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Media Technologies in Transition

Media Technologies in Transition. What happens in between the “discoveries” ?. Qualities of New Media - (Manovich) . Numerical Representation and Manipulation - analogue audio and vision broken into discrete units (digitisation)

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Media Technologies in Transition

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  1. Media Technologies in Transition What happens in between the “discoveries” ?

  2. Qualities of New Media - (Manovich) • Numerical Representation and Manipulation- analogue audio and vision broken into discrete units (digitisation) • Modularity- individual media units that can be accessed independently i.e. pixels or ‘object orientated programming’ • Automation- media becomes programmable for complex repetitive tasks • Variability- infinitely reconfigurable - liquid quality of new media • Cultural Transcoding- exchange of concepts between between culture and computing

  3. Social history of photography • Photographic history is often told as a linear list of technical ‘inventions’ from the 16th century Camera Obscura through to modern photography. • Context:1760 – 1850s - Industrial revolution in Britain Britain was the first country to industrialise in the world.Previously people used to live and work as farmers but during the industrial revolution people moved to the cities. • The concept of the factory was developed that required centralisation of workers. In particular steam engines and mechanised looms for the textiles industry were developed. In 1850 for example Britain was producing 2/3 of the world cotton supply

  4. Human effects • People were moving and meeting people outside of their traditional communities. Railways were allowing people to see more of the worldPopulation explosion. People were often forced to live and work in terrible conditions. Overcrowding, smog -Dickens – Oliver Twist“The streets and yards examined contained about 422 dwellings inhabited at the time of the enquiry by 2,400 persons sleeping in 852 beds i.e. An average of 5.68 inhabitants in each house and 2.8 persons per bed.”- Preston, 1842 Time of huge change – effects on science, politics and culture in general

  5. Technical innovation • Optical - Camera Obscura, lenses • Chemical – In 1727 Johann Heinrich Schulze discovered that certain liquids change colour when exposed to light. The first successful picture was created in1827 by Niépce, using material that hardened on exposure to light. This picture required an exposure of eight hours! He started working with Louis Daguerre who made the process public in 1839, and called it the Daguerreotype.

  6. Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. -View from the Window at Le Gras. ca1826

  7. Portrait of Michael Faraday (1791-1867) by Antoine Claudet (1797-1867), early or mid 1840s.

  8. Group portrait of three men posed with an Everest theodolite and other instruments; anonymous, c. 1840-50.

  9. What did they think at the time? • The announcement that the Daguerreotype "requires no knowledge of drawing...." and that "anyone may succeed.... and perform as well as the author of the invention" The Daguerreotype were extremely expensive and produced only a single unique copy. Exposure times were extremely long ~ 30 min. The ‘invention’ was greeted with enormous interest, and "Daguerreomania" became a craze overnight. The photographs were not art works but curiosities and toys like mobile phones today.

  10. Cultural meaning of photographs • “The wish to capture evanescent reflections is not only impossible... but the mere desire alone, the will to do so, is blasphemy. God created man in His own image, and no man - made machine may fix the image of God. Is it possible that God should have abandoned His eternal principles, and allowed a Frenchman... to give to the world an invention of the Devil?”Article in the Leipzig City Advertiser 1839/40

  11. William Henry Fox Talbot, Trafalgar Square, Nelson's Column Under Construction, 1845, (Calotype)

  12. Hippolyte Bayard, View from the Madeline onto the Rue Royale, Barricades of the 1848 Revolution in foreground, 1848, Eastman House

  13. 1848 Chartist Demonstration Kennington Common

  14. Etching printed 1848 in the Illustrated newspapers

  15. Art Photos? • Artists put a lot of work into their creations, whereas for a photographer it is simply a case of ‘click’ and ‘process’. The amount of effort required could be miniscule in comparison, which is the main reason why artists resent this medium. • “Photography is not an art form. Compared with real artwork it is a children’s game - complete with little plastic toys. It is too simplistic - just click? Its very effortlessness excludes it from being considered art. The only connection that Photography has with art is the demise of portrait painters in the 19th Century.” • - Hermann

  16. Photography • Photographers, however, could argue that photography can go beyond click and process. Enthusiasts put a lot of effort into their images, possibly going out specifically to find that perfect picture which requires a lot of effort. Printing can be a long and intensive process if you wish to make your print ‘perfect’, and it doesn’t stop there - image manipulation by hand or computer requires a lot a time, effort and patience - similar to a lot of artistic methods. • “I have come to appreciate what photography has to offer. I do believe it is the one art form that captures the true essence of a moment, even more than words. Photographs are what make up life.” • - Christine

  17. Synthesis • “Photography is not art any more than oil paint is art. Some photographers used it to create art.” • - Peter Marshall

  18. Realism ?!? • Photography • - Allowed painters to capture scenes that they would not have been able to previously. They could take the photo to the studio and work on it from there. - Allowed Portrait painters to abandon the lengthy sittings that their subjects had to endure. - Released painting from its responsibility as the primary realistic representative medium, extending the scope for new styles. - Became an art form in it’s own right, with photographers cropping up as artists, or as artists using the medium in their work.

  19. Man Ray • Dadaist/Surrealist Photographer and Painter, 1890-1976A tireless experimenter with photographic techniques who participated in the Cubist, Dadaist, and Surrealist art movements, Man Ray created a new photographic art which emphasized chance effects and surprising juxtapositions. Unconcerned with "Craft," he employed solarisation, grain enlargement, and cameraless prints (photograms) which he called "Rayographs" - made by placing objects directly on photographic paper and exposing them to the light.

  20. Man Ray

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