287 Slices
Medium 9781864620542

Submerged Landscapes of the Postmodern Body: Surface, Text, Commodity

Fullerton, John John Libbey Publishing ePub

In the 1990s it seems that no anthology of cultural theory is complete without a contribution to the increasingly pervasive discourses on the body. Emerging theories attempt to manage Arthur and Marilouise Kroker’s ‘crisis of the body’ by sketching out a map to navigate a world marked by genetic testing, retinal and thumbprint identification, cybersex, and other technological and increasingly digital bodily formations.1 As I aim to show, this is a map written both about and upon the body in order to regulate the myriad technological systems which dis-/configure it.

According to various sources, the genesis of the discursive body occurs in the nineteenth century. Michel Foucault posits the emergence of an historic body born out of the introduction of microscopy, chronophotography, and other visual systems related to biological science. With the advent of such imaging technologies, he suggests that as the immediacy of natural science shifts to representational techniques in biology, the surface of the body as a site for ‘sensory perception … is progressively destabilised’.2 His argument of visceral displacement locates the seeing subject as a central point on a continuum whose termini mark that which is unseen, inaccessible to human vision. The world beyond the horizon (the other, foreign culture) and the interior world of the human body (the unseen) are both the infinite without and the infinitesimal within. Foucault’s human sciences set out to access these two unknown (because unseen) frontiers.

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Medium 9780861966608

Chapter 13 Toward Globalization or Localization: Multinational Advertising in Eastern Europe

Boyd-Barrett, Oliver John Libbey Publishing ePub

The economic and political opening of Central and Eastern Europe after 1989 was a signal for multinational advertising agencies to establish their presence there as soon as possible. With the following influx of Western media products, an excellent laboratory has emerged for the observation of the relationship between global advertising and local economies and cultures. Drawing on Kelly-Holmes (1998), this chapter argues that commercial advertising non-deliberately fulfilled the function of socialization, teaching East European audiences not just about individual products, but about how to live and participate in a consumer society, bringing to the previously planned economies the ideology of consumption and discourse of the market.

Globalization, originally defined as the intensification of human interaction across territorial boundaries, has recently come to encompass the increasing promotion of a neo-liberal economic and political agenda. Driven by the ideology of free market, this process entails a systemic transformation of the economy, polity, culture, in the modes of existence and the degree of control exercised locally, and is characterized by intensification of the longue durée of commodification around the world (Mittelman, 2004; Gill, 1995). Transnational advertising, along with financial capital, has become a central factor in facilitating the process worldwide. “If financial capital is the fuel that fired the engine of transnational corporations, transnational advertising is the fire that lights the path toward capitalism and consumption” (Viswanath & Zeng, 2002). After the 1989 collapse of Communism in this region, Central and Eastern Europe’s opening to an inflow of foreign capital and foreign media products provided a rich site for observation of the relationship between multinational advertising and the processes of globalization.

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Chapter 4 Cyberspace, Globalization and US Empire

Boyd-Barrett, Oliver John Libbey Publishing ePub

In this chapter, I argue that the framework of media imperialism is appropriate for the study of US dominance of information and communication technology (ICT) industries in the period 1975–2000. Early media imperialism theories focused on US television exports at a time when such exports were set to decline in many local markets. Covert influences such as ownership, business models, professional values, content formatting, audience preferences, cultural hybrids and technologies, were insufficiently considered. In particular, the earlier focus on television and content may have distracted attention from the emergence of microprocessor-based computer networking technologies, their significance for the development of ICT industries, and the profound influence these have exerted on US economic and foreign policies from the 1970s. This chapter evaluates the significance of ICT for US responses to challenges to its superpower status from the 1970s. It documents the continuing dominance of US corporate power, of US-based transnational corporations (TNCs) and, among them, of ICT industries, within the global economy. It charts US dominance of most spheres of computing and telecommunications at the turn of the 21st century. With specific reference to intelligence estimates of future global trends it assesses the significance of the “Asian challenge”, specifically the challenge of Asian ICT activity to the prospects of a continuation of US hegemony.

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Medium 9780861966899

Chapter 5 Charles O’Brien, Sound-on-disc cinema and electrification in pre-WWI Britain, France, Germany and the United States

Abel, Richard John Libbey Publishing ePub

In the following essay I examine sound-on-disc cinema prior to World War I through a framework of national and urban comparisons. The objective is to explore sound-on-disc’s international diffusion as an example of how the cinema’s uneven global development, its geographical diversity, was conditioned by regional variations in electric power. The focus on sound-on-disc thus involves an argument that bears implications for cinema history as a whole. One aspect of the argument concerns difficulties posed to the established nation-state film historiography by electrification, a sub- or transnational phenomenon more than a national one.

The essay is organized in three parts. First, I outline sound-on-disc cinema’s dependence on electric motors, and hence on patterns of electrification, that varied from one city, nation, or region to the next. Second, drawing on film-trade periodicals and daily newspapers, I survey how electrification in London, Berlin, New York, Paris, and Chicago affected – or may have affected – sound-on-disc’s commercialization in these cities. Finally, in my conclusion, I draw out from the sound-on-disc situation implications for early cinema study generally.

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Medium 9780861967155

Introduction

David E James John Libbey Publishing ePub

David E. James

With the exception of two written specifically for this volume, these historical and critical essays have been developed from papers presented on the panels at the Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles 1945–1980 conference held at the School of Cinematic Arts, USC, 12–14 November 2010.

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