Tag Archives: burnett

Friends of mine are in Berlin for a couple months.

This picture is in their honor. Of course, the Temporare Kunsthalle Berlin isn’t there anymore, but that’s not the point. The point is their honor.

Also, it does jibe well with a major theme from this summer’s readings: time. Photography “resists time” (Burnett, 2007) and rather than save some things, save things to say something (Lynch, 1972).

However, in this case, Berlin’s opted to create a small replica of what had been there before the Kunstalle’s socialism-tinged, bowling-alleyed, discotequed, and allegedly asbestos-laced predecessor, Palast der Republik: the Stadtschloss-Berlin. Only, and this is very important, the new Stadtschlosse will not  be a complete replica. Only the façades will be reproductions, the interior will be contemporary. It won’t be a castle, rather a museum. And the Federal Parliament isn’t paying (the Federal Parliament does not build castles), it’s privately funded.

This ill-conceived, protracted, neoliberal creative-city project says something, to be sure, but not much is flattering.

From inside the Temporare Kunsthalle Berlin to the Fernsehturm, March 2009. Photo by Brettany Shannon.


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Burnett, R. (2007). Projecting Minds. In _Media Art Histories_, O. Grau, ed. Cambridge and London: The MIT Press.

Ron Burnett, author of Culture of Vision: Images, Media, and the Imaginary (1995) and How Images Think (2005), is the President of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and former Director of the Graduate Program in Communications at McGill University. He’s authored over 150 published articles and book chapters and was named Educator of the Wyar by the Canadian New Media Association in 2005. In 2010, the French government honored him with an Order of France: Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

“Interactivity then cannot be predicated on or predicted by the design of the game or any medium. The challenge . . . is not to make too many assumptions about the behaviors of players or viewers” (310).

Here Burnett unpacks the history of the “‘fabrication’ of audiences” (312) and proposes that photography and film factor heavily in this movement. In comparing photography and cinema, Burnett outlines several reasons media art processes and the art itself offer much to planning.

Re documentation, Jean Luc Godard often complained about photography and cinema’s close relationship and deep differences. Photography resists time, documenting single moments. Harking back to Groys, photography conveys the aesthetic, whereas cinema, poetics and the possibility for a life narrative. While the former communicates a lot of information, it cannot stand for the whole of a film.

“Projection allows audiences to visualize the effects of frames in motion” (319).

That immersive experience–and this is key–depends not just on the technological apparatuses “but also on the capacity of the user to fill in the gaps between what is there and what cannot be there” (331). Local knowledge and context matter.

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Filed under Annotated Bibliographies, Media Arts, Minor Field, Research Fields

Belated Reports from the Field: Berger and Burnett Inform my Trip to the 2012 Vernacular Architecture Forum Conference

The second weekend in June I attended the Vernacular Architecture Forum Conference in Madison, WI. It was, owing to the topic, a considerably analog affair. At the risk of being obvious, vernacular architecture is exactly like vernacular language; only here the text is the built environment. It subsumes everything from housing to bridges to farm buildings to gas stations, and so on, and scholars are particularly interested in it for its reification of cultural landscapes. And while we read Berger (1977) and Burnett (2004) in terms of the digital humanities, I was struck by how much this Forum’s particular object of scrutiny underscores both Berger and Burnett’s writings. [Sidebar: I study cultural landscapes, as well, but my primary reason for being there was to take a very nerdy vacation. It was time very well spent.]

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Filed under Quotidian, Scholarship, Travels

A grateful farewell to IML 500…that also reads as some Burnett-based kvetching

The last four and a half weeks whizzed by. In the process we learned Photoshop, Premier, and (behold!) WordPress. I thank our Professors Holly Willis and Vicki Callahan, my classmates, and the hired guns at Lynda.com. For what it’s worth, I consider Photoshop to be the hardest. I realize many of the terms borrow from photography, but the application of said terms? I’m not so sure. But I’ll not decry the Photoshop! I have too much fun using it to make this blog’s headers. So much so that I worry about future procrastination projects, wherein I toil away at making 770 x 200 images just so when I ought to be writing up on Out the Window, or even transferring and tagging (hurray, tags!) my annotated bibliographies. As Burnett (2005) says, our archives look differently now. The role of the image extends beyond mere illustration. Images are now the central actors in archives, providing “visualizations of thinking, feeling, seeing, and knowing” (77).

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Filed under Scholarship