Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Future of the Media and Living Photographs

In a recent post on, Fred Ritchin discusses the future of the media and print in what is being called the probable "golden age for journalism."(in the post iChaos) Print media is dying, photojournalism is dying, and technology (the cause of death) marches forward, unphased, like death itself. But every creation needs some destruction to make room for its place.
Apple is working on a new computer tablet that would bridge the gap between an iphone and a laptop. With a bigger screen like that of a laptop, this tablet will be connected to internet at all times, like the iphone. News print media, having already started the exodus from print to the world wide web, could use this platform to take journalism to a whole new level. Like Kindle, the page would appear on screen for reading, but instead of consisting of photographs and links to videos, the video, the moving photograph, could actually exist right on the page. imagine a Harry Potter-esque newspaper, on your Apple tablet. Some organizations have already started exploring this possibility such as Outside Magazine:

What they seem to be suggesting, however, is an actual physical copy of the story and the magazine to hold in your hands, with flexible screens to replace the paper of print. Personally, i don't see the advantage or practicality of this platform. The screens are much more expensive than paper, and the staged video shoot much more expensive than a news photograph. They seem to be suggesting though (and through example of already implemented video advertisements shown in the video) that these staged shoots would replace the staged photoshoots magazines and advertisers use now; i suppose they are are the same level of production cost.
I do see living photographs overtaking still photography in the photojournalism to come, and it is very exciting! However, i only imagine this done through way of practicality and cost efficiency that would match the standards already in place. Photographers holding video cameras the same way they do cameras and personal lighting gear now, not big video shoot productions. And through a universal platform like that of a kindle or other tablet systems of the future to come, not through expensive, impractical screen-paper in development (though it is very interesting to see). I imagine these screen-page magazines would be universal and download different stories and magazines and display them in their own format. But the question i ask is, is the multi-screen-page platform more practical than a solid, single screen tablet, whose pages are turned by the click of a button or the swipe of a finger?

We are undoubtedly moving out of the age of news print and into the age of news-post. but in order to do this, the future must meld with the cost and production standards of today. and we must answer these questions and solve these puzzles soon in order to give journalism the digital footing it needs to stand against blogs and wikis.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Modern Media and It's Temporal Distortion

“…if I consider the world itself, there is simply one indivisible and changeless being in it. Change presupposes a certain position which I take up and from which I see things in procession before me”

- Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Modern Mass Media: The Internet, Video and Film, Photography, they distort our traditional notion of time by accelerating our internal sense of timing as we input increasing amounts of data and move it across the globe at rapid speeds. The more compact and readily available the internet is at the tip of our fingers, the more our inner sense of time melds with this structure, this web, and accelerates. As our communication and connection to anywhere and everywhere in the world increases – spatially and temporally – day by day we get closer to witnessing an event on the other side of the globe, as it happens, seconds after it begins; seating us directly in front of the present tense anywhere in the world, seated in any one spot in the world: temporal distortion is spatial distortion.

“When I say that the day before yesterday the glacier produced water which is passing at this moment, I am tacitly assuming the existence of a witness tied to a certain spot in the world, and I am comparing his successive views…..The ‘events’ are shapes cut out by a finite observer from the spatio-temporal totality of the objective world.”[1] The future(as time), at its source, is flowing towards me. Like the water at its source at the top of the mountain, it will in a few days time flow towards me and become my present; so it is not I who moves towards the future, but the future which moves towards me, and the past which moves away from me.

[1] Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, trans. Kegan Paul (Paris: Editions Gallimard, 1945).

this is the beginning of an essay i am writing considering the the use of mass media in the work of Sam Taylor-Wood, or perhaps post-modern art in general