The next Industry Event at the Australian Film TV & Radio School is
going to look at the relationship between the 'word', the 'idea' and
visual representation - with particular reference to popular visual
The premise to be tested is this: WHY ISN'T TELEVISION GENERALLY
PERCEIVED TO BE AN APPROPRIATE VEHICLE FOR IDEAS? Why are the realms
of the written (published) or spoken (radio) word seen to be the more
obvious, comfortable places for ideas?
Think of popular culture & you get - TV, cinema, comix, pornography
(if visual; erotica if written). It feels as if unless the word is a
'womanword' like gossip, babble, chatter etc etc, the word is valued
more highly than the visual.
Compare the televisual treatment of news and current affairs; e.g. CNN
vs Australian Broadcasting Corporation's News Radio.
Is this because western European culture has always been very wedded
to the notion of the visual, in fact, as Plato's Cave points out, a
PICTURE IS only a picture and NOT THE REAL THING.
And what are the implications of this for Australia, with an
indigenous culture that has no history of the written word, but with
a strong tradition of oral and visual representation.
I would think my first port of call would be Walter Benjamin - to
explore the differences between writing & visual literacy & what the
implications of this are for social & political questions about seeing
But where to next??????
ANY ASSISTANCE TO POINT US IN APPROPRIATE DIRECTIONS FOR READING/
UNDERSTANDING would be greatly appreciated.
on behalf of
Head of Screen Studies
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