Search results for 'media+criticism'

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Reading the Arab Image 

This debate in the frame of the International Film Festival Rotterdam's Power Cut Middle East programme, takes a look at the images, both moving and still, that have come from the Middle East like a huge wave in the past few months. Due to the increase of mobile phone films and photos, we have a great deal of material whose origin is uncertain. It seems authentic, but who is coming to blows with whom? And who has made the films and taken the photos? Regimes are also aware of this, and use it to their advantage. Are we seeing actors, paid demonstrators, real people? How do we read and interpret these images?

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Media, Activism and Society of the Spectacle 

Our ability to move into a collectively imagined future has been trapped in an ever-present now, composed of continually transmitted images. The spectacle accompanies us throughout our lives. News, propaganda, advertising, entertainment and social media present a continuous stream of imagery, projecting a constant justification for how our culture is formulated. When Guy Debord first published The Society of the Spectacle in 1967, the digital revolution was still decades away and the technological capacity to project images into every corner of our lives was far less developed than it is today. The spectacle is no longer simply all of the time; it is also everywhere. More than ever before, Debord's words apply: "Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation."

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The DEF of Tactical Media 

Campaigns and Movements Although a global conference, the first Next 5 Minutes, held six years ago(1993), was dominated by the first large scale encounter between two distinctive cultural communities. On the one hand, Western European and North American campaigning media artists and activists and on the other hand their equivalent from the former communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe, dissident artists and samizdat activists, still basking in the after glow of the role they played in bringing down the communist dictatorships. In the excitement of discovering each other, these two communities tended to gloss over their ideological differences,understandably emphasising only the shared practice of exploiting consumer electronics (in those days mostly the video camcorder) as a means of organisation and social mobilisation. We referred to these practices, and the distinctive aesthetic to which it gave rise, tactical media.

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Mediate YourSelf! 

At the end of the third 'Next 5 Minutes' conference on tactical media (March 1999) in Amsterdam, an interesting discussion emerged around the question of how the minor media practices elaborated and highlighted in this vibrant event would ever reach a wider audience for lack of being covered by any mainstream outlet. At one point, some people from the back of the room (unfortunately I don't know anymore who exactly, I believe an Italian group), shouted: 'We don't want to be mediated - we mediate ourselves!'

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Media Without an Audience 

Presence in the mediated environment of digital networks is probably one of the most complex phenomena of the new types of social interaction that have emerged in these environments. In the current phase of radical deployment (or penetration) of the Internet, various attempts are being made to come to terms with the social dynamics of networked communication spaces. It seems that traditional media theory is not able to contextualise these social dynamics, as it remains stuck on a meta-level discourse of media and power structures (Virilio), hyperreality (Baudrillard), or on a retrograde analysis of media structures deeply rooted in the functionality and structural characteristics of broadcast media (McLuhan).

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Talking about a Revolution: An Interview with Camille Otrakji 

"If you've been following events in Syria, you'd know that the English-language press is mostly deeply critical of the Assad regime (while the Arabic press displays a slightly wider range of views). I thought it would be worth trying to present a minority report on the situation from a Syrian friend of mine, although, as you will see, he argues precisely that his position is actually held by a very significant majority (albeit a rather quiet and frustrated majority) of Syrians.

Camille Otrakji is a Syrian political blogger based in Montreal. Although he tends to keep a low profile, Otrakji has been, for the past several years, at the forefront of many of the most interesting and influential online initiatives relating to Syrian politics. He is one of the authors and moderators at Joshua Landis's Syria Comment, and the founder of Creative Syria, a constellation of websites including Mideast Image (a vast collection of original old photographs of Middle Eastern subjects) and Syrian Think Tank (an online debate site hosting many of Syria's top analysts). Last year, Otrakji courted controversy with a new initiative devoted to the subject of Syrian-Israeli peace, entitled OneMideast.org. He agreed to speak with me about the latest events in Syria, and I'm sure that his views will generate plenty of discussion."

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Media Darkness 

Reflections on Public Space, Light and Conflict

There is an unshakable belief in the idea that what defines the mass media is that they produce or constitute, in all their different ways, a public. So while there is agreement on the fact that not every public sphere is a communication medium, many people tend to think that every communication medium constitutes a public sphere - the most recent and prominent candidate being, of course, the Internet. But is this claim as to the public quality of all media, hegemonic as it may be today, really tenable?

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Post-media operators: "sovereign & vague" 

No one recognises these powers as their own

(Why Theory?) We have to dispense with the idea that theorising occurs after the creative event; that a poem or a track or a text is made and then, as part of its process of dissemination, there follows the theorising of the piece. Such a theorising is normally attributed to those known variously as critics, reviewers and essayists.

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