down to a systematic theory but that is not the case. Even though we are able to communicate through nonverbal interactions, it is not as strong as other forms of communication. The idea of cybernetics reminded me of a quote by Einstein “ I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”

Possibly this day is coming closer and closer as humans are more and more dependent on technology. For example soon, uber will have self-driving cars. Uber used many individuals to build up their empire, making them work like worker bees, but will ultimately replace them with technology. Robots will replace humans, which is very terrifying.

The Media does not define us

Media plays an important role in the shaping of our society. It is essential to understand this because it tries to have power over people’s judgments towards each other. Media perpetrates stereotypical representations which individuals feel pressure to be submissivie to. It constructs irrational ideas of how our society should be. The media carefully promotes certain images, which manipulate our society. The audience of the content is also well thought out along with what type of message is conveyed. The media’s goal is to control the collective consensus of society, and strategically does so.

The stronger messages that people receive are powerful through the way they are communicated. When Osborne and Rose mention the opinion industry it really stuck out to me because it made think of how media causes the public opinion. Public opinion causes a controlled set of ideas which all relates to media. Osborne and Rose state “The activity of politics, of advertising, of marketing, indeed public debate itself seems unimaginable without reference to public opinion” The opinion industry knows exactly what type of audience they are targeting, and the messages they are trying to set.

There are images that are sent through different forms of media are not in any way realistic, and extremely irrational. Gray describes the ways media portrays African American people and the lack of the diversity within it. This is a serious problem because it is pushing controlling messages among our society, and trying to control the audience. Gray mentions a quote stating, ” The cultural politics of difference within the sign of blackness, black life and culture are constantly made, remade, modified, and extended.” The characters minorities play on television are not accurate, and a true representation of our society, but media tries to make it seem that way. Gray also states, “In all of the television representations of cultural difference there remains a contradictory character, one where the leaks, fractures, tensions, and contradictions in a stratified multicultural society continue to find expression.” There is a division from the true identify of someone and the stereotype that media tries to portray, which does not causes harmony in our society. I can relate to how women are not represented accurately on television, as they are usually seen as a sexual, bad natured object. For women in movies and television shows they are either seen through means of their sexuality. For example they are either played as the innocent girl next-door or as the sultry villain. In advertisements women are seen submissive to the male figure in every photo, as if they cant control themselves around men.

In Lisa Nakamura essay she explains how the Internet uses race as a marketing tool. She states how making the individual select a certain group to they identify with to access a portal is a chance for companies to make a direct advertising towards them. They are targeting their audience through a means of race, which I believe is not accurate or justified in any way. Ethnicity is important but it should not define someone under medias twisted vision. As individuals, we have many different attributes that make up our identity and media does not portray that at all. Media groups people together based on stereotypes and ignorance.

The readings show how media tries to manipulate its audience, through classification. Especially with the campaign, politicians try to manipulate their supporters through all sorts of idiotic promises. They know about certain demographics and who’s supporting them, which plays a role in the messages they promote in order to obtain a strong following.

The Discipline of Media

Media controls people’s behavior because it sets norms that society feels they need to conform too. There is pressure in out culture due to representations in media that affect the way we act and portray our selves in the world. Michael Foucault argues that discipline is a strategy of social organization and control. He states it began at the end of the classical age and came into play in the modern period. He argues that characteristics of technologies have the ability to normalize, homogenize and differentiate. Norms are carefully established and maintained, and have the capability to measured on a scale. The goal is to move up this scale in professions. Foucault states that institutions through a system of rewards and punishments enforce the limitations of discipline. Even though we are not physically in prison we are treated like prisoners. We are expected to conform to these limitations given to us. The ultimate punishment of not following these norms is exclusion. You are out casted from fitting in with society, by not staying in line with discipline. Media sets these examples and portrays stereotypes many feel they need to follow.

I believe the panopticon system is hybrid of both. It is a means to control our society, and with control of society you control capitalism. As Galloway states “protocols are all the conventional rules and standards that govern relationships within networks”. This protocol controls the information media feeds us. It controls our perspectives, and behavior in the world. Panopticon is a system that gives power to the big man who are observing and controlling us, like prisoners. Our brains are being manipulated which guarantees power to these people. To keep big businesses on top of the food chain, there are relationships in media that operate the control. Everything in our society relates to money, the control of our life is how big companies get it.

It is scary that in the article thee author says how Hannity states “No presidential candidate in history, understands television better than Trump –“. This is a terrifying thought that just shows how trumps campaign, is targeting and brainwashing many people. He knows how the business works and is using that in his favor to have control in his political career. This is an example of how he controls his supporters, and if he’s president he will control us.