Monday, 6 December 2010

New Media

I have really struggled to get to grips with this week's lecture and I think this must be about the 17th time I have attempted to write my latest blog post so I apologise if I don't make much sense. As far as I can understand, 'New Media' is all about interaction and way in which digital media has progressed to the point where the line between consumer and creator has faded. 'New Media' is a condition that we all live in.
Bill spoke about the way in which 'New Media' has come about, beginning with the development of perspective in fine art. I was shocked to learn that perspective only developed as a coherent body of rules and theories during the early Renaissance of the mid 15th Century. Leonardo Da Vinci was one of the first artists to introduce this concept into the world of fine art with paintings such as Annunciation, with everything in the painting receding to a single vanishing point on the horizon.

Annunciation, 1474, Leonardo Da Vinci

Creating the correct sense of perspective in paintings is something which we now take for granted with the development of camera technology. Artists like Da Vinci and more recently, M.C Escher would spend a painstaking amount of time perfecting the perspective in their work, whereas now we are able to do this in an instant with the use of high quality digital cameras and camera phones.

Hand with Reflecting Sphere, 1935, M.C Escher

We were shown a film called 'Life of an American Fireman' which was made by Edward Porter in 1903. This film really helped to illustrate the phenomenal development of cinema over the past 100 years. Before seeing this short film, I had never given much thought to the use of perspective in films, although it is something which I have studied in fine art for a long time. Instead of cutting between different perspectives, i.e. inside and outside the burning building, we we shown the situation from an inside viewpoint and then again from the outside viewpoint, meaning that the audience are forced to watch the same action twice.
Today, there are a huge variety of different camera techniques which are used to help to effectively follow the action. Films such as Inception which have several different high-action situations happening simultaneously would be impossible to watch without the development of filming and editing techniques. 

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