Words do not stand in place of things, but instead of things. How can one talk about media in the world where media seems to be a shared dream (hallucination if you like), specter with divergent forms, common denominator with apparently little consensus among people of what it could even mean. Therefore, questions regarding the nature of medium, and consequently new media should not be sought exclusively in contemporary culture. Throughout this paper I will lay out two anecdotes which should illuminate more clearly not only the nature of the problem, but its lineage.
When young Dorothy Gale accidentally ended up in the strange Land of Oz, the initial bewilderment she experienced in an unknown land quickly gave place to the determination of returning back home. With the help of fantastic creatures, she eventually did just that, making history for the director Victor Fleming (The Wizard of Oz, 1939) whose account of the wonderful Land of Oz garnered positive criticism, securing films place in the history of cinema. Throughout the film Dorothy had been told she is to seek a great wizard that could help her return home. Upon finally receiving the opportunity for an audience with the powerful Oz, his appearance is nowhere to be found. Yet, he speaks like a god in its omnipresence. Only through an accident she realizes that the all-powerful Oz is but a man behind a curtain, with a machine so compelling it could emulate god. At last, there was no god that could take her home, nor there was a creature so powerful it could speak without mouth, nor see without eyes. Dorothy’s realization of Oz’s mediocrity (besides taking her home) rendered one of the most pertinent metaphors on medium. For, the film had shown an...
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...n the Minute“. in: Jennings, W. Michael; Doherty, Brigid; Levin, Y. Thomas. The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility and Other Writings on Media. London: Harvard University Press, 2008, p. 407-411.
FISKE, John. Television Culture. New York: Rutledge, 2001.
HALL, Stuart. Encoding and Decoding in the Television Discourse. Birmingham: Centre for Cultural Studies, 1973.
HECK, Marina Camargo. “The Ideological Dimension of Media Messages“. in: Hall, Stuart; Hobson, Dorothy et. al. Culture, Media Language, , London & New York: Routledge. 2005, p. 110–117.
MCLUHAN, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. London: Abacus, 1974.
MEAGHAN Morris. “Banality in cultural studies”. in: Storey, John. What is cultural studies?. London: Arnold, 1996, p. 147-168.
SILVERMAN, Kaja. The Threshold of the Visible World. New York & London: Routledge, 1996
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