David Norman Rodowick: The Virtual Life of Film (2007)

28 February 2010, dusan

As almost (or, truly, virtually) every aspect of making and viewing movies is replaced by digital technologies, even the notion of “watching a film” is fast becoming an anachronism. With the likely disappearance of celluloid film stock as a medium, and the emergence of new media competing for an audience, what will happen to cinema–and to cinema studies? In the first of two books exploring this question, D. N. Rodowick considers the fate of film and its role in the aesthetics and culture of moviemaking and viewing in the twenty-first century.

Here Rodowick proposes and examines three different critical responses to the disappearance of film in relation to other time-based media, and to the study of contemporary visual culture. Film, he suggests, occupies a special place in the genealogy of the arts of the virtual: while film disappears, cinema persists–at least in the narrative forms imagined by Hollywood since 1915. Rodowick also observes that most so-called “new media” are fashioned upon a cinematic metaphor. His book helps us see how digital technologies are serving, like television and video before them, to perpetuate the cinematic as the mature audiovisual culture of the twentieth century–and, at the same time, how they are preparing the emergence of a new audiovisual culture whose broad outlines we are only just beginning to distinguish.

Publisher Harvard University Press, 2007
ISBN 0674026683, 9780674026681
193 pages

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PDF (updated on 2012-7-14)

Amy N. Langville, Carl Dean Meyer: Google’s PageRank and Beyond: The Science of Search Engine Rankings (2006)

27 February 2010, dusan

Why doesn’t your home page appear on the first page of search results, even when you query your own name? How do other Web pages always appear at the top? What creates these powerful rankings? And how? The first book ever about the science of Web page rankings,Google’s PageRank and Beyondsupplies the answers to these and other questions and more. The book serves two very different audiences: the curious science reader and the technical computational reader. The chapters build in mathematical sophistication, so that the first five are accessible to the general academic reader. While other chapters are much more mathematical in nature, each one contains something for both audiences. For example, the authors include entertaining asides such as how search engines make money and how the Great Firewall of China influences research. The book includes an extensive background chapter designed to help readers learn more about the mathematics of search engines, and it contains several MATLAB codes and links to sample Web data sets. The philosophy throughout is to encourage readers to experiment with the ideas and algorithms in the text. Any business seriously interested in improving its rankings in the major search engines can benefit from the clear examples, sample code, and list of resources provided.

Publisher Princeton University Press, 2006
ISBN 0691122024, 9780691122021
Length 224 pages

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Hamid Naficy: The Making of Exile Cultures: Iranian Television in Los Angeles (1993)

27 February 2010, dusan

Naficy explores the seemingly contradictory way in which immigrant media and cultural productions serve as the source both of resistance and opposition to the domination by host and home country’s social values while simultaneously serving as vehicles for personal and cultural transformation and assimilation of those values.

Publisher U of Minnesota Press, 1993
ISBN 0816620873, 9780816620876
Length 283 pages

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W. J. Thomas Mitchell: Iconology: Image, Text, Ideology (1986)

27 February 2010, dusan

“Mitchell undertakes to explore the nature of images by comparing them with words, or, more precisely, by looking at them from the viewpoint of verbal language.”

Publisher University of Chicago Press, 1986
ISBN 0226532291, 9780226532295
x+226 pages


Reviews: Lee B. Brown (The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 1986), Roger Seamon (Canadian Philosophical Reviews, 1986), Patrick Maynard (London Review of Books, 1988), Anna J. Smith (Philosophy and Literature, 1988), Stefan Beyst (2010).

PDF (updated on 2012-7-18)

Veit Erlmann (ed.): Hearing Cultures. Essays on Sound, Listening and Modernity (2004)

24 February 2010, dusan

Vision is typically treated as the defining sense of the modern era and a powerful vehicle for colonial and postcolonial domination. This is in marked contrast to the almost total absence of accounts of hearing in larger cultural processes.

Hearing Cultures is a timely examination of the elusive, often evocative, and sometimes cacophonous auditory sense – from the intersection of sound and modernity, through to the relationship between audio-technological advances and issues of personal and urban space. As cultures and communities grapple with the massive changes wrought by modernization and globalization, Hearing Cultures presents an important new approach to understanding our world. It answers such intriguing questions as:

· Did people in Shakespeare’s time hear differently from us?
· In what way does technology affect our ears?
· Why do people in Egypt increasingly listen to taped religious sermons?
· Why did Enlightenment doctors believe that music was an essential cure?
· What happens acoustically in cross-cultural first encounters?
· Why do Runa Indians in the Amazon basin now consider onomatopoetic speech child’s talk?

The ear, as much as the eye, nose, mouth and hand, offers a way into experience. All five senses are instruments that record, interpret and engage with the world. This book shows how sound offers a refreshing new lens through which to examine culture and complex social issues.

Publisher Berg Publishers, 2004
Sensory Formations series
ISBN 1859738281, 9781859738283
239 pages

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PDF (updated on 2012-8-3)

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