Week 14: Aesthetics and New Techology

 

In the era of new technological media, the aesthetic experience is enhanced by engaging multiple senses and creating a message that can more effectively reach the target audience. With the innovation of the telegraph and subsequent telephone, people can now hear media, and with the innovation of videogames and movies, people can simultaneously hear and see media in an advanced aesthetic experience. The implications of this new technology have stretched beyond aesthetics and into human consciousness, perception, and politics.

New technology has allowed media to expand beyond visual representations and provided the ability to hear through media. The telephone offers individuals the ability to communicate messages and make connections across vast distances. Hearing the voice of a loved one has a much stronger aesthetic effect than reading their words on a page. By adding another dimension to the media landscape, the level of interaction with media is increased.

Furthermore, videogames are an example of new technology that combines audio with visual elements to create and aesthetic experience that is even more dynamic. Videogames build on the human concept of storytelling, giving the player great agency in determining the course of the story, whereas other forms of media storytelling are far more static. Videogames build on the foundation of hearing media to allow both hearing (via sound effects) and seeing media to work together and further increase levels of interconnectedness.

In terms of aesthetics, new media is clearly continuing to engage other senses and create a more complete experience. However, the implications of this phenomenon expand to other areas of society as well. For example, with videogames the divide between reality and illusion is heightened as the media forms become increasingly more realistic and develop an alternative reality within themselves. The divide brings the dimensions of reality and illusion into conflict. Furthermore, engaging multiple senses allows politicians to use propaganda more effectively, as it can creep into the alternative reality provided by media. Evidently, innovation is transforming both aesthetics and society.

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3 Comments

  1. I definitely agree with your description of video games as an example of new technological media. I don’t often play video games, but I’m always fascinated by the new developments that come along with them. I think it’s just a matter of time before VR and video games become widespread and available for the general population to consume.

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  2. One thing that I think about when I think about audible media is the fact that we can close our eyes and divert our vision but we can’t close our ears. Music is often mentioned as the most unmediated experience in art, and the most easily accessible. I think these are reasons why sound is so powerful in creating an immersive atmosphere. The creeping of politics into the “alternative reality” of media, as you put it, I think is only possible because the increased proximity of reality and illusion, not their distancing. It seems to me that as the illusion gets more real, the real gets more illusory.

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