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Yannick Portebois

of 21
Mass media is conveyed through standardized channels of communication
Bands of frequencies (am, fm, tv)
Tracks in\on storage media
Mass media is more than a simple change in the technological methods of media productuction. To
understand the mass in mass media, we need to understamd what the term masses meant at the
momemnt that mass ,media became pervasive
For that reason we are going to spend 4 lectures discussing mass media in societyh and culture in
the interwar period which was that moment. Here, we'll just spend a little time with one thinker
from that period.
Ortega wrote in spain in the decade afgter the mass supposrted facists, benito, mussolini, hitler, had
risen to power in italy and germany respectively,
Using posters, film, radio to gain popularity with the average man.
According to Ortega, mass society has characteristics that make it different from hierarchcial
societes that existed prior to Mass Society in time
A suppression of minority tastes and values
An overcomin
Some characteristics are:
Ortega did not share this optimism oabout the poetential of mass media
He thought that technology as an applied tool, in contrast to science as a a pure study, blinded
people further to real social realities rather than had the potential to open their eyes
Pure science was a sign of civilization
The blind use of technology was a sign of barbarism
Therefore the passisve concumption of new media without real understanding of how these media
worked was, for ortega, a sign of barbarism even if the new media aided vision.
Communications takes place not only rthrough what ionformation is transferred along media
channels but also through devices and humans locations in places of mesia engaged practise and the
physical appearances of devices.
Since the rise of mass media people belong to, identify with, and participate in docial networks
through networks of human and machines
Real physical interaction -with nobs, buttons, and controllers -real physical changes -a dirty
computer screen, a sticky cinema floor -remind us that media are always a part of larger social
Lecture One
Monday, May 11, 2009
11:58 PM
Week 1.0 Page 1
Part One: Overveiw of changes in media
New technological media types, new technological processes of old media, and new and improved media channels
Camera Obscrura developed in 1400s
Daguerrotype image first created in 1839. It compined thinking about the mechanics
Early Photography
New Media and State Sponsorship: Semaphore
1729 claude chappe proposed to french legislative assembly a new method of rapid communication across
a great distance
The new method of communication was the semaphore or optical telegraph
The assembly agreed to support the development of a network. The first telegraph line was established
between paris and lille in 1794
Was initially for military use
National unity (standardization of information, everyone getting same message)
The universality of revolutionary ideology
The semaphore was of interest to the french legislative assembly because it seemed to offer increasing
A large horizontal beam called a regulator
Two smaller wings called indicators mounted at the ends
Like person holding signal flags
Both angles of the indicators, and independently, the position of the large regulator beam could be
varied in increments of 45 degrees
This was capable of creating enough signals to convey messages
Lines branched out in a star shape around Paris between 1792 and 1852
Proved important during algerian war, and the crimean war, also the nepoleanic war
It was the first telecommunications network in europe
The semaphore telegraph consisted of
Early Telegraphy
New Technological Media Types:
Before photography, the most common way to reproduce 2D images
Older master prints that copied paintings in order to widen access to the unique works were first created
in germany in 1430
Some of the masters were late 15th C. early 16th artists such as Albrecht Durer
After the rise of etching with copper, engrapving no longer remained the best way to reproduce imaged,
16th C.
By the 19th C. engraving remained in use mainly for commercial illustrations
Engraving was used in newspaper and books into the early 20thC. Because it was cheaper to reproduce
than photographs
a technique for reproducing images, since the middle ages
Requires no special metal working skills, anyone with drawing skills
From the time that copper was the metal in the plate, around
Ground a waxy resin ground to cover the metal surface, then a needle to scratch away the resin
The the plate in acid (mordant)
Watch the acid bite into the metal plate where the metal is exposed and see the lines you scratched in
A kind of printing process
Invented by bavarian, Aloys Senefelder in 1796
Positive and negative, (BG, FG) on same flat printing plane
The flatness makes the printing plate last longer which makes for longer print runs
The less formal nature of lithographic layout and composition creates the conditions necessary to create
modern newspaper illustrations
Print advertisements become popular
New Technological processes of old media:
Mediated Revolution
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
10:11 AM
Week 2.0 Page 2
Print advertisements become popular
Invented by Nocholas Louis Rovert and Leger Didot
Sealy and Henry Fourdrinier, London based stationers financed the project
First US Fourdrinier machine installed in 1827
The single machine could accomplish every step required to turn wood pulp into final paper
Paper Machine
These All increased the circulation of print, and standardized what was printed
Rotary Printing Press
Steam Printing
In the period of the American and French Revolution, getting information across oceans remained slow
Even though the first small steamships were created in 1780, it wasn't until 1839 that any ship completed a
transatlantic voyage entirely by steam
By the mid 1840s the trip could be made as quickly as 14 days and 21 hours.
Transatlantic Oceanic Transport of Information before the Telegraph
Sea traffic between england and north america doubled between the 1680s and 1730s
In 1702 a system of packet boats were set up with monthly sailings and a 100-day sched
Printed materials shipped between britain and the 13 colonies took around 3 months to get to recipients
in this period
Improved Postal Systems
Railway transportation standardized time
They also helped create more efficient communication channels
Post offices/postal services grew that aided in the distribution of printed literature
It also mattered in other ways, with the rise of trains, literature began to spread with paperbacks
Specific kinds of lit arose to suit the kind of readin that we do in transit
Genres and lit forms grew to cater for mobile markets of readers
New smaller book formats were created to be more portable
Railway Networks
Early Cable Networks
New and Improved Media
Part Two: Engagement with Fritzsche's argument about this period and the sensation of living in 'new times'
Simon Schama claims that the literacy rates in France in the late eighteenth century were higher than the rates
in late twentieth century US
However, literacy is hard to define, Schama's test was if the subject could sign their name
Unskilled day wage laborers were the main group of illiterate people
Catholic missions had promoted 'little schools' in the 17th and 18th C and they were very successful at increasing
These schools were very successful in promoting literacy
Literacy in 18th C France
Maria Lafayette, lesbian.
Revolutionary Era Pamphlets
Around 1780, 35% of all households included some books
The books being read were religious
However, fantasies and fairy stories were also categorized of pop literature
This literature was cheap
The Blue Library, with porn, etc, was sold at street stalls and fairs
It included morality tales that had steany passages
Some of it veered into the realm of pornography
For the French revolutionary leaders who were organizing public national festivals in orde to replace old
Christianity and radically secularize france, the declatation of rights was imagined a book that would replace the
Christian bible
Changes in the process of paper making and in postal systems made the spread of this document and many
other revolutionary documents a much quicker process
Book Ownership
Unbound literature: includes almanacs, posters, notices, postcards
In old regime paris, each morning men would put up bills
These notices would include news of battles, edicts of the kind and promotions for public festivals
These ffical notices would soemtime be defaces
Unbound Literature
Week 2.0 Page 3