By Benedikt Feldges
Regardless of the paintings that has been performed at the energy of visible conversation commonly, and in regards to the social impression of tv particularly, television’s dating with fact continues to be anything of a black field. Even this present day, the conference that the display services as a window on fact constructions a lot of the creation and reception of televisual narratives. yet as fact should turn into background at one aspect, what are we to do with such home windows at the earlier? constructing and utilizing a hugely cutting edge method of the trendy picture, American Icons sets out to reveal the historicity of icons, to reframe the historical past of the display and to dissect the visible middle of a medium that remains so poorly understood. Dismantling the air of secrecy of it seems that undying icons and previous spectacles with their seductive strength to draw the attention, this booklet bargains new methods of seeing the mechanisms at paintings in our sleek pictorial tradition.
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Additional info for American Icons: The Genesis of a National Visual Language (Routledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies)
Kennedy or the real Marilyn Monroe, the documentary will be seen as an exercise in the etymology of their visual symbols; only as such can it be taken as a historical source. The documentary, first presented on television in the early 1980s and in the following two decades marketed on videotape, will be considered as the accumulation of a typical sediment of American visual literacy. 2 It was produced and aired between 1980 and 1985 in a series of nine volumes covering the eight decades between the turn of the century and the end of the 1970s, with the 1960s occupying two volumes, during which time the makers of the documentary, among others Richard Klein and David Thaxton, pursued the ambitious task of mapping out the imagery of national history.
Symbols such as the White House (featured on twelve occasions), the Capitol building (seven), or the American flag (forty-three) signify via a merging of the bygone with the present. Although each picture of the flag, the single most featured emblem in the compilation, can certainly be seen as the sign of one particular piece of cloth that has been hung at a particular time and place, the sign of the flag in general first of all communicates based on a symbolic field of meaning that has accompanied the spectator into the present, continuously altering its place in collective visual literacy depending on each individual pictorial representation.
Interestingly, all three of these “pictorial quotes” were presented without the original sound, thus emphasizing the visual plane of the historical footage. When such glimpses of pictorial information are recycled through almost half a century of television broadcasting, it challenges the very concept of history by perpetuating what was most likely the statement of one American cameraman. Such repetition furthermore influences the evolution of the historical code behind the icon, whose bearer is still active in Cuban politics: If one such visual quote about an icon is repeated more often than others, rather than showing history as it was, it influences the significance of the icon—that is not yet history—in quite disproportionate fashion.
American Icons: The Genesis of a National Visual Language (Routledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies) by Benedikt Feldges