“The Old New World” – an example of Necro- Media

 

Necro-media is the re-purposing of older forms of Mass Media & Mass Media content as content of new forms of media. In this case, photographer and animator Alexey Zakharov of Moscow, Russia, has created a superb animated short using camera projection.  The content was a series of photographs of American cities taken between 1900 and 1940. They were sourced from the website Shorpy.  

Besides bringing the photographs to life in a steampunk/Gernsback  vision, the short makes use of the aesthetic of aged damaged motion picture film and the codes and conventions of early motion picture establishing shots. The audio track is of Al Bowlly singing, Guilty, a song composed (published in 1931) by Richard Whiting, Harry Akst and Gus Kahn.

 

 

Toronto Yiddish sign survives – last vestige of Jewish enclave on Baldwin

Toronto Yiddish sign survivesWe seldom stop to think how Media Literacy is connected to history, especially when considering the mundane & commonplace  elements of life. We take for granted the shop windows with their signs, logos and advertisement claims. But what if we could see a shop window that allows us to see another time, taking us back decades into the past century ? Especially fascinating if the shop window featured a declaration in a language that is disappearing  – showing us the cultural layers of a city through text, typography & language in the form of  a piece of Mass Media that is a cultural artifact

“Butter, Cheese, Cream, Eggs — Fresh Every Day” are the unremarkable words spelled out by the Yiddish sign on the window of 29 Baldwin St. .  But the hand-painted letters, an advertisement for the former Mandel’s Creamery, are possibly the last surviving remnants of Baldwin Village’s former life as a landing spot for Jewish immigrants.

The sign is believed to date back to the 1940s, and was preserved even after Mandel’s was taken over by John’s Italian Caffe decades ago. But John’s recently closed, and a new tenant moved into 29 Baldwin. Last month, large decals announcing the arrival of a bubble-tea shop were plastered across the storefront, and the Yiddish sign was nowhere to be seen. Rumours circulated that the new tenants had chiselled it off. (Ben Spurr  Toronto StarStaff Reporter, Sun Jul 12 2015)

Media Literacy can help extend cultural awareness and a sense of history. In this case, the new tenant, the Formocha tea shop’s owner  Daniel Li, was very welcoming to maintaining the window, as had John’s Italian Cafe. The incorporation of the Jewish signage into a Taiwanese establishment honoured the past and exemplified the Canadian ideal of multiculturalism.

This was a generous expression of Canadian values. In terms of Mass Media  and Business Interest, the store’s identifiable brand has added a unique element. It demonstrates corporate citizenship that enhances the brand and reaches out to the community at large. Furthermore, this good news story provides an example of Mass Media and Marketing being used in a socially positive manner.

Typography from Paper to Cinema

 

FROM PAPER TO SCREEN is a short animation by Thibault de Fournas. That first component  explores the development of typography on paper ( the basic rules) and then is followed by a presentation of the evolution of the use of typography in cinema.

Using  sound and animated text & imagery, the whole piece effectively becomes  visual kinetic poetry .

The pieces of Music used were:
Clair de Lune – Debussy
Shoot the Piano Player: Poursuite  a composition by
Georges Delerue is performed by – Hugh Wolff & London Sinfonietta .

 

21th Century Machine - Mystery Map List  Caslon, William, Roman typefaces (specimen).

Elemental: Power of Communication & Media History

 

This video effectively uses  sound and images to covey the power of communication and how it drives the development of Media both as art and technology. It suggests the elemental power and need to communicate through the metaphor of Classical Four Elements, Earth, Fire, Water and Air..

The use of cuts and animation work with the tempo o of the music and sound to drive the visual narrative of progress and transformation of Mass media technology.  All beautifully executed .

Note that all Mass Media have business interests. What is implied message at the very end of the video ? What are the emotional and historical connections being made at this final moment ?