HIST 105 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Tom Gunning, Optical Illusion, Movable Type

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10 Feb 2016
new media technology has an impact on old media
images before photography
cave paintings and human psychology
paintings in caves resembles all kinds of things
power and controversy that surrounds visual communication
human brain has become specialized in recognizing and remembering images
visual communication predates writing
images from the middle east
earliest printed images were made from cylinder seals in the early Mesopotamian civilization
China and Japan: woodblock prints of Buddhist were printed on silk
Woodblock is also used for arabic writing.
Techniques for reproducing visual images were known in the ancient world of the middle east, india, china
and japan.
early visual communication in europe
public art and architecture were once the only forms of visual communication
first mass produced images were printed with woodblocks in the 1300s
manuscripts in germany
moveable type printing arrived in the 1450s, both books were printed in a combination of woodblock and
metal type
visual communication and the press
mass production of images has enormous social eects
camera obscure, and the pinhole
pinhole acts like a lens, and an image can be protected upside down on the wall
social impacts of the visual media revolution
film is now the most narrative of all media
early cinema was much more interested in creating spectacles and attractions (Tom Gunning)
rather than telling stories, they created magic dricks
changes is 19th century social, political and technological contexts
george melies was a filmmaker who made 500 films between 1869 and 1912
magician and used film to extend on visual illusion
he used cinematographic language to say something about the possibilites of the medium as well as the
viewers for belief and disbelief
Walter Benjamin
process of pictorial reproduction accelerated so enormously that it could keep pace with speech
presence in time and space
the whole sphere of authenticity is outside technical, and of course, not technical - reproducibility.
process reproduction: brings out aspects of the original that are unattainable to the naked eye yet accessible
to the lens, which is adjustable and chooses its angle at will
photographic reproduction: enlargement, slow motion, can capture images which escape natural vision
technical reproduction: can put copy of the original into situations which would be out of reach for the
original self
mode of human sense perception changes with human sense perception changes with humanity’s entire mode of
perception is organized through the medium, and through the context (historical circumstances)
desire of contemporary masses to bring things closer spatially and humanly — you accept its reproduction.
aura = uniqueness
this essay discusses the capacity to reproduce art
relationship between film and photography
the role of what he calls the masses
the ways that politics and aesthetics work in relation to fascism and communism
later in the 20th century, people decided that films would be great educational tools
First educational film was made by Jamaican Film Unit - in 1951
industrial revolution
superstructure: culture, religion,
capitalism: how we interact, how we appreciate art, how we engage with the mass media, how we entertain
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