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No 12 I May 2010 DOSSIER From the digitization of culture
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Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, The Humanities in the Digital Era. http digithum uoc edu, Presentation, From the digitization of culture. to digital culture, Pau Alsina, Lecturer Arts and Humanities Department UOC. palsinag uoc edu, Date submitted April 2010, Date accepted April 2010. Date published May 2010, Definitions of many kinds have been generated throughout his culture itself does it really need specific treatment depending on.
tory and by many disciplines for the broad term culture These its underlying material substrates Or does digital culture refer to. definitions fall into two basic groups First there is the humanistic a modus operandi and a specific essence that confers culture with. concept of culture which views culture as referring to all kinds of additional properties If so what is digital culture And more to. cultural productions including arts such as literature music and the point given that so many areas of human action have been. the visual and performing arts Then there is the anthropological digitized and that the frontiers between the digitization of culture. concept of culture which understands culture to be any human and digital culture are melting away does it make any sense to. manifestation and the product of a specific way of living feeling study the part without considering the whole . and doing Since information and communication technologies ICTs . Today these two basic concepts with their many spinoffs and came into our lives they have inspired technophiles and tech . offshoots are juxtaposed in theoretical and practical discussions nophobes utopias and dystopias of all kinds In the long history. of all kinds causing a certain degree of confusion debate and of humankind there have been fervent defenders of the inherent. conflict in culture strategy plans state support programmes and benefits of new technologies that offered the potential to change. subsidies action plans of culture centres art institutions cultural many of the foundations of culture and so develop a new cultural. festivals etc Culture as a term is difficult to define contain or paradigm As for the ICTs they have many detractors who are. confine it aims to embrace all reality in a failed attempt to bring critical of their alleged benefits and who fail to see technological. it into an all encompassing and universal culture innovation as an agent for structural change or that the ICTs have. If rather than a fixed set of practices and interpretations anything new to contribute to an already consolidated culture. we understand culture to be a process in which meanings are and society . produced and exchanged in other words a process in which Since the advent of the ICTs there have been fervently opti . meanings are appropriated negotiated and contrasted then mistic discourses associated with their impact on culture They are. culture is clearly a dynamic process rather than an immutable conceived as essentially democratizing and as devoid of power and. essence Culture when understood as a dynamic system with control as the result of their allegedly non hierarchical horizontal . flows of people information and products adopts different forms ity Recall the unrealistic expectations regarding e commerce in. in response to dynamic models of the relationships between indi the early internet years and more recently regarding the partici . viduals societies and territories patory dynamics of the all encompassing web 2 0 consider the. The term digital culture sits uneasily within the inherent dyna expectations generated by the potential of computer simulation. mism of culture as it restricts and delimits something as free and and calculation in the context of virtual reality substituting for. open as we understand culture to be Does digital culture have physical presence the exaggerated claims regarding developments. a set of specific distinguishing characteristics of its own Should in artificial intelligence and experiments with artificial life repro . digital culture be treated separately from the rest of culture And ducing the properties of what we understand to be life Today. Digithum no 12 May 2010 ISSN 1575 2275 A scientific e journal published by the Arts and Humanities Department. Pau AlsinaBorges S iz, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. The Humanities in the Digital Era, http digithum uoc edu From the digitization of culture to digital culture. we can up or down grade many such expectations generated Charlie Gere from Lancaster University in the United King . in the early years of the development of digital culture and dom discusses some of the implications of the changes brought. likewise with the influence of the ICTs on culture given how about by digital technologies in relation to the concepts of subject . the potential attached to the imaginary of the digital compares consumer and community Derrick de Kerckhove director of the. with the effectiveness of the real McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology at the University of. Many kinds of technophiles and technophobes technological Toronto reflects on changes in the relationship between passive. utopias and dystopias have arisen in response to the different types spectators and active participants in the mass popularization of. of technologies prevailing at particular times in history Adopting the three dimensional technologies and in connection with the. a stance that is neither fatalistically pessimistic nor exacerbatedly imaginary associated with virtual reality . optimistic however today we can state in view of the knowl From Naples the academic Tiziana Terranova contrasts certain. edge gained from our experience with ICTs in recent years that key concepts of the political economy of culture questioning the. ICTs have undoubtedly brought and are bringing about significant alternative nature of new forms of cooperative social production. changes in our sociocultural context We are thus in a position to associated with the specific contributions of digital culture and. draw a sufficiently realistic picture of the transformations currently exploring how this cooperation may offer a real alternative to. under way in culture and society the logic of the competition based market as the basis for new. This dossier aims to provide a multifaceted view and a number forms of production From S o Paulo Rodrigo Savazoni shares. of perspectives on what has been termed digital culture and on his thoughts and experiences regarding participatory dynamics. the impact of the digital technologies in the field of culture in its in the Brazilian Digital Culture Forum positing the existence of. broadest sense It contains contributions from leading theorists a close tie between democracy innovation and digital culture . and activists involved in the development and analysis of digital Finally Aleksandra Uzelak from Zagreb describes the potential of. culture Coming from different parts of the world they depart digital technologies for the culture sector and argues for the need. from the local yet offer a global vision of digital culture to seek ways to properly fulfil that potential . Digithum no 12 May 2010 ISSN 1575 2275 A scientific e journal published by the Arts and Humanities Department. Pau Alsina, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, The Humanities in the Digital Era. http digithum uoc edu, From the digitization of culture to digital culture. Some thoughts on Digital Culture , Charlie Gere, Head of the Department of Media .
