Culture and Creative Industry Week 1 Essay

2403 Words Apr 20th, 2013 10 Pages
Week 2

2. Critical Theory and the Critique of the 'Culture Industry'
This lecture considers how the Critical Theorists of the Frankfurt School sought to understand the relationship of culture and society in an age of advanced capitalism and mass media. It explores their analyses of popular culture, and poses the question of whether the term 'culture industry' has now lost its original, critical meaning.
Key thinkers: Marx, Gramsci, Adorno, Horkheimer, Benjamin
Seminar questions
1.Has the mechanical reproduction of art opened up possibilities of a more democratic appreciation, or merely reduced it to the status of a commodity?
2.Has ‘the Culture Industry’ killed ‘High Culture’?

Walter Benjamin (1936)
The Work of Art in the Age
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223-224

How is this useful for media criticism
Film Criticism:
The difference between theater and film is also about loss of aura. A play (has aura) is always different because the actors interact with the audience and each performance is unique. A film, however has no audience—the actors usually only perform tiny fragments of the whole and generally not even in order….movies are pieced together by editors. Film 也是一种reproduction。
Audience Reception:
Watching a film is a collective experience and each audience member is a critic—its part of the fun. Think of a newsreel—when a group of people witness an event they are educated on something and they can become politically active because of it (For example, although he was talking about the potential for class revolt–Benjamin would be proven correct when American men and women were motivated by newsreels in WWII美国人民在二战的时期受过新闻短片的影响。新闻短片在这儿来看是一种political propaganda). 看新闻是一种educated你。受众是一种被动的过程,受众接受what they want to tell you.
Capitalism/Fan Culture:
But just as the medium has the potential to be used in the Revolution, it cannot be because it is controlled by capitalism (this might be a good connection to the Hollywood Censored book).
Because of the way capitalism operates, there is a false consciousness between the actors and audience. The actors become held up as having “cult value” (ritual
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