I thought I’d start of my exploration of the interaction between media, audience and place with a little examination of a very basic, very simple space. One I know pretty well and feel comfortable examining – home.
I consume a lot of different media. No, really, a lot. My home reflects that. The first thing you see moving into the living room is a television, lumped together with a router and a stack of DVD box sets. Countless kilobytes of data transmitted from all over the world, the product of hundreds of years of scientific advancement and communication engineering, enters my domain through an embarrassing mess of cables carelessly shoved behind a TV unit. There’s a laptop on the coffee table, wireless speakers connected to both it and the TV scattered about to make it easier to take viewing to the kitchen. I couldn’t imagine making dinner without half listening to ABCnews24. Hard drives of various sizes hang out of every port available, especially the tiny old school laptop patched into the TV.
Now, you might imagine that my living room media is chaotic, but let me assure you, it’s much, much worse than you could ever imagine. Following a blue Ethernet cable from the router leads you to my room and my desktop PC. I prefer cable over wireless for internet on my main PC. Fight me. A bed, a desk and a bookcase dominate one wall, all either pushed uncomfortably close together or straight up assembled on top of each other. Two huge monitors (I swear I’m not compensating for anything) sit abreast, HDMI cables connecting them both to my main meme machine. That’s where I’m typing this now, with 10 different tabs open in chrome. Once I’ve finished this, I’ll swing one of my monitor towards my bed and retire there to consume a balanced meal of news, memes and New Girl repeats. It’s worth mentioning that even though I might be able to see one or two different screens anywhere in my house, my phone is never out of reach.
The point I’m making is that if digital addiction were a medical condition my doctor would probably recommend euthanasia.
Now how does this relate to Media, Audience and Place? Well, strap on your hats because I’m going to get all philosophical up in this.
One of the key concepts we’ve had from this week is the implication that space is a dynamic, complex medium that effects and is effected by human interactions. As human geographer Doreen Massey puts it in this Social Science Bites podcast (2015),
“…space concerns our relations with each other and in fact social space, I would say, is a product of our relations with each other, our connections with each other. “
As Massey explores this concept more, the tangible space becomes an intangible medium of human interaction, an impossibly complex environments of chaotically influential factors all influencing each other in a myriad of detectable and undetectable ways.
With the integration of the internet and the media saturation of our everyday lives, the interaction between media, place and audience has exploded and influences a far greater domain then every before. So much is this affect that almost every sanctum, every private residence has become a space far more influenced by media and wider human interaction than every before.
Say, for example, the home of a nerd that like TV and computers a bit too much. What would once have been (though never truly isolated) a more remote a space, moderately disconnected from the torrent