Film and Cultural Studies , Lancaster University UK . c gere lancaster ac uk, Submission date April 2010. Accepted date April 2010, Published in May 2010, This essay considers some of the implications of the momentous changes being brought about by new digital technologies particularly. in relation to conceptions of the subject the consumer and community . web 2 0 digital culture internet of things,Algunes reflexions sobre la cultura digital. Aquest article examina algunes de les implicacions dels transcendentals canvis que comporten les noves tecnologies digitals sobretot. amb relaci a les concepcions del subjecte el consumidor i la comunitat . Paraules clau,web 2 0 cultura digital internet dels objectes.
One of the concomitants of our current digital culture is the sense more rapid technological change and development than in all of. of rapid change It is the increasingly rapid development and previous human history . complexity of technology that is making things change so rapidly One of the results of this accelerating rate of growth is that. Our technologies are always in the process of changing us and it is increasingly hard if not impossible for us to fully grasp what. our relationship with our environment The difference is the rate is going on Though most of us are aware of other technologi . at which this change is taking place For the first few million cal developments and issues for example questions of nuclear. years of hominoid and human tool use change would have been power and nuclear weaponry industrial production and its effects. more or less imperceptible Then within the last twenty to thirty on the environment diminishing energy reserves and the search. thousand years developments started to pick up pace By the for renewable and sustainable sources of energy our most vivid. time we arrive at the modern era technology is developing at an encounter with technology and experience of its capacity for. incredible rate for those of us in the developed world at least change is likely to be through our media which are changing. Finally the last one hundred or so years have seen more and and developing in extraordinary and unprecedented ways This. Extracted from the introduction and conclusion to the second edition of my book Digital Culture Reaktion Books 2002 2008 . Digithum no 12 May 2010 ISSN 1575 2275 A scientific e journal published by the Arts and Humanities Department. FedericoGere, Charlie Borges S iz, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. The Humanities in the Digital Era, http digithum uoc edu Some thoughts on Digital Culture. is particularly true of digital media such as the internet and the digital technology let alone the accidental launching of nuclear. world wide web mobile telephony and digital video which either missiles Yet the new century had barely begun when another. enable us now to do things we did before more often and more apocalyptic event took place that though not directly caused by or. easily or to do things we could previously barely imagine linked to digital technology revealed the precariously inter linked. More dramatically they are in the process of transforming not nature of the emerging digital culture . just our world but our very selves how we understand who we On 6 September 2001 an exhibition by the artist Wolfgang. are They are changing everything including the idea of media Staehle called 2001 opened at the Postmasters Gallery in New. itself already a problematic and contentious term And this is York Staehle was already recognized as a pioneer of art involv . the problem almost by definition any radical transformations ing the Internet In 1991 he had founded The Thing a bulletin. brought about by the media are impossible to fully grasp at the board that became one of the first and most influential forums. time they are taking place This is because how we understand for the discussion of new media art and theory By the time of. the world is structured by and accessible through our media if his Postmasters show Staehle had developed a distinctive practice. you use the term in the broadest sense to include for example involving the projection of high resolution digital images onto. language There is not indeed there cannot be a point outside gallery walls What made these images unusual was that they were. of our media from which we can have some kind of privileged coming from a realtime live feed refreshed every few seconds . un or premeditated perspective on any aspect of our existence In effect the spectator was seeing the view represented more or. let alone that of media itself less as it actually was at the moment of viewing . Consider how someone in Europe in the late fifteenth century For this exhibition Staehle had projected three such real time. might have understood the development of printing However images one of the Fernsehturm the distinctive and recognizable. educated he or she might have been it is unlikely that they could television tower in Berlin one of Comburg a monastery near Stutt . have grasped the full implications of this new media technology gart and a view of Lower Manhattan from a camera positioned in. or the dramatic effects it would have on Western and eventually Brooklyn Seen in normal circumstances Staehle s images convey. global culture and society His or her way of thinking would have an experience of stillness despite being more or less live and. evolved within and for a particular media ecology and thus would brilliantly bring into question the difference between live and still. not be fit for comprehending new emerging media conditions It imagery and the broader issues of time and representation In the. is surely far more likely that in the late fifteenth century at least case of the image of Lower Manhattan this stillness was shattered. printing would still have been regarded as an extension or more five days later in a most extraordinary and unpredictable fashion . efficient scribal practice a kind of prosthesis or substitute for the when the World Trade Center which dominated the projected. production of texts by hand not as the means for a wholesale view was attacked and destroyed by two hijacked