Has Social Media Revived or Revolutionized Salon Scholarship?

This week’s theme and blog post highlight various readings which address Shifting Models of Creation/ Participation in Art & Pop Culture.

As I set out to prepare and review my notes and ideas for my Case Study presentation, admittedly, I struggled to find a new media object that would best capture my presentation’s theme and compliment the assigned readings. Bunnies, Cookies, and Podcasts had been all used up so I thought harder. I am interested in International Communications; we’re going to discuss shifting models of creation/participation amongst art and pop culture… How do these things relate back to EMAC 6300?

When a very kind and brilliant professor advised me took back and explore how Lev Manovich describes a new media object, I heeded her guidance and stumbled upon this little nugget which began to solidify things-

“What is new media? We may begin answering this question by listing the categories, which are commonly discussed under this topic in popular press: Internet, Web sites, computer multimedia, computer games, CD-ROMs and DVD, virtual reality. Is this all new media is? For instance, what about television programs which are shot on digital video and edited on computer workstations? Or what about feature films which use 3D animation and digital compositing? Shall we count these as new media? In this case, what about all images and text image compositions — photographs, illustrations, layouts, ads — which are also created on computers and then printed on paper? Where shall we stop?”

Courtesy of Dean Terry ; Flickr.com

What about a classroom where students transcribe their musings and observations into a rolling feed stream via the Internet while at the same time analyze and critically discuss various other media platforms such as videos, paintings, literature, and song? Could this not also be a new media object? I’m inclined to vote yes; but that’s not where this case study is headed.

To a certain degree I would qualify our Wednesday evening class that meets at 7pm every week as a new media object. Our class incorporates technology in to the traditional components of communication and media so therefore it retains a ‘new media’ aura. However I think the more appropriate label is something I like to refer to as ‘Salon Scholarship’. Salon Scholarship occurs when academics congregate at any given time to converse, theorize, collaborate, observe and record thoughts on a certain topic or idea. Salon Scholarship requires participating using communication to express one’s ideas to those gathered. More often than not addressing these concepts amongst a group leads to inspirational creativity. And so the question presents itself.. Has Social Media Revived or Revolutionized Salon Scholarship?

When we look at all the online platforms we participate in every day (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, FlickR, SlideShare, Prezi, YouTube, etc.) we’re participating as online citizens who converses with our peers, family and friends about relevant topics and at times create art, opportunities, or other expressions of life that thrive amongst the technology that pushes us forward. As we see things today are Convergence and Salon Scholarship a nostalgic throw back to the times of The Renaissance, Moileré, and Mary Shelley? Or has social media revolutionized the model to a point of no return and altered the idea entirely? We’ll participate in a lively debate over these questions and create our own conclusions. Of course this also means we’ll celebrate as scholars in fantastic salon fashion!

Til Soon-


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Brianni Nelson
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 13:17:55

    “Has social media revived or revolutionized salon scholarship?”
    I don’t think that salon scholarship, or basically group discussion, has ever gone away. In fact, I think it’s imperative for any real understanding of a concept. With new media however, we have seen shifts towards individual scholarship. So, I think social media has actually had multiple effects on salon scholarship/collectivity/group discussion.

    Revived/Revolutioned: Now I can have a “salon” made up of me, people from Africa and people from Asia without ever having to fly thousands of miles. Social media has shrunken physical boundaries

    Limited: There is a lot of information that I can get on my own. Even if i want a different perspective, I wouldnt have to engage in any group arena if I didnt want to. In some respects social media has limited our need to meet in public environments for scholastic purposes.

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