Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Reading Response

Marshall McLuhan's "Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man" explains the power of the medium used to convey the message, rather than the message itself. He examines how the medium's qualities can control the way the message and content is delivered, and ultimately affects it's audience. For example, he looks at the light bulb which is capable of creating it's own environment without any alterations or attached message/content. People interact and engage differently with different types of media; for example, an article we can re-read at our leisure, while film isn't as simple and easy. McLuhan uses the terms "hot media" and "cool media" to distinguish between low and high participation and engagement. Hot media is low participation, while cool media is high levels of engagement. For example, the television would be cool media since it involves you to immerse yourself, while a radio/music just requires you to listen and would be hot media-an easy interaction. I feel that now more than ever people want quick, easy interactions; things that are very straight forward. People have little patience to engage and interact. This is why art can be so captivating, people rarely take the time to slow down and recognize emotion and feelings. Art has the ability to do this, through an almost involuntary manner at times. Living in a society that is so jaded, art-with a careful selection of medium to properly convey the message at hand, has the power to really grab people's attention. 

Looking at the tapestries that will be on display, it can be noted that the idea of weaving the documentation of contemporary events is quite innovative since other tapestries at that time contained mythology or biblical content. The medium selected was unique for the message it was intended to convey, which sets up the theme for the exhibit at the San Diego art museum. Exhibits will be questioning where our news comes from, how are people informed, through what media is the content distributed and how that affects us. The control of access to the information, propaganda, etc all should be taken into account since we are considered the "Information Age."

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