aircraft . transformation of the intellectual environment Staehle himself was not particularly pleased by the unantici . We are perhaps at a similar moment in our understanding of pated and uncalled for fame and even notoriety that the terrorist. the transformations being wrought by our new technologies But event brought to this particular exhibition Nevertheless it helped. this is to fall into the trap of thinking of current technological and delineate an important connection between the real time technol . media change in terms of earlier such transformations Much as ogy used by Staehle and the context in which the attacks took. military planners are always said to be making preparations to place and were received He was taking advantage of the extraor . re fight the last war rather than the new one they are going to dinary capacity of new digital networks and new technologies. be confronted with we can only understand new media in terms to make information and representations immediately available . of old It is possible that the ability to fully grasp the implications which in turn is transforming our relation to events as they happen. of the transformations wrought by printing only occurs when print and also transforming the nature of those events themselves . culture itself has began properly to be superseded by electronic This is nicely indicated by the title of a book about the at . post print culture If we were capable of understanding the tacks written by Middle East expert and academic Fred Halliday . changes around us then they would not truly be changes but Two Hours that Shook the World Halliday s title clearly refers. merely developments of the present situation to journalist John Reed s classic eyewitness account of the Bol . All we can do therefore is to map the changes we see in the shevik revolution of October 1917 Ten Days that Shook the. hope of maintaining our grasp on our rapidly changing situa World 1919 The difference between the two titles indicates. tion Despite all the predictions about the so called Y2K bug the with admirable economy the increasing speed at which world . new millennium did not see the breakdown of banking computer transforming events take place This speeding up is directly related. systems or the collapse of the systems governing the distribution to the increasing ubiquity and availability of media digital and. of welfare provision or even the operational failure of medical otherwise through which such events can be witnessed News. equipment air conditioning systems elevators electricity grids of the events during the Russian Revolution was only obtainable. traffic or air traffic control systems or any other system that uses afterwards through print media such as newspapers By the time. Digithum no 12 May 2010 ISSN 1575 2275 A scientific e journal published by the Arts and Humanities Department. Charlie Gere, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, The Humanities in the Digital Era. http digithum uoc edu Some thoughts on Digital Culture. of the September 11 attacks it was possible for people all over nor strictly speaking a digital phenomenon From the moment. the world to watch the assaults more or less as they took place recordable video cassettes and audio cassettes were first available. and to witness the aftermath including the dramatic collapse of we no longer had to watch a programme at the moment it was. the towers themselves broadcast or listen to the contents of a record in the sequence. Furthermore this was not just possible through mainstream it was put together . media such as television but also through news websites In fact Banal as this might seem it was transformative for how we. the demand for news was so great that the internet more or less related to media products such as television and music The pe . seized up and many people abandoned it and turned to radio and riod in which video and audio recording technologies became. television Nevertheless the speed at which news of the attacks widely available also saw the beginnings of sampling and mixing. went around the globe was evidence of a highly interconnected in popular music in which found material was reused to make. world brought together in part at least by new media and new new tracks which can be seen as a prefiguring of our current shift. technologies Soon after bulletin boards and chat rooms on the from passive consumption to active production But there is an. web became host to an extraordinary proliferation of eyewitness important difference between these earlier analogue phenom . accounts images debates conspiracy theories and accusations ena and the new digital means of controlling how one consumes. about the attacks media content The former were subordinate to the mainstream. In place of the hierarchical mass media model of communica media such as records radio and television which still determined. tion flowing from the centre outwards we glimpse a more distrib in general how their content was consumed whereas the new. uted flat or bottom up paradigm It means that media companies technologies are fundamentally altering our relation to media in. will be increasingly obliged to take notice of the expectations of a a profound and radical way . new kind of consumer and perhaps even a new kind of subject The social network spaces MySpace or Facebook reveal some . one who does not expect to be treated as an anonymous invisible thing about the way in which web 2 0 is being used Browsing on. passive consumer but an active user of media who is used to cre either is a fascinating if rather voyeuristic experience Individual. ating their own means of responding to needs and desires Blogs users web pages can be customised and contain personal informa . are often cited as one of the principle phenomena of the so called tion pictures of friends who are also on MySpace accompanied by. web 2 0 the name given to the conception of the world wide a message stating how many friends the user has and displays of. web as a space for collaboration and reciprocal communication often rather intimate email messages from those friends When it. Among these developments are social network software