Communication and Information Technologies

40 – “The Ecstasy of Communication” – Jean Baudrillard

In “The Ecstasy of Communication,” Baudrillard discusses the influence of mass communication on the human society based on two principal logics. Those two principal logics are interfered each other: “phantasmatic logic that referred principally to psychoanalysis” and “differential social logic that made distinctions by referring to sociology” (Pg.126).

Baudrillard used the television as one example to explore the influence of mass communication – “the television being the ultimate and perfect object for this new era – our body and the whole surrounding universe become a control screen” (Pg.127).  With the new technology development, the Information networks replaced private telematics – “Each person sees himself at the controls of a hypothetical machine, isolated in a position of perfect and remote sovereignty, at an infinite distance from his universe of origin” (Pg. 128). Now, the individuals are connected through multiple networks. However, Baudrillard argue that the networking led to more and more “obscenity”: “It is the obscenity of what no longer has any secret, of what dissolves completely in information and communication” (Pg.131). The obscene communication would be result in an alienation in human society.

I would say that the new information system brings us overmuch information and communication which lead to architecture is still stay in single framed spaces compared the social development. How can we handle with information and communication in the improvement of architecture?
1. What does the architectural solution handle with the communication influence?
2. Will the single framed spaces in architecture be connected to build a network space in future?


39 – “Understanding Media” – Marshall McLuhan

In this article, Marshall McLuhan brings forward his argument that the media changed the society and culture rapidly and hugely. He narrates the influence of media on the metal and physical aspects of human societies. Technology as the carrier of media has become an extension of consciousness that has beyond the space and time.

The present, we are in electric age and approach the final phase of the extensions of human as the essay mentioned: “We have extended our central nervous system itself in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned” (Pg.149). Today, our society is changed from mythically and integrally fragmented space and time patterns to compressional entity of communication and information – “As electrically contracted, the globe is no more than a village” (Pg.150).

There are two main points that explain how the media affect the extensions of human. First, “the medium is the message”. The media renew the scale of our society by new technology. The railway as example illustrated that the new media way enlarged the scale of previous human society and created new kinds of cities, work and leisure. The medium is so strong and intense just because it is given another medium as ‘content’.

Second is “Media hot and cold”. He explains that hot media are low in participation and cool media are high in participation or completion. For instance, the radio, movies, lectures, and photographs are hot mediums because they are required little participation by its audience. On the other hand, the television, the telephone, seminars and cartoons require more participation and they are cool media. Both of those two types of media have different mental and physical effects on their “users”. The hot and cold media are not just limited in recreation and they also can be the bomb and the cold war that can totally change our planet.

Our sensation tends to be effected by hypnosis and hallucination, the new median with new technology can accelerate this trend.
1. What is the hot or cold aspect in architecture?
2. Does the mass media bring new period in architectural theory?


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