MIT 2000 Fourth Lecture: Photography, Advertising, etc.

7 Pages

Media, Information and Technoculture
Course Code
Media, Information and Technoculture 2000F/G
Daniel Robinson

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Lecture 4: October 4, 2011 Readers (Upper Canada) - Circulation Rates: Growth - Social Classes and Readers - Subscription costs - around $500 today for a year subscription - Reading aloud/sharing newspapers - non paying readers Civic Newspaper - Paying for this kind of newspaper. Not paying for great illustrations or photos, it was mainly just writing. Yellow Press/Mass/Entertainment Newspaper -Joseph Pulitzer (World) 1883 - Advertising over subscription - Realization that you don’t have to charge people that much money. Lower the price (penny per copy) and get money from ads. Ads were prime source of revenue - Local news, crime, scandal - Sensationalism - Entertainment - Self Advertising - Illustrations - Large Headlines - Use paper - Commuter Friendly - Lead/Inverted Pyramid - News writing style where first paragraph should embody the essence of the story. You can get the gist of the story by reading the first paragraph. - Two Canadian examples: Hugh Graham Montreal Star 1880s, John Robertson Toronto Telegram - Advertising - Higher Costs - Local news (crime, scandal) - Entertainment over information function From Civiv to Mass Newspaper Civic Newspaper (1820-1890) (Democratic Sociability) - political advocate - public defender - public responsibility - civic education - editor-publisher, small shop - opinion making - editorial pages - public record of legislative proceedings - “public utility” Mass Newspaper (1890-) - Commercial enterprise - ad reliant Space-Biased Media (Innis) - Dialectic - liberty and monopolies of knowledge - printing press - Balance - time/space - centrifugal/centripetal - democratic society - fewer people are influencing the newspaper content Early Photography - Daguerrotype, 1839 - unique image - photographic studios happening in toronto and new york. - you couldn’t make copies of an image, just one - had to be in studio to take photos, sit for a very long time, no action shots - wet plate process, 1850s - multiple prints from single glass negative - replacement of daguerrotype that allowed you to make copies - had to be in studio to take photos, sit for a very long time, no action shots - not the most creative/inventive notions of photography - dry plate process, 1870s - no more portable darkrooms - george dawson - allowed for mobile photographic use. the processing system allowed you to take photos outside, outdoors, around anywhere - no flash system yet - had to have natural lighting Photographic Portraiture - Mathew Brady (1840-1870s) - Nationalism - Citizenship - Character - Got famous people to stand for portraits, and enhanced the popularity of portraits through them - Promoted patriotism, nationalism - Linked famous people with models of character, citizenship, virtue --> nationalism - before the civil war there was a shortening of national unity so this brought people back together - dignified pictures Democratic Portraiture - Middle class and working class started making portraits - Individual as coherent self - Symbol of inner self - photos were highly valued because of what they conveyed, they were thought to reflect a coherent entity that symbolized your ‘inner self’. - keepsake of deceased - photography allows more people to have their photo taken by some professional - it was a common practice to take pictures of children who were dead, if they hadn’t gotten their picture taken before. photographed as sleeping subjects. - thought to be a solace to the bereaving parents and family members Seeing, Believing: War Documentary - Burden of Truth - Civil War, 1861-1865 - M. Brady - A. Gardner/T. O’Sullivan - Orchestrated Realism - these photos still have to be staged in someway. the photographer chooses what to shoot, and depicts it as reality. they couldn’t do action shots at this time so it can only depict the after effects of battle. - showed the horrors of war, not its heroism or pageantry Social Documentary - Jacob Riis - “How the other half lives” which had photos in it 1890 - Affect Social Change - Reform Movement - Cultural “Other” - World Vision: graphic depictions of malnourished children in third world countries. Meant to elicit concern or compassion and ignite those feelings into sending donations. Feeds into us looking at the Africans as a kind of “other” they’re not from the same human framework as us. - Not showing faces of obese people on tv, just their bodies. Used to remove our sense of compassion. We’re meant to look at obese people as an object of disgust. They want to make obesity like a stigma. Why are they showing the face of malnourished kids but not of obese people? We don’t give them the kind of respect and dignity that we don’t provide for people in our own country. Kodak Camera, 1888 - George Eastman - Hand-held, point and shoot box camera - Portability/Affordability - Amateur users - Autobiographical record - Time Machine/Time Bias? - Nostalgia - Our own autobiographical images, we get a sense of looking at our past while looking through photos - an aching to go back to your past Early Photojournalism - Technological changes in 1880s-1890s - Engraved to half-tone reproduction - reality/authenticity - faster shutter speed, take pics of action - flash photos - camera improvements (kodak): snap shot camera, fast drying gelatin plate - movement/action photography - photo-journalist: wars, disasters, public events - Wirephoto 1921 - Flash bulbs late 1920s - Photo Agencies (early TMZs) - Bain’s News picture service Photography’s Rapid Uptake - Mechanical process - society that values tech. will value the camera because it is a piece of tech, of mechanical working - Self-representation - Individual/familial - Sense of personal identities linked to national identity. B
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