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Lecture

CS100 Lecture Notes - Print Culture, Photojournalism, Marshall Mcluhan


Department
Communication Studies
Course Code
CS100
Professor
Ghislain Thibault

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Week 8
Friday, November 2, 12
McLuhan question on final exam is false, he does everything but mass media he is more about print, orality,
etc.
Visual Culture:
Photography and film
- see the rise in the mass in need to leisure and money, system gave them that bit of money
- How photography and film participated in creating culture that leads towards the rise celebrity and celebrity
culture
- Secondary Orality: these media after print culture that were speech based
o Telephone, telegraph to a certain degree, television and radio.
- McLuhan: “are we moving back to the acoustic state?”
Alongside electric media, the 19th century will witness the rise of:
Three new writing systems
- photograph → writes the light
- Phonograph → writes the sound
- Cinematograph → writes the movement → motion pictures
Photograph:
- 1839: First commercial photographic system *(called the Daguerreotype)
- Photography on paper made it possible to reproduce images mechanically
- Photographs were slow to be featured regularly in newspapers
- Photograph is an extension of you in time.
The rise of photojournalism - Ulrich Keller
To phographs
Three constitutive elements:
1. Halftone pictures
- Technology
- early pixalised images
- points to create shapes
- if you look closely you loose resolution
- if you are far away it‟s a image
- it is reproducible
- took some time to pick up
2. Press Photographers
- Group of people
- Imprinted on paper that we can reproduce
- 1910: see 900 pictures a week → now we see far more than that.
3. Photo agencies
- Institution
- To Sell it
- Rise of photo agencies; have their own photographers and take pictures and sell these images
- Famous events where photo agencies employed, ex: titanic
Are we still living in the era where photographs are perceived as bearer of truth, as evidences of world
events?
Ulrich Keller
“According to this view, the halftone process reproduces a given „reality‟ more „realistically than ever.
However, if we take the position that reality is not given but rather socially constructed through competing
representations a different conclusion suggests itself.”
Page. 146
Photography does not represent reality.
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