such first started one of the people identified as a founder of MySpace . as MySpace Bebo Facebook and Second Life which involves Tom Anderson would be the first friend each subscriber had. users interacting in a shared virtual three dimensional space or online By clicking on a link on each page it s possible to see. YouTube Flickr and del icio us which respectively allow video pictures of and links to all of a user s friends with Tom always. clips photographs and web bookmarks to be uploaded to the among them Thus the satirical self pitying t shirt slogan Tom. web peer to peer software such as Napster and BitTorrent for is my only friend By spring 2008 Tom had 221 036 100 friends . sharing digital music and video files powerful search engines most Following the purchase of MySpace by Rupert Murdoch s News. famously Google new forms of public debate and self expression Corporation Tom is now a corporate identity rather than a refer . such as blogs and podcasts and new forms of organizing and ence to a specific individual . distributing knowledge such as Wikipedia In particular the kinds The customization of the page by users and presentation of. of online communities fostered by MySpace and other similar sites personal information act as a kind of visible self creation The. for example Bebo and Facebook as well as link and file sharing messages are also links to the other users own web pages which. software such as Flickr and de li co us are encouraging a new means that it is possible to browse across complex webs of con . understanding of how it is possible to make the media responsive nections In MySpace there are also links to music or to videos. to personal needs and niche concerns from sites such as YouTube Both MySpace and FaceBook offer. It may be that most people do not take advantage at first a glimpse of a new kind of community one no longer bound up. anyway of these possibilities Nevertheless such possibilities will with physical location but created through shared interest in and. determine how the media will be structured and considered The self definition by media The above might suggest that with new. transformations in the media brought about by new technologies digital media and networks we are either glimpsing the emergence. are transforming how we think about ourselves In particular we of a new participatory culture of greater cooperation or solidar . are no longer passive consumers of the media but increasingly ity or alternatively our digital culture runs the risk of producing. also actively producers At the most banal this means that through a pandemonium of competing media noise self promotion and. technologies such as Tivo or the iPod we can programme our me meaningless disembodied interaction in an increasingly atomized. dia content as we wish rather than in the way it is presented to us society But perhaps another response is possible or even neces . by television or record companies In one sense this is neither new sary one that goes beyond such an opposition between greater. Digithum no 12 May 2010 ISSN 1575 2275 A scientific e journal published by the Arts and Humanities Department. Charlie Gere, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, The Humanities in the Digital Era. http digithum uoc edu Some thoughts on Digital Culture. cooperation and increasing atomization We live in a world in if these capacities do not seem to involve anything like human. which we are increasingly both bound together and separated by intelligence or consciousness Examples include recent research. the globalized networks of information communications technolo into developing simple forms of intelligent behaviour by combining. gies It is perhaps unsurprising that the concept of friendship robotics with neural networks as undertaken by computer scientist. has become more visible and important as traditional forms of Rodney Brooks at MIT It is unlikely that in the foreseeable future . community are eroded and new forms of subjectivity and connec even minimally intelligent robots are going to trouble our every . tion are being developed Yet in a situation where Tom can claim day lives By contrast far smaller and less potentially impressive. to have well above 200 million friends the very term friendship developments are already provoking questions about the capacity. needs rethinking Thus what our increasingly networked digital for technology to act and participate Recently a new buzz phrase. culture may need is a new politics of friendship new conceptions has been coined the Internet of Things refers to the new world of. of the relation between self and other and new understandings networked and interconnected devices which can communicate. of community with each other and with other systems and entities . It may be that we will have to expand our notion of who or Such developments indicate the more momentous changes. what might be part of any future community especially given the taking place in our current digital culture changes that affect. increasing capacity for participation Back in the 1950s and 60s it every aspect of our lives and which are increasingly hard to dis . was seriously proposed that computers would be able to achieve cern as they become increasingly easy to take for granted In. some kind of intelligence or even consciousness Based on an particular we are arriving at a point where digital technologies. outmoded modernist conception of cognition as an interior pro are no longer merely tools but increasingly participants in our. cess artificial intelligence at least as it was originally understood increasingly participatory culture for better or worse The need to. has been largely discredited But more recent developments many keep questioning our situation remains more pressing than ever . of which came out of AI are presenting us with objects and tech especially as the technology itself is more and more invisible as it. nologies that can act communicate signify and participate even becomes an integral part of the very fabric of our existence . Recommended citation, GERE Charlie 201 Some thoughts on Digital Culture In Pau ALSINA coord From the digitization of culture to.
