Media: a Fictional Reality

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Media is about creating spectacles, producing and promoting a fictional reality as realistic.

Introduction

We increasingly move from one kind of reality to another. As spectacles are created with our own lives we are vastly becoming the characters we once saw on television. In media, the producing and promotion of these realities encourage people to misinterpret false depictions into reality.

Advertisements
When we examine media advertising we find art and technology being used to create a false reality through stories in an effort to evoke desired reactions from audiences. We see a production of characters playing physicians, housewives, used car salesmen, and everyday people with plots and quick resolutions of conflict in which the characters overcome obstacles and fulfill their desires in record time with the help of their product. For example media display products that are cosmetically altered to seem more appealing to viewers. Raw turkeys are made to look baked and delicious with food coloring, burgers are big and juicy, water drops slide down fresh vegetables, even the sizzle from cooking food turns out to be a sound effect added during editing. These sensory deceptions are supplemented by exaggerated claims, to create a false identity for the product. Commercials also include another kind of falsity in the form of digitally manipulated images. They convey a sense of life as celebration, full of people who can't help but sing out because they love their Skittles or who emerge from swimming pools, all luminescent, with magnificent hair and wonderful lives, surrounded by bright colors, upbeat music and dancing friends, in which everything is in motion to convey a sense of what life can be if we buy the product. They invent "worlds" based on fantasy and desire. “To achieve these effects, media engage in the new production process of high-tech capitalism, which is to turn everything into an image. This process is very evident in what happens to actors -- they are turned into simplified human images. Their role is to become characters in false utopias so they can act as living sales pitches for products” (Boorstin 1961) They are all false promises that make everything seem better than it is.

Cities
City landscapes increasingly resemble places all around the world. These false depictions serve as attractions for millions of people, as well as a pseudo reality that the media likes to make into a spectacle. For example, sin city is becoming sim city; the city of simulation. Through varies attractions people are given a misrepresented idea on how media interprets the world. “One of the city's monuments is Luxor, a $375 million hotel and casino that is a fantasy version of ancient Egypt, presenting visitors with material images of mystery, mysticism and splendor in one of the greatest monstrosities ever built: a 36-story, pyramid-shaped hotel with a ten-story replica of the Sphinx as an entrance for valet parking. The hollow core of the pyramid is a 27-story atrium that started out with a fake river Nile at the bottom, which took visitors on a barge ride passed tableaus of ancient Egypt. Meanwhile, "inclinators" -- elevators that travel diagonally, following the pitch of the pyramid -- take guests to their rooms in the upper floors.” (Kens 1997) They aim at representing an ideal experience, as if you really were visiting the great monuments of Egypt, but these manipulated visions are forced onto people as true depictions of reality. “Luxor is themed, offering a story line that is intended to give the visitor's experience a meaning and coherence. But Luxor, like many similar attractions, appears to suffer from an identity crisis: it can't seem to keep its theme together. In place of presenting one idea or trying to show one kind of place, it has jumbled together all kinds of times and places, which are removed from any sense of context or relation to each other”. (Kens 1997) Thus, the Sphinx is the entrance...
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