Archive for June, 2011
“The medium is the message” is a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan meaning that the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived. (from Wikipedia)
The more I think about this issue of medium, the more unsatisfied I am with the way that medium of production is dealt with in the English curriculum.
While English teachers continue to be led by debate over the definition and role of Literature in English, and over the best way to teach language, questions of medium have been significantly sidelined.
It also seems clearer to me now why subjects like Drama and Media (content areas that technically sit under the umbrella of English, if you accept that English is a study of how meaning is made through language and texts) go off and take up their own space in many curriculum. It’s not just because those fields have their own traditions and pedagogies that need space, or because they have industries that create an economic drive for the subjects to continue. It’s also because those field require keen attention to production elements, including issues of medium.
Little wonder that Drama, which often deals with live performance of language, dies a slow death in English classrooms where the curriculum is still dominated by print literacy.
Little wonder that we still can reconcile the gulf between ‘literary’ and ‘digital/electronic’ texts in the Australian curriculum (medium is not a genre!)
To move anywhere with this line of thinking will require some careful thought about the overlap between the words:
- media as-in-the-artisitic-means-of-production and
- Media as-in-the-field-of-media-studies.
One of the best thinigs that I have found through my ramblings through DA are the other (seemingly increasing amount of?) ‘deviants’ and groups working on pieces of BOOK ART.
Take for example this whole group dedicated to making book arts:
Or this group, where altered books are featured (I think the difference is a focus on assemblege?)
Here are some examples of two excellent pieces by the deviant hogret:
The other genre of visual/written blending featured heavily in the DeviantArt groups is visual poetry. From what I can see it’s a more established genre, but please tell me more if you know.
Some of my favourite pieces come from deviants carrieola and giantshadow, who often contribute their work to the Daily Poetics group.
Here are a couple to help you get the idea: