TV is the single most influential cultural form of late 20th century/ early 21th century
contemporary penetration into household
it is the most widely consume medium (av. 13 years)
TV has been an integral element - as both agent and effect - of the on going transformation of modern media culture
print based --> image based culture
Guy Debord = Society of spectacle
-information & communication revolution
-new geopolitical network (nationalism, transnationalism)
-new cultural subjectivity
belief that technology & media shaped society, culture, history
Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) "Medium is the message"
media rewriting all rules of society
"Electronic media is creating a 'global village'"
"Technology will uptake on mass, & change every institution"
ex. Bronze age, Iron age, now it's TV age, internet, etc.
FOUR ERAS OF MEDIA CULTURE:
MEDIUM SOCIETY CHARACTERISTIC
1.speech tribal involved, interdependent
2.writing "Western Man" more detached, linear
3.print media mechanical culture individualised, massified
4.electronic detribalised culture diverse but integrative
TV sits at the intersection of
KEY SOCIAL BINARISM: public/private
TV has traditionally been a mass broadcast medium received in the home
The recent advent of multichanneling, cable, satellite, and digital TV is increasingly leading to a newer model of narrowcasting: however, domestic broadcasting still remain TV's primary mode.
TV is a key institution of "Mobile Privatization"
: modern capitalist societies are characterised by an increasing privatization of subjectivity on the one hand & a compensatory mediated mobility on the other
-Tribal society = collective (village, suburb)
From its beginning, TV was promoted & constructed as a quintessentially domestic medium
--> family tree
Simon During: during its relatively short history, TV's interactions with everyday life has intensity
But it equally challenged the separateness of the domestic sphere by 'bringing the world into our home.'
TV & Ideology
the privileged status of TV as public broadcast medium direct to the family home has made it a particularly effective channel of ideology
TV work to cultivate ideology & mindset
powerful mass medium of socialisation & enculturation
George Gerbner: TV assumed the role performed by religion in earlier culture
TV and Consumerism
TV = central to the promotion of consumerism
as a commodity itself (status symbol of middle-high class)
as a purveyor of commodity (advertisement)
as a channel for promoting ideology of consumerism
TV & Aesthetics
specificity of TV aesthetics
TV has developed its own unique textual & aesthetic modes
-fundamentally different from those of other media
Charlotte Brunsdon "Televsionness of TV"
Heterogeneity of TV Aesthetic
historically, TV developed its textuality out of competing pre-existing sources
-radio, cinema, popular theatre, print media. (ADOPTED & ADAPTED)
Bolter & Grusin: Remediation
Media often comment on reproduce & replace each other
intensified, but not new.
TV helps instigate the age of Hypermediacy
This makes TV textuality hybridised , complex, expansive, sophisticated
TV as Oral Culture:
TV textuality as "flow"
logic of seriality
intertextuality (citation, self-referentiality)
aperture (lack of closure)
TV Textuality as "fragmentary mosaic" John Fiske, John Ellis
formal aesthetic promiscuity
rapid metastasis (constantly moving)
TV textuality as 'ebb and flow' : Jeremy Butler
How to define TV Text?
3 Characteristic TV Genres or Forms
1. soap opera
2. music video
dramatic narrative fiction presented in a continuing, episodic form
originally developed as radio programming in USA early 1930s
daytime serialised stories
"soap" advertisement sponsors the program
"opera" melodramatic style & context
dominant form of daytime fiction program
primary female audience
1950s-70s soap goes on for 10 years
evening serialised drama for wider audience
wealthy family saga
afternoon/primetime serialised drama = adolescent/teen characters & issues
emerged as the dominant form of serialised TV narrative in countries around the world
Seriality of Soap
each episode has contained narrative (ex. sitcoms)
narratives over multiple episodes --> closed/open
Multiple narrative streams: "proliferating storylines"
Linkage between & acres episode
Serial history and memory: requires previous knowledge
Cliffhanger & lack of closure
focused personal/domestic lives of group of interconnected chara.s
short films that combine song with images for marketing, entertainment, artistic
MTV's textual form is post-modern anti-aesthetic
abandon use of cause-effect narrativity
violate time-space coherence
shatters textual & formal unity
foregrounds style & image over content & depth
creates and celebrates "multi sensual semiotic excess"
John Caldwell: "Televisuality"
80s on, uneven shift in paradigm to mythology, framework, & aesthetic
extreme self-consciousness of style
Characterized by: stylistic exhibition & visual excess
obsession with videographic effects
mixed media & digital compositing
avant-garde of TV style --> where tv is pushing the envelope
Televisuality has arguably become the post-modern aesthetic dominant
it articulates through style the rapid tempo & fluid mobility of contemporary global, media culture
functions as semiotic reservoir of competing representational tradition & textual style
pushes the boundaries of audiovisual form
Technological determinists argue TV has directly influenced the shape of modern global societies
in line with broader media histories of mobile privatisation, tv developed as a domestic based broadcast medium
it has assumed a powerful role in processes of ideological reproduction
tv textuality or aesthetics are unique
characterised by fluidity interconnectedness and openness