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History of Media Arts II

History of Media Arts II - History of Media Arts II Section...

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History of Media Arts II Section I Postwar America - 1950s obsessed with speed and mobility o 1947 – Chuck Yeager breaks sound barrier, Cadillac “Tailfin” – with sleek design for speed – is introduced o 1948 – fast food launched with the est. of McDonalds o 1949 – General Motors holds first car expo, Motorama - Postwar economic boom sees the rise of a new consumer culture and a middle-class exodus to the suburbs o Mass production of consumer goods: household appliances, ect. o 1947 – first “Levittown” home occupied o New teen market established – teensploitation o Suburban/Nuclear families dominate - 1950s popular culture is brash, optimistic, obsessed with upward mobility and consumerism o Much of this is attributed to with winning WWII – renewed sense of pride, a celebration of the American system, of democracy and consumerism o Faith in modernity, technology, science, ect… - 1950s counter-culture reflects a different reality o Fear and pessimism over modern technology – the bomb and the atomic age o Underlying fear of what humanity is capable of – as proven by the atrocities committed (on both sides) during WWII o Criticism of rampant materialism and consumerism o 50s counterculture epitomized by the so-called “beat generation” and (to a lesser degree) by the emerging teen culture, the youth rebellion - Civil rights movement also called attention to an alternative reality to America o Freedom, prosperity not enjoyed by all; minority groups exploited
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- In terms of pop. Culture of the 1950s we see the following developments: o The arrival of television o The emergence of the teen market – rock music, “teensploitation” films, ect. o The further decline of Hollywood and the emergence of a new generation of independent filmmakers operating outside the studio system - These developments will reflect the broader concerns of the dominant and counter cultures. The Emergence of Television - The technology of television was a reality as far back as the late ‘20s and ‘30s o Its introduction to the public was delayed due to the Great Depression and the second world war. o The end of the war and the upsurge in the American economy was the perfect time to launch the new medium - TV was developed and introduced by the existing radio networks: o 1946: DuMont Network begins commercial broadcasting o 1947: RCA/General Electric begin marketing TVs. RCA’s NBC begins broadcasting the same year o 1948: CBS and ABC hit the airwaves DuMont: The Forgotten Network - The DuMont TV Network was in operation from 1946 to 1956 - Unlike its rivals, DuMont had no radio network, thus no extra revenue, talent pool to draw from or way to cross promote - Due to financial difficulties, DuMont ceased broadcasting after a decade. Early TV - Developed out of radio and, as such, initially had much in common with it o Like radio, it was a live medium based out of New York City o Much of its early programming was derived from radio – many radio shows were literally transferred over to TV (Amos and Andy, The George Burns and
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History of Media Arts II - History of Media Arts II Section...

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