Within your breakout room, describe your interpretation of the quote from Spigel and Manovich essays. Assign someone in your room to discuss the interpretation when we rejoin the full class session.
Lynn Spigel, “The Domestic Economy of Television Viewing in Postwar America,” Critical Studies in Mass Communication 6, no. 4 (1989): 337–54.
Modleski suggests that the soap opera might be understood in terms of the rhythms of reception or the way women working at home relate to the text within a specific milieu of distraction: cleaning, cooking, child rearing, etc. Browne concentrates not on the individual text but rather on the entire television schedule, which he claims is ordered according to the logic of the workday of both men and women. As he writes, “the position of the programs in the television schedule reflects and is determined by the work-structured order of the real social world. The patterns of position and flow imply the Quotation of who is home, and through complicated social relays and temporal mediations, link television to the modes, processes and scheduling of production characteristic of the general population” (339).
The ads evoked a sense of fragmented leisure time and suggested that television viewing could be conducted in a state of distraction. But this was not the kind of critical contemplative distraction that Walter Benjamin suggested in his seminal essay…. Rather, the ads implied that the housewife could accomplish her chores in a state of ‘utopian forgetfulness’ as she moved freely between her work and the act of watching television (334).
“The bifurcation of sexual roles of male (leisure) and female (productive) activities served as an occasion for a full consideration of power dynamics between men and women in the home. Typically, the magazines extended their categories of feminine and masculine viewing practices into representations of the body.
“For men, television viewing was most often depicted in terms of a posture of repose. Men were typically shown to be sprawled out on easy chairs as they watched the set… But for women passive calm of television viewing was simply more problematic…the female body watching television was often engaged in productive activities” (348).
Lev Manovich, “The Practice of Everyday (Media) Life: From Mass Consumption to Mass Cultural Production?,” Critical Inquiry 35, no. 2 (January 2009): 319–31.
“As de Certeau points out, in modern societies most of the objects that people use in their everyday lives are mass-produced goods; these goods are the expressions of strategies of designers, producers, and marketers. People build their worlds and identities out of these readily available objects by using different tactics: bricolage, assembly, customization, and—to use a term that was not a part of de Certeau’s vocabulary but that has become important today—remix” (322).
“In summary, today strategies used by social media companies often look more like tactics in the original formulation by de Certeau while tactics look like strategies. Since the companies that create social media platforms make money from having as many users as possible visit them…, they have a direct interest in having users pour as much of their lives into these platforms as possible” (325).
“Just as is the case with any other feature of contemporary digital culture, some precedents can be found for any of these communication situations. For instance, modern art can be understood as conversations among different artists, artistic schools, critics, and curators. That is, one artist or movement is responding to the work produced by another artist or movement. Thus, modernists in general reacted against classical nineteenth- century culture, Jasper Johns and other pop artists reacted to abstract expressionism, Jean-Luc Godard reacted to Hollywood-style narrative cinema, and so on” (328).