After reading Manovich this week, and making a dent in Barnard, I find it really very interesting how open the topic of visual culture seems to be. I’m no expert (obviously) but it seems in a lot of other fields out there that most professionals / educators / researchers / bums seem to really focus on a certain, short list of “accepted” media. Literary experts may very well enjoy the occasional “Clear and Present Danger” or “Fight Club” (both great books by the way) but they would very rarely site these fine examples of fiction in a scholarly work. Likewise, a political science expert might quote something seen on the BBC, but perhaps not the Daily Show. When talking interaction culture however, a tattoo seen on the arm of some dude in a public restroom at 3:00AM is just as relevant as anything else. I think?
Barnard gives a pretty impressive list in his introduction of items that include everything from Fine Art to Movies to Games (hoooooray Myst) and back to tattoos again. I do certainly agree with his statements that when trying to study a particular culture one should look at every medium available to them. However, someone getting drunk and getting “I Love Pam” permanently inked on his arm hardly seems as significant to me as some of the other forms out there. How does the visual culture guru then try to distinguish between some of these different types of media?
Has anyone read the “Da Vinchi Code?” Or seen the movie (the horrible horrible should have been wonderful buy horrible movie?) It almost feels like a big puzzle to me with the clues scattered throughout the media of the last 50 years. A lot of that media has been published in the last 10-15, ever since the internet has become more readily accessible to the average person. I really like the idea that the forms of media that are so readily available to ANYONE today are the building blocks of a cultural study.