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Media Aesthetics

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by

Chris Lantinen

on 20 June 2016

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Transcript of Media Aesthetics

Media Aesthetics
"I know what I like." This requires some form of judgement" This personal aesthetic guides everyday decisions.
"Applied media aesthetics differs from the traditional concept of aesthetics"
Aesthetics no longer are limited to traditional concepts regarding understanding beauty and attempting to judge it consistently.
Applied media aesthetics sees art and life as dependent on one another, informing one another and connected.
This is a process where we examine media elements, such as lighting, sound and how they interact with one another.
Video, film, sound are all considered part of our communication system now, not simple message distribution systems.
And media aesthetics can no longer just look at existing pieces of art, but must concern itself with the creation of art.
Our emphasis on mobile technology will focus on that creation.
Aesthetics
Figure Ground
Media Aesthetics (Zettl)
"Art is not an isolated object hidden away in a museum."
If you are not engaged in artistic expression, you're taking it in constantly.
Irwin Edman — "His main theme in his teaching and writing was to connect, rather than isolate, art with the ordinary aspects of life."
Life is clarified, intensified, interpreted. A clarification of an experience.
You can give concepts of "line" and "composition" to anything for an audience.
Organizing our environment and its constant stimulation begins with the figure-ground principle.
"Our tendency to organize a scene into figures that lie in front of a background. In so doing we perceive the ground as being more stable than the figures. In sound design, figure/ground means that you choose the important sounds to be the figure while relegating the other sounds to the background."
We tend to notice events or event details that we're used to seeing.
Known as "Selective Seeing"
This can cause prejudicial issues as we ignore details that do not conform to prior opinion.
"Selective Perception" on the other hand, is "An automatic reduction of unnecessary details during the perception process."
Seeing has you making the choices of what you'd like to focus on, focusing on things that confirm a preconceived bias. Perception is a process that automatically filters things out, hardly any choice involved.
The context we put events in:
Bottom-up Context — Context imposed by an event (a snowstorm).
Top-Down Context — Context imposed by your actions. Setting up a tent and camping.
Associative Context — Our experience of how the world should work.
Aesthetic Context — An immediate, nonrational reaction.
Seeing/Context
Associative Context
The application of a code, that to some extent, dictates how you feel about something, how you interpret it.
An established context that you think about.
What's your initial reaction to the advertisement above?
How do previous experiences and associations help form that reaction?
Aesthetic Context
This is a perceptual process that is immediate, forceful. Even if we know we are being manipulated, we respond in a predictable manner.
The center circles in both images (a) and (b) are identical. But we'll think (b) is larger. It looks larger relative to what surrounds it.
Human perceptual process allows us to predict, with accuracy, how individuals will react to stimuli, regardless of how they grew up.
Lighting, color and music can also have an immediate emotional affect on you. Plays a role in establishing an aesthetic context
Do we want to be so defined by immediate context though?
One who looks to be aware of Aesthetic Context should then attempt to counter this automatization, "to see events from various points of view and shift from glance to insight."
As a journalist, you want to help viewers, readers, listeners see events from different perspectives, allowing them to advance from "looking at" to "looking into."
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