writ 210 temp site
Exercise for Week 3
We shall look at
the material practice of writing. Thinking
of writing as technology, defamiliarises it, letting us see it for the
Read Ong’s Orality and literacy : the technologizing of the word, concentrate on Chapter 5 (special reserve)
Ong shows how books and oral overlap and argues controversially that
communication technologies change the way the human mind thinks,
Ong ‘writing (and esp. alphabetical writing) is a technology, calling for the use of tools and other equipment . . .‘p81-2 (be it ‘paper, animal skins or strips of wood’). This is the material aspect
Two of you will
prepare a table (as last week) this time comparing oral with literate
modes according to Ong. In a page of
text relate the table to the work of Bolter.
writing is being more visualised whereas Ong talks of a third orality.
Who is right?
Have a look at Tofts
Darren Tofts and
Murray McKeich, Memory Trade: A
Prehistory of Cyberculture. North Ryde, Australia: G + B Arts
International, 1998. (Special Reserve)
looks at the history of memory and how technologies affect memory
Literacy is also integral to memory being one of the earliest
information storage systems. Oral cultures practiced an entirely
different kind of memory work and writing was born of the need to extend
the capacities of the human mind for remembering. This was initially
represented by invento and lists. The move to literacy from orality gave
birth to the first recorded incidence of the ‘technofear’ that spans
the period from Socrates to present, the original ‘technology of
How does new media eg film, photography affect aesthetic notions and responses? (Distraction)
If you have time, get some sense of the following two texts – The net should help here.
Siegfried Kracauer Theory of Film: The Redemption of Physical Reality, (1926) Oxford University Press, 1960
Benjamin, Walter, ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,’ (1936) in Illuminations Trans. Harry Zohn, Shocken Books, 1969, p 217-251.
Benjamin is at once nostalgic about the loss of the "aura" of traditional art and optimistic about new cultural technologies - what Benjamin calls reproducible art.
The essay's project: to define the "aura" of traditional art and to analyze the decay of this art and its aura under the impact of new cultural technologies, what Benjamin calls reproducible art.
Film reflects these changes through montage which tears things from their habitual modes and reassembles them in constantly changing combinations. Montage has a liberating potential and can offer political engagement with the world.