The story of media is the story of mankind extending his reach through technology. The invention of the printing press has allowed us to easily fix knowledge in a format that could be exchanged, shared, and sent far away. Photography allows us to take a moment in time and space, capture it and store it. And, the digital era has seen us take information, break it into pieces of data, and then reassemble that data into new forms of knowledge. With each stage of increasing technical complexity, the relationship between materials and culture becomes more complicated, reflecting the role that technological delivery media play in shaping our experience of knowledge, information, and/or data.
In the Fall of 2012, students in the BGC course Media and Materaility studied these shifts over the last one hundred and fifty years by considering the centrality of material things in the experience of culture. The students assessed the impact of different manifestations of media artifacts, such as books, film, records, tapes, disks, etc., on cultural development. This website is a result of the work of these students (Lisa Adang, Antonia Behan, and Hannah Kinney) and is the end product of a new approach to to telling the story of how materiality impacts the role of different media on cultural experience.
In order to traverse the different narratives about typography, photography, and moving images that the students composed, click on the visual and textual links throughout the site. For more about the course and assignment click here.