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Beyond Globalization: Making New Worlds in Media, Art, and Social Practices

Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: Rutgers University Press
Pages: 246
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  • Book Info
    Beyond Globalization
    Book Description:

    Does living in a globally networked society mean that we are moving toward a single, homogenous world culture? Or, are we headed for clashes between center and periphery, imperial and subaltern, Western and non-Western, First and Third World? The interdisciplinary essays inBeyond Globalizationpresent us with another possibility-that new media will lead to new kinds of "worldmaking."

    This provocative volume brings together the best new work of scholars within such diverse fields as history, sociology, anthropology, film, media studies, and art. Whether examining the inauguration of a virtual community on the website Second Life or investigating the appropriation of biotechnology for transgenic art, this collection highlights how mediated practices have become integral to global culture; how social practices have emerged out of computer-related industries; how contemporary apocalyptic narratives reflect the anxieties of a U.S. culture facing global challenges; and how design, play, and technology help us understand the histories and idealsbehind the digital architectures that mediate our everyday actions.

    eISBN: 978-0-8135-5194-4
    Subjects: Anthropology, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Introduction: The Making of Worlds
    (pp. 1-14)

    Contemporary accounts of an emerging “Global Village” or “One World” system—whether in relation to economics, culture, communication, or language—may seem naïve descriptions of global integration. But discourses on globalization are perhaps not all rhetoric. To take but one example: worlds studied by anthropologists are no longer protected by geography and distance; in fact, they continue to disappear. Obstinate languages, values, norms, and practices have been either exterminated or brought out of seclusion, full of wonder and spectacle via research, representation, and multiple mediated views. Two decades ago, linguists rushed to a Turkish farming village in order to record...

  4. 1 Global Media and Culture
    (pp. 15-29)

    Increasing global relations catalyze the question of culture: Are the basic conditions of culture changed, diminished, or supplemented as a result of intensified exchanges across national, ethnic, and territorial borders? What are the major discursive regimes that have emerged in connection with the phenomenon of global culture? What models of analysis are best suited to examine these exchanges—translation, transcoding, mixing, hybridity, homogenization? Do these models appear to pose the most productive questions in the present context? Do these concepts articulate the challenges and opportunities posed for culture by the rapid intensification of global exchanges? One might inquire as well,...

  5. 2 Burning Man at Google: A Cultural Infrastructure for New Media Production
    (pp. 30-48)

    To anyone accustomed to visiting the main offices of industrial-era information technology powerhouses such as IBM or AT&T, a stop in the lobby of Building 43 , Google’s Mountain View, California, headquarters, presents something of a shock. The cool blonde wood and carefully recessed lighting that have marked the power of industrial firms for decades have disappeared. In their place, plain white walls are posted with some two dozen unframed photographs of massive sculptures set out in a flat, white desert, and of fireworks exploding over the head of a giant neon stick figure. On the floor above, another thirty...

  6. 3 Apocalypse by Subtraction: Late Capitalism and the Trauma of Scarcity
    (pp. 49-71)

    The comics seriesFables, written by Bill Willingham and published by the Vertigo imprint of DC Comics, concerns a community of refugees in New York that is composed of familiar characters from fairy tales and nursery rhymes. Beloved as well as infamous figures from European folklore and legend, such as Snow White, Prince Charming, Pinocchio, Cinderella, Bluebeard, Boy Blue, the Frog Prince, Beauty and the Beast, the Black Forest Witch, and the Big Bad Wolf all live undercover on a single city block in Manhattan known as Fable-town, having been forced to flee from their magical homelands by the invading...

  7. 4 These Great Urbanist Games: New Babylon and Second Life
    (pp. 72-85)

    Michel de Certeau, the French social theorist perhaps most attuned to the fraught nature of the relationship between designed spaces and everyday practices, took a moment in his landmarkL’invention du quotidien. Vol. 1, Arts de faire(1980, translated by Steven Randall in 1984 asThe Practice of Everyday Life) to muse about the rise of technology and its possible saturation of everyday experience, and what that would mean for the future of the city. He imagined that the proliferation of technology in an unbounded sense would dissolve what had been a distinction between “proper” institutional spaces and the unbounded...

