Name Goes here! Assignment 1



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Assignment 1

Ch 1 Applied Media Aesthetics
Applied media Aesthetics=about perception.
Definition: 1. Examine media elements, interactions, and our reaction to them.

2. Media images are not neutral conveyers of information.

3. Purpose is to critique and useful for production.
Art & Experience: Assumption that Art and Life are not two realms. Everyday Aesthetic decisions clarify, intensify, or interpret information for some audience.
Contextual Perception: Perception is not absolute – it’s relative. (Big/small; fast/slow, weak/powerful).

Constantly changing/re-evaluating perceptual field.




  1. Stabilizing the environment: make perception manageable. Assume size stays the same, even when farther away; color stays the same even when it appears to change (light/shade).

Figure/Ground Principle: we perceive things (moving) in front of background (stabile).


  1. Selective seeing: We decide to see what we want/expect; ignore what doesn’t fit our expectation. Active process of looking for confirmation/denying disconfirmation.

Selective perception: automatic process. Unaware of most stimuli (background noise, changes in actual color) unless attention brought to it. (ball bouncing video).
Power of Context: Two flavors
  1. Associative: Make meaning through association with other things in the stimulus (e.g., ABC vs. 11 12 13) Social associations (e.g., hand lettered sign appropriate or not)





  1. Aesthetic : immediate, unthinking, responses to stimuli. Emotional. Manipulating, even against our wills. (horizontal preference, lighting, colors, music). These elements used in producing media and art.


Medium As Structural Agent: Each medium shapes the messages conveyed by it. Content + Structure=message (not just the content of the message). Media are not neutral. (McLuhan).
AME: Method Based on Bauhaus concept of induction. Deductive process breaks down analysis from detail to abstract. Inductive builds up from basic formal elements to create detailed expression.
Fundamental Image Elements
Analysis & Synthesis: Different from literary criticism (break down narrative or text). Try to see how basic structures combine to make audience respond emotionally.
Content: The story is given shape by encoding – using aesthetic elements to create the experience. Knowing AME allows one to create screen productions and understand them as a viewer.

Responsibility: Producers are trying to manipulate the audience (which may be good storytelling or advertising). Understanding AME gives us some defense against manipulation.



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