digital culture online dossier Digithum No 12 UOC Accessed dd mm yy . http digithum uoc edu ojs index php digithum article view n12 gere n12 gere eng . ISSN 1575 2275, This work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial No Derivative Works 3 0 Spain licence . It may be copied distributed and broadcast provided that the author and the e journal and the institution that. publish it Digithum FUOC are cited Commercial use and derivative works are not permitted The full licence. can be consulted on http creativecommons org licenses by nc nd 3 0 es deed en . Digithum no 12 May 2010 ISSN 1575 2275 A scientific e journal published by the Arts and Humanities Department. Charlie Gere, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, The Humanities in the Digital Era. http digithum uoc edu Some thoughts on Digital Culture. Charlie Gere, Head of the Department of Media , Film and Cultural Studies . Lancaster University UK , c gere lancaster ac uk, Lancaster University. Bailrigg LA1 4YD UK, Charlie Gere is Reader in New Media Research and Head of the Department of Media Film and Cultural Studies.
at Lancaster University He is the author of Digital Culture 2002 2008 Art Time and Technology 2006 . Non Relational Aesthetics 2008 and Art After God forthcoming 2011 and co editor of White Heat Cold. Logic 2008 and Art Practice in a Digital Culture 2010 as well as numerous chapters and articles He was. chair of Computers and the History of Art CHArt from 2001 to 2009 principle investigator on the AHRC . funded Computer Arts Contexts Histories etc CACHe research project from 2002 2005 and co curated. the FEEDBACK exhibition at Laboral in Gijon northern Spain in 2007 . Digithum no 12 May 2010 ISSN 1575 2275 A scientific e journal published by the Arts and Humanities Department. Charlie Gere, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, The Humanities in the Digital Era. http digithum uoc edu, From the digitization of culture to digital culture. Avatar Pinocchio 2 0, or The end of the Society of the Spectacle . Derrick de Kerckhove, Director of the McLuhan Program in Culture Technology. Professor in the Department of French at the University of Toronto. d dekerckhove utoronto ca, Submission date April 2010.
Accepted date April 2010, Published in May 2010, The article analyses the concept that deems the film Avatar part of a shared and objective imaginary and an allegory for the struggle. between good and evil Alongside this analysis there is a review of recent films in the history of cinema that have handled these. issues analogising the avatar as a reinvention of Pinocchio for the electronic age Likewise there is analysis of the new participatory. experience for audiences provided by 3D technology and of the new virtual reality through platforms such as Second Life . avatar cinema 3D virtual reality Pinocchio, Avatar Pinotxo 2 0 o La fi de la societat de l espectacle . A partir de la pel l cula Avatar s analitza el concepte que titula la pel l cula com a part d un imaginari objectiu i compartit i com una. forma al leg rica de la lluita del b contra el mal A aquesta an lisi se li suma un rep s de les pel l cules m s recents de la hist ria. del cinema que tracten aquesta dimensi i es fa una analogia de l avatar com el Pinotxo reinventat per a l era electr nica Alhora . s analitza la nova experi ncia participativa del p blic davant de la tecnologia 3D i d una nova realitat virtual amb plataformes com. Second Life ,Paraules clau,avatar cinema 3D realitat virtual Pinotxo. Digithum no 12 May 2010 ISSN 1575 2275 A scientific e journal published by the Arts and Humanities Department. Federicode, Derrick Borges S iz, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. The Humanities in the Digital Era,http digithum uoc edu Avatar .
Pinocchio, , 2 0 or The, , end of the Society of the Spectacle . I can still recall not without irony those images of cinemagoers show is a kind of collective meditation television itself is a. of the 1950s entranced by the first 3D films with those white calming object a Buddhist experience It hypnotises you it. glasses and I also remember that at the time it was thought consumes your being If this is the case and it probably is . that there was no future for 3D technology as it was considered a the fact that we are increasing interaction with the screen . mere passing fad Today Avatar may represent a new generation and have been ever since the invention of the remote control . of films 3D is no longer just a fad but rather a cultural necessity is changing things or rather inverting them Interaction has. for the new Society of the Spectacle which is also defined as already become a kind of penetration into the things with. the society of participation which you are interacting The television screen and any other. screen offers the viewer s pupils an inverted iris It is said. Image 1 1950 s 3D broadcasting that the cells of the iris are brain cells removed to the outside. world A connected screen is equivalent to an iris connected. to a global data processing system and therefore to a brain . In the internet the inverted iris is faithfully connected to a. brain that of the network and to that of its users The screen. is nothing more than a passageway In his prophetic film The. Icicle Thief Italy 1989 Maurizio Nichetti puts his leading. character a television director inside the television set itself . In Avatar we go as far as submerging ourselves in the other. side of the television We are in tune with the mantra and. therefore we are in Paradise , The objective imaginary world. Although Avatar is not in itself interactive in terms of cine . matographic projection it nevertheless represents a paradoxical. role model and the possibility of viewer experience