New Media and Digital Culture (“Notes on ‘The Gaze’” by Daniel Chandler…
New Media and Digital Culture
The definition of "
" changes constantly and will continue to do so because new media evolves and morphs continuously.
Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man
: McLuhan handles the task of “understanding the effects of technology as it related to popular culture and how this in turn affected human beings and their relations with one another in communities” (Kappelman, par. 1).
McLuhan’s work also revolves around how human beings extend themselves and how those
affect our relationships with one another. According to McLuhan, “an extension occurs when an individual or society makes or uses something in a way that extends the range of the human body and mind in a fashion that is new” (Kappelman, par 8).
However, with these extensions come the natural counterpart:
. As the world evolves through time, certain extensions become obsolete and are “amputated.” According to Kappelman, “An example of an amputation would be the loss of archery skills with the development of gunpowder and firearms. The need to be accurate with the new technology of guns made the continued practice of archery obsolete,” (par. 10).
In “Technological or Media Determinism,” Daniel Chandler discusses how deterministic perspectives “have been common amongst commentators on communication technologies” (par 1).There are two claims regarding changes in communication technologies, a limited claim and a more radical claim.
The more radical theorists claim that “changes in communication technologies have had an important cultural impact have tended either to regard such changes as limited to social and institutional practices or, far more radically, have argued that such changes have also had profound psychological consequences, transforming the nature of human consciousness (par 1). The psychic change claim was dubbed by Michael Heim as the transformation theory.
is the variety of determinism where the association of different media with particular cognitive consequences can be related to linguistic as well as technological determinism.
Strong (or hard) technological determinism
is the more extreme stance that a communication technology is either a “sufficient condition (sole cause) determining social organization and development, or at least a necessary condition (requiring additional preconditions)” (par 7). In this determinism, consequences are inevitable or at least highly probable.
Weak (or soft) technological determinism
is more widely accepted and claims that the presence of communication technology is an enabling factor leading to potential opportunities that may or may not be exercised in specific societies.
“Notes on ‘The Gaze’” by Daniel Chandler examines the “
” often found in movies, television, and photography. “‘The gaze’ is a technical term which was originally used in film theory in the 1970s but which is now more broadly used by media theorists to refer both to the ways in which viewers look at images of people in any visual medium and to the gaze of those depicted in visual texts” (1).
Several key forms of gaze can be identified in photographic, filmic or televisual texts, or in figurative graphic art. The most obvious typology is based on who is doing the looking, of which the following are the most commonly cited:
the spectator’s gaze
: the gaze of the viewer at an image of a person, animal, or object, in the text
the intra-diegetic gaze
: a gaze of one depicted person at another within the world of the text
the direct (extra-diegetic) address to the viewer
: the gaze of a person depicted in the text looking “out of the frame” as if at the viewer, with associated gestures and postures
the look of the camera
: the way that the camera itself appears to look at the people depicted; less metaphorically, the gaze of the film-maker or photographer
Trevor Millum categorized relationships between those depicted
: the attention of those depicted is directed at each other
: the attention of those is directed towards different things
: those depicted are looking at the same object
: the attention of one person is on the other, whose attention is elsewhere
Michael Watson found cultural variability in the intensity of gaze and distinguished three forms of gaze
: focusing on the other person's eyes
: focusing about the other person's head and face
: having the other person within the field of vision, but not focusing on his head or face