Advertising has played a central role in shaping the history of modern media. While often identified with American consumerism and the rise of the 'Information Society', motion picture advertising has been part of European visual culture since the late nineteenth century. With the global spread of ad agencies, moving image advertisements became a privileged cultural form to make people experience the qualities and uses of branded commodities, to articulate visions of a 'good life', and to incite social relationships. Abandoning a conventional delineation of fields by medium, country, or period, this book suggests a lateral view. It charts the audiovisual history of advertising by focussing on objects (products and services), screens (exhibition, programming, physical media), practices (production, marketing), and intermediaries (ad agencies). In this way, the book develops new historical, methodological, and theoretical perspectives.
The history of industrial films - an orphan genre of twentieth-century cinema composed of government-produced and industrially sponsored movies that sought to achieve the goals of their sponsors, rather than the creative artists involved - seems to have left no trace in filmic cultural discourse. At its height the industrial film industry employed thousands, produced several trade journals and festival circuits, engaged with giants of twentieth-century industry like Shell and AT & T, and featured the talents of iconic actors and directors such as Buster Keaton, John Grierson and Alain Resnais. This is the first full-length book, anthology, and annotated bibliography to analyze the industrial film and its remarkable history.
Exploring the potential of the industrial film to uncover renewed and unexplored areas of media studies, this remarkable volume brings together renowned scholars such as Rick Prelinger and Thomas Elsaesser in a discussion of the radical potential and new possibilities in considering the history of this unexplored corporate medium.
The contributors to Signal Traffic investigate how the material artifacts of media infrastructure--transoceanic cables, mobile telephone towers, Internet data centers, and the like--intersect with everyday life. Essayists confront the multiple and hybrid forms networks take, the different ways networks are imagined and engaged with by publics around the world, their local effects, and what human beings experience when a network fails.
Some contributors explore the physical objects and industrial relations that make up an infrastructure. Others venture into the marginalized communities orphaned from the knowledge economies, technological literacies, and epistemological questions linked to infrastructural formation and use. The wide-ranging insights delineate the oft-ignored contrasts between industrialized and developing regions, rich and poor areas, and urban and rural settings, bringing technological differences into focus.
Contributors include Charles R. Acland, Paul Dourish, Sarah Harris, Jennifer Holt and Patrick Vonderau, Shannon Mattern, Toby Miller, Lisa Parks, Christian Sandvig, Nicole Starosielski, Jonathan Sterne, and Helga Tawil-Souri.