The first. question one should ask is how 3D effects change the viewer s. position Although we ourselves do not move we are inside. a scene rather than just in front of it and the scene changes. around our body The resulting experience is not therefore . merely visual but also tactile We are asked to physically feel. In your face cinema the changes in cinematographic space This tactile aspect is. inherent in films but in general unappreciated The impact of. 3D in films is no longer just a casual occurrence just another the image and particularly cinematographic movement causes. special effect It is a new and powerful indicator of a move away a slight muscular reaction that helps us understand what we. from the classical perspective Virtual reality is one of the clearest have seen This impact is greater in violent or horror films where. or perhaps most banal ways of creating sensory experiences in the body s reaction although strong is completely predictable . our neo Baroque epoch We too are carrying out le d r glement With Avatar this physical aspect of the show can no longer. de tous les sens the derangement of all the senses The magic be denied . lantern of illusions instead of allowing me to see the show from the 3D is tactile it boosts proprioception and amplifies all senso . outside pulls me into the scene or even surrounds me with it I go rial sensations To orient yourself in 3D you have to move In. there in the literal sense of going to a place enter inside of it and contrast in the classical perspective the viewpoint is blocked . if I cannot go it is the show that comes to me and penetrates me In virtual reality and 3D space is manipulated like a musical in . 3D and virtual reality turns the viewpoint around because strument The entire body is affected Modulations of the gap. the user enters into the show In all virtual worlds the user is the between the world and myself or between two or more persons. content and also the target of the entire performance I am in the can be of different types However like all forms of interactivity . sights of the projectile that comes right up to my face as the 3D they are variations on touch Furthermore at the hands of 3D . object disappears at the point of contact this gap makes the relationship with the film itself an intimate. Avatar is simply a kind of passageway through the television one Our society no longer wishes to merely see a show it wants. tunnel Hans Magnus Enzensberger has noted that a television to enter into it . Digithum no 12 May 2010 ISSN 1575 2275 A scientific e journal published by the Arts and Humanities Department. Derrick de Kerckhove, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. The Humanities in the Digital Era,http digithum uoc edu Avatar . Pinocchio, , 2 0 or The, , end of the Society of the Spectacle .
Image 2 Photo from the film Avatar Runner The Matrix albeit in a slightly different way Minority. Report Steven Spielberg US 2002 I Robot Alex Proyas US . 2004 and Being John Malkovich , Image 3 Photo from the film Tron. The viewer wants to participate and this changes the nature. of his role Projecting ourselves into an imaginary context is some . thing we already do when we read This choice is made available. to the reader s mind In his mind the reader can project himself. like a homunculus into the scene of a play or simply contemplate Tron Steven Lisberger US 1982 portrays a kind of pre ava . the content of his imagination from an internal viewpoint His tar stage the characters enter into the avatars or are dressed as. own mind creates his projection that is his avatar In Second them to put it another way This was the first kind of hybridisation. Life my avatar is a computer assisted projection of myself into between man and machine The fusion is complete because the. an external environment and is therefore an objective projection character s being penetrates the technological extension . The user can choose between looking at the virtual world from. his or her own viewpoint or looking at himself as content as Image 4 and 5 Photos from the film Total Recall. part of the scene The digital avatar is outside of our body on. a screen It forms part of an objective shared imaginary world . Avatar offers a hybrid between the experience of virtual reality. and that of 2D cinema , In any other film the relationship between the viewer and the. characters is similar to that between a reader and the characters of. a book In Avatar the relationship is a hybrid one since it brings. together an active role similar to that of Second Life with one. typical of the mental strategies dedicated to fiction Avatar also. offers an even more complex identification experience . When we read a book or see a film we can project ourselves. into the different characters But when it comes to interacting with. the virtual world we only project ourselves into our character into. our avatar The film Avatar asks us to identify with Jake s ideology . with his avatar The character is adorned with symbolic psycho . logical and social elements and even technological properties The. film offers a drama of identity in our era of electronic reproduction . Pinocchio 2 0, Avatar is but the latest in many images of our initiation into the. digital matrix and of our consequent rebirth In fact Avatar is. itself an avatar of Pinocchio reinvented by the digital era Jake. becomes an electronic puppet and emerges from a growing series. of visions from Tron Total Recall The Lawnmower Man Blade. Digithum no 12 May 2010 ISSN 1575 2275 A scientific e journal published by the Arts and Humanities Department. Derrick de Kerckhove, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. The Humanities in the Digital Era,http digithum uoc edu Avatar .
Pinocchio, , 2 0 or The, , end of the Society of the Spectacle . In Total Recall Paul Verhoeven US 1990 a machine com In Blade Runner Ridley Scott US 1982 the machine or. bined with a drug provides a hallucinatory projection into a dif replicant is a robot with a kind of soul who demands his own. ferent universe Said projection seems to be the mise en sc ne of freedom and independence from his creator A replicant is not an. a device similar to that related to reading an individual conscience avatar of anyone in particular being more along the lines of HAL . imagines a fiction However it is even more like the mechanisms the talking computer of 2001 A space odyssey Stanley Kubrick . of a dream because the leading character lives the projection as US GB 1968 but could be regarded as one of the most powerful. if it were truly real examples of the technical projection of the human being in the. mythical tradition of the golem , Image 6 Photo from the film The lawnmower Man The technological avatar may come from two novels Wil . liam Gibson s Neuromancer 1982 and Neal Stephenson s Snow. Crash 1992 In Snow Crash users avatars are to be found in. the Metaverse a prefiguration of Second Life ten years before its. actual appearance 2003 The avatar of Gibson s novel is more. complex It is called a rider and is clearly separate from its user as. its purpose is to carry out dangerous operations in uninhabitable. places The new figure emerges from the avatar s ability to convey. feelings and even emotions via the Matrix Thus an avatar is half. man and half machine material and virtual illusion and reality . without the two aspects becoming confused The expression. jacking into the Matrix as well as the film of 1999 has their. origin in Gibson s imaginary world , Image 8 Photo from the film The Matrix. In The Lawnmower Man Brett Leonard US 1992 the, leading character is transformed by means of his avatar from a. mentally handicapped simpleton into a super intelligent but evil. genius a strangely negative reflection by Brett Leonard on the. arrival of the virtual era It can be said that in general films have. presented a negative image of technology cf Avatar itself . Image 7 Photo from Blade Runner, The characters of The Matrix Larry Wachowski Andy Wa .
chowski US 1999 Total Recall and eXistenZ David Cronenberg . US Canada 1999 all have the same difficulty in distinguishing. between what is virtual and what is real In reality they are. the avatars of Don Quixote This difficulty also confuses the. viewer eXistenZ is particularly frustrating as you never know. what is really happening even at the end of the film when all. the characters are once again in the place they were at in the. beginning All point of reference is lost this is truly a case where. existence precedes essence Additionally eXistenZ like many. more Cronenberg films shows us the complete union between. Digithum no 12 May 2010 ISSN 1575 2275 A scientific e journal published by the Arts and Humanities Department. Derrick de Kerckhove, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. The Humanities in the Digital Era,http digithum uoc edu Avatar . Pinocchio, , 2 0 or The, , end of the Society of the Spectacle . man and machine To , play the game of eXistenZ players must challenges of a maturing child before reaching adulthood and. first connect its interface to their spines They must mainline the this is the same challenge faced by electronic man In The Matrix . electronic input Similarly but in an organic rather than elec the digital whale has swallowed everyone but only some are. tronic connection in Avatar your tail must connect with your prepared to fight their way out and once again become real. partner s hair a discreetly erotic connotation to transmit energy people . and information All avatars represent different projections of ideas of future. Like in Total Recall the user directly downloads a virtual world humanity into electronic simulations All are digital creatures . into their memory This is possibly a prefiguration of the technolo creatures the product of a technical dream Many of them feel. gies of the future the desire to escape from the limitations of the organic body . This can be easily understood in the case of the paraplegic Jake . Image 9 Poster from the film Being John Malkovich McLuhan spoke of our tendency towards angelism a feature. of our times where everything and often our own material body . can be translated into numerical data And there are so many. angels in Avatar , A magical world, We live in a neo medieval world yet one which is technologically.
magical Avatars are the new interfaces and the iPhone is the. magic wand Oddly in the Harry Potter stories good and evil. alike live in a world of magic Or put another way the unreal. world contains within it a dark and sinister magical world In. Avatar good lives in the world of magic whilst evil is to be found. in the real one This gives rise to implications for the current. public perception of life in general The man on the street has. an extremely poor opinion of society in general something that. Avatar expresses with crystal clarity , Finally I think that it is important to consider the extraordinary. worldwide success of Avatar in today s world It is true that it. benefits from 3D technology but it is none the less true that. this technology would not by itself affect half the viewers of. this film Rather there is an odd neo romanticism in the conflu . ence between technology dematerialisation and nature All the. In Being John Malkovich Spike Jonze GB US the user takes world s cultures can identify with the story s different tribes All. over the point of view of another person The actor John Mal can suffer from military violence at the service of private criminal. kovich allows someone else to occupy his mind and body albeit interests All can doubt the value of hard technology But the. for only a limited period of time Transforming a person into an soft virtual world seems to be a proper balanced way out far. avatar a case of possession is another important variation on the removed from the current socio political miasma In fact the. theme of uncertain identity ancient biblical exegesis is perfectly applicable to this film Avatar. In this case the clear forerunner is Pinocchio because the is a kind of anagogic parable of the struggle between good. puppet is also pulling the strings In fact avatars of Pinocchio are and evil Avatars in all their forms not only those of the film s. found in today s films or rather some part of him can be found characters are allegories they possess attributes and powers. in the different postmodern productions The idea of the whale like in the mediaeval allegories They can be transformed by the. is found in the matrix of The Matrix the puppet in Being John power of magic can fly and teleport As in mediaeval allegories . Malkovich the lies in eXistenZ the tempting dream world in Total they have missions to comply with to obtain an anagogic order. Recall and so on The power of this old Italian myth is due to of eternal life And pure hearts can secure the final victory and. the fact that Pinocchio arises from the anguish of an agricultural win back Paradise Lost . society invaded by mechanisation and industrialisation Pinocchio. is the true image of a mechanical man who attempts to recover. his own humanity beyond the machine passing through all the. Digithum no 12 May 2010 ISSN 1575 2275 A scientific e journal published by the Arts and Humanities Department. Derrick de Kerckhove, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. The Humanities in the Digital Era,http digithum uoc edu Avatar . Pinocchio, , 2 0 or The, , end of the Society of the Spectacle . Recommended citation , KERCKHOVE Derrick de 2010 Avatar Pinocchio 2 0 or The end of the Society of the Spectacle In Pau ALSINA.
coord From the digitization of culture to digital culture online dossier Digithum No 12 UOC . Accessed dd mm yy , http digithum uoc edu ojs index php digithum article view n12 kerckhove n12 kerckhove eng . ISSN 1575 2275, This work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial No Derivative Works 3 0 Spain licence . It may be copied distributed and broadcast provided that the author and the e journal and the institution that. publish it Digithum FUOC are cited Commercial use and derivative works are not permitted The full licence. can be consulted on http creativecommons org licenses by nc nd 3 0 es deed en . Derrick de Kerckhove, Director of the McLuhan Program in Culture Technology. Professor in the Department of French at the University of Toronto. d dekerckhove utoronto ca, McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology. 39A Queen s Park Crescent East, Toronto Ontario M5S 2C3.
He is Director of the McLuhan Program in Culture Technology and Professor in the Department of French. at the University of Toronto He received his Ph D in French Language and Literature from the University of. Toronto in 1975 and a Doctorat du 3e cycle in Sociology of Art from the University of Tours France in 1979 . Derrick de Kerckhove has offered connected intelligence workshops worldwide and now offers this innovative. approach to business government and academe to help small groups to think together in a disciplined and. effective way while using digital technologies In the same line he has contributed to the architecture of Hy . persession a collaborative software now being developed by Emitting Media and used for various educational. situations As a consultant in media cultural interests and related policies Derrick de Kerckhove has participated. in the preparation and brainstorming sessions for the plans for the Ontario Pavilion at Expo 92 in Seville the. Canada in Space exhibit and the Toronto Broadcast Centre for the CBC . He has been decorated by the Government of France with the order of Les Palmes acad miques Member. of the Club of Rome since 1995 He s the author of Understanding 1984 UNESCO 1984 McLuhan e la. metamorfosi dell uomo Bulzoni 1984 The Skin of Culture Somerville Press 1995 Connected Intelligence. Somerville 1997 The Architecture of Intelligence Denmark 2000 . More information about the author http www mcluhan utoronto ca derrickdekerckhove htm. Digithum no 12 May 2010 ISSN 1575 2275 A scientific e journal published by the Arts and Humanities Department. Derrick de Kerckhove, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. The Humanities in the Digital Era,http digithum uoc edu. From the digitization of culture to digital culture. Another Life , social cooperation and a organic life . Tiziana Terranova, Associate Professor in the Sociology of Communications. Universit degli Studi di Napoli L Orientale , tterranova unior it.
Submission date April 2010, Accepted date April 2010. Published in May 2010, In this paper the author draws attention to some key concepts of the political economy of digital culture asking whether new theories. of social production and sympathetic cooperation in the work of authors such as Yochai Benkler and Maurizio Lazzarato can offer an. alternative to the neoliberal logic of market based competition as the basis for the production of new forms of life . biopolitics cooperation markets neoliberalism networks political economy social production. Una altra vida cooperaci social i vida anorg nica, En aquest article l autora crida l atenci sobre alguns conceptes clau de l economia pol tica de la cultura digital i es pregunta si les. noves teories de producci social i la cooperaci solid ria en el treball d autors com Yochai Benkler i Maurizio Lazzarato poden. oferir una alternativa a la l gica neoliberal de la compet ncia basada en el mercat com a base per a la producci de noves formes. Paraules clau, biopol tica cooperaci mercats neoliberalisme xarxes economia pol tica producci social. This article is indebted for some of its insights to the exchanges and symposia held in the years 2007 9 by the EU wide network A Topological Approach. to Cultural Dynamics www atacd net funded by the European Union 6th Framework Programme especially the symposium of 9 10 October 2008 . hosted at the School of Oriental and African Studies Models and Markets Relating to the Future An extended version of this article appeared under the. title Another Life The Nature of Political Economy in Foucault s Genealogy of Biopolitics 2009 . Digithum no 12 May 1010 ISSN 1575 2275 A scientific e journal published by the Arts and Humanities Department.


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