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28 Class sessions - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Intro to Visual Culture. Live!. 22 Guest Lecturers. Many, MANY PowerPoint slides . 28 Class sessions. Starring Mark Olson, with your Host Professor Kristine Stiles. Keepin’ It Real. Reality Television & Visual Culture. Reality TV. Real people (real = ordinary) Unscripted

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Intro to Visual Culture


22 Guest Lecturers

Many, MANY PowerPoint slides

28 Class sessions

Starring Mark Olson, with your Host

Professor Kristine Stiles

keepin it real

Keepin’ It Real

Reality Television & Visual Culture

reality tv
Reality TV
  • Real people (real = ordinary)
  • Unscripted
  • Ordinary / Extraordinary Situations
  • Commercial
  • Entertainment
specificity of the televisual

Space of the home

Segmented Flow

Liveness potential

Segmented Audiences

Divergent Platforms


Specificity of the Televisual
television real life
Television & Real Life
  • “Television’s real value is to make people participants in ongoing experiences. Real life is vastly more exciting than synthetic life, and this is real life drama with audience participation.”

1969 - Television news anchor describing

the televising of the Apollo moon landing

spectacular mode of address
Spectacular mode of address
  • Mode of address - establishing a relationship between the text and an audience (preferred reading)
  • Play of immediacy & hypermediacy
  • Erasure of the gap between signifier & signified / between representation and reality
  • Forget the presence of the medium
  • Grasping the real
  • Remind the viewer of the medium -- making us conscious that the reality we see is mediated
  • Multiplying the levels and sites of mediation
  • Reality TV promotes the idea that surveillance is a natural mode through which to observe the social world
  • Unaware of cameras, or forget that they are there, yielding “truth” and “reality”
the confession
The Confession
  • Visual reality & the problem of interiority
  • Acting vs. Being (being real)
  • The authentic fake (Umberto Eco)
  • A blending of reality and representation (or performance & identity) where there is no clear indication where the former stops and the latter begins.