Filmic Vision in Blade Runner: A Montage

I haven't had time to write my thoughts on Blade Runner 2049. I've seen the film three times now, and I'm still digesting the film and its implications. In the meantime, however, I've made a short montage of scenes from the original Blade Runner (though set to a piece of the new movie's score). It's … Continue reading Filmic Vision in Blade Runner: A Montage

Thoughts on Pittsburgh’s “Parts Unknown”

News came out this summer that Anthony Bourdain was in town to film a Pittsburgh-based episode of his Parts Unknown program. I like Bourdain and his tv shows, and I am weirdly passionate about Pittsburgh, so I was eagerly awaiting the episode, especially after we learned of his visit to our favorite local bar (I … Continue reading Thoughts on Pittsburgh’s “Parts Unknown”

The unreal urbanism of Pokémon Go

Earlier this month the mobile-app game Pokémon Go was released in the U.S., and the game has been ubiquitous ever since. Aside from being a sudden pop culture phenomenon, the game's success poses some significant implications. First of all, this is clearly a breakthrough moment for augmented reality. Pokémon Go is not the first augmented reality game, … Continue reading The unreal urbanism of Pokémon Go

Thoughts on polemics, Audre Lorde, and Do the Right Thing

Radical black feminist writer and activist Audre Lorde found productive potential in anger. According to Lester Olson, in his article "Anger among allies": “Lorde distinguished between anger and hatred, and she salvaged the former as potentially useful and generative” (p. 287). Lorde’s distinction between anger and hatred is developed in a quote from her remarks: … Continue reading Thoughts on polemics, Audre Lorde, and Do the Right Thing

McLuhan and Mad Men

The final episode of acclaimed TV series Mad Men aired this week. I've not seen any of the show (though now that the series is complete it is ripe for binge-watching), but I did appreciate this piece from Stephen Marche at Esquire, analyzing Mad Men through Marshall McLuhan's media theory (spoilers if, like me, you're not … Continue reading McLuhan and Mad Men

Resistance is Feudal: A descent into McLuhan’s media maelstrom

McLuhan’s approach to media studies is almost always characterized as deterministic. The entry for McLuhan in the Penguin Dictionary of Critical Theory states in part: “McLuhan’s version of technological determinism is extreme […] the most striking feature of his studies of the media is their total failure to discuss the ownership and control of means … Continue reading Resistance is Feudal: A descent into McLuhan’s media maelstrom

MISC Monday: MLK media literacy; social media stress; the attention economy, and more

Almetria Vaba of PBS Learning Media has posted a collection of resources for exploring media literacy through the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, jr.: Examine the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement with hundreds of PBS LearningMedia resources.  Here is a sampling of resources from the … Continue reading MISC Monday: MLK media literacy; social media stress; the attention economy, and more

McLuhan Monday: Print and Islam, mobile gaming medium theory, McLuhan’s relevance, and more

In an article for Haaretz reflecting on last week's terror attacks in Paris, Michael Handelzalts invokes McLuhan's infamous aphorism in relation to the emergence of print culture in the Islamic world: So, in the Muslim world, books and literacy became generally accessible (instead of being accessible only to the educated male and the wealthy) about a … Continue reading McLuhan Monday: Print and Islam, mobile gaming medium theory, McLuhan’s relevance, and more

Your brain on Kindle; 21st Century media literacy; how Disney shapes youth identity

Radio program New Tech City from WNYC interviewed Mike Rosenwald on his research into the effects of reading from a screen as opposed to print. Article and audio from the interview available here: Neuroscience, in fact, has revealed that humans use different parts of the brain when reading from a piece of paper or from … Continue reading Your brain on Kindle; 21st Century media literacy; how Disney shapes youth identity

Political Economy in Mumford’s “Technics & Civilization”

I've written about the media ecology tradition, attended the Media Ecology Association's conferences and had an article published in their journal, but up to now Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media and Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death are the only primary texts associated with the tradition that I've read. To broaden my knowledge of the tradition … Continue reading Political Economy in Mumford’s “Technics & Civilization”