Alan N. Shapiro, Visiting Professor in Transdisciplinary Design, Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen, Germany

Blog and project archive about transdisciplinary design, media theory and creative coding

A Turning Point for Media?

No Comments »

This is the Abstract of a lecture that I will give sometime in 2011-2012, at a location to be disclosed later.

Media studies has operated with a binary opposition or dualism between deep thinkers like Innis, McLuhan and Baudrillard who disparaged content and believed that “the medium is the message” and ordinary practitioners who wrote about content but in a way rather uninformed by theory. A second major binary opposition is that between the study of the “entertainment” media (like  film  and TV shows) and the “news” media (politics and current events). What new conceptions of how the media really work do we need to get beyond these two dualisms and set the field of media studies on a new footing? In this lecture, I will present an overview of my work in media sociology: the search for a method to jumpstart the field that is grounded in real examples. I will briefly touch on the following 12 examples from my research: ”intellectual” TV shows like Star  Trek, Lost, and The X-Files; reality TV shows like Big BrotherSurvivor, and American Idol; the TV spectacle of war; TV sports like football and soccer; Las Vegas, casinos, and sports gambling; Disneyland and theme parks; shopping malls and department stores; the “wandering spectacle” of mobile phones and PDAs; computer games; 3D virtual worlds like Second Life;  Internet sex and pornography; and advanced AI  software.

Leave a Reply