Download American Icons: The Genesis of a National Visual Language by Benedikt Feldges PDF

By Benedikt Feldges

Regardless of the paintings that has been performed at the energy of visible verbal exchange typically, and in regards to the social impact of tv specifically, television’s dating with fact continues to be whatever of a black field. Even at the present time, the conference that the display services as a window on truth buildings a lot of the construction and reception of televisual narratives. yet as truth should develop into historical past at one aspect, what are we to do with such home windows at the earlier? constructing and utilising a hugely leading edge method of the fashionable picture, American Icons sets out to reveal the historicity of icons, to reframe the background of the display and to dissect the visible middle of a medium that remains so poorly understood. Dismantling the charisma of it appears undying icons and earlier spectacles with their seductive energy to draw the attention, this publication bargains new methods of seeing the mechanisms at paintings in our smooth pictorial tradition.

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Additional resources for American Icons: The Genesis of a National Visual Language (Routledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies)

Sample text

Following McLuhan’s famous observation that the medium itself constitutes the message, the camera within the historical picture symbolically speaks not only of the significance of the presented sights, but also of its own. 3 In rather curious logic, the documentary thus presents modern and past symbols of cameras not only in the role of objective authors of history, but simultaneously as part of that history, and gives them the task not only of witnessing an event, but also of ascribing significance to it, and thus of creating instant history in a truly impersonal fashion.

In each case, the conventions underlying the visual portrayal of spectators and audiences of past events, including the rhythm assigned to the mise en scène of their response, commence to project content that is less connected to the events’ own, often ritualistic background in society, than to habits of broadcasting that have come to nurture their own ritual of pictorial presentation: a ritual of visual mass-communication that has not yet become history, at least with regard to the documentary’s own mode of presenting the historical spectacle.

The frequency with which the mise en scène quotes the attendance at an event implies a convention at the root of historical television broadcasting that compares oddly with any other form of journalistic coverage. Even if the footage allows following the original words of a politician’s speech, to which this documentary on average allocates only twenty-five seconds or roughly four to five sentences, such coverage places an emphasis on visual content that communicates in an inherently different fashion from a radio or newspaper account.

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