  8. 5 Format Television and Israeli Telediplomacy
    (pp. 86-102)

    The formally dressed Ethiopian man stands at an outdoor podium. His audience, a large group of journalists and commentators from over ten countries across the African continent, has gathered at this Ugandan resort. Now they wait, fanning themselves against the hot midday sun. The young man can surely sense their skeptical glances as he stands, head down, anxiously rearranging his notes and patting at his damp neck. Behind him, seven women and six men in their twenties sit facing the audience; among them is a Russian-born software engineer, a Swedish-émigré finance student, a Germanborn businesswoman, a political science student of...

  9. 6 Mediating “Neutrality”: Latino Diasporic Films
    (pp. 103-120)

    In a series of articles about recenttelenovelaproduction and thematic trends, Colombian media scholar Omar Rincón indicates that there is a new type of product on the market: the “neutral” telenovela.¹ Produced in Mexico (via Televisa), and Miami and Colombia (via Telemundo) for the U.S. Spanish-language and global television markets, this telenovela subgenre is characterized by five principal tropes of “neutrality”—neutral accents, neutral territoriality, neutral culture, neutral expressions, and neutral morality. Similar to most programming produced in Miami, the neutral accent in Spanish is equivalent to a Mexican accent and it is utilized in the narrative to appeal...

  10. 7 Killing Me Softly: Brazilian Film and Bare Life
    (pp. 121-137)

    Media flows between the two largest countries in the Americas, Brazil and the United States, intensified in the years following the First World War and continue today. From initial treatments of Brazilian culture as “exotic” or as a “third world” surface for aestheticization, North American filmmakers, video artists, and mass culture producers now mine Brazilian culture largely for images of megacities and urban poverty, drug lords and violence in thefavelas, or poor neighborhoods. In turn, Brazilian cinema and television industries increasingly see the United States as a distribution venue and profit generator for Brazilian media, including these images of...

  11. 8 The Man, the Corpse, and the Icon in Motorcycle Diaries: Utopia, Pleasure, and a New Revolutionary Imagination
    (pp. 138-161)

    An eyewitness reported that upon facing his executioner in the little schoolhouse in the Bolivian highlands, 39-year-old Ernesto “Che” Guevara said, “Shoot, coward. You’re only going to kill a man.”¹ After he and his comrades were executed, Guevara’s body was flown to the nearby town of Vallegrande, laid out Christ-like on a deathbed in an austere laundry-room with halfopened eyes. The eerie image of his death was captured in photographs and on film. Newspapers reported that communist Revolutionary pursuits in Bolivia had come to an end. The date was October 9, 1967 .

    If his contribution to the Cuban Revolution...

  12. 9 Saudades on the Amazon: Toward a Soft Sweet Name for Involution
    (pp. 162-177)

    In 1942, with Carmen Miranda’sThe Gang’s All Herein production and promising to be a big hit, Hollywood producers were eager to make more movies with Brazilian characters or settings. They were talking with Orson Welles about his never-completed film about a Rio carnival celebration and they decided to send Bob and Rose Brown down the Amazon to generate ideas for movies. About a decade before, in the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Browns were expatriate surrealists living in France. Bob had created a sensation among the avant-garde with his “reading machine,” including praise from Gertrude Stein, Marcel...

  13. 10 States of Distraction: Media Art Strategies Within Public Conditions
    (pp. 178-188)

    In recent years, medium and large-scale video screens have proliferated in public contexts. Digital billboards, video displays mounted to the sides of busses, and myriad interior screens inhabit our landscape, resembling the ever-present media environment of futuristic dystopic fantasies. Traditionally, the scale of these screens paralleled what was available for home consumption. However, as technologies developed for larger and brighter screens, they have been applied to domestic interior and outdoor applications. The larger-scale screens compete in public spaces with the surrounding architecture and signage for a fragment of our attention.

    As with any new technology aimed at a mass audience,...

  14. 11 Bio Art
    (pp. 189-206)

    In 1998, I introduced the concept and the phrase “bio art,” originally in relation to my artwork “Time Capsule” (1997 ). This work approached the problem of wet interfaces and human hosting of digital memory through the implantation of a microchip. The work consisted of a microchip implant, seven sepia-toned photographs, a live television broadcast, a Webcast, interactive telerobotic Webscanning of the implant, a remote database intervention, and additional display elements, including an X-ray of the implant. While “bio art” is applicable to a large gamut of in-vivo works that employ biological media, made by myself and others, already in...

  15. NOTES
    (pp. 207-228)
    (pp. 229-232)
  17. INDEX
    (pp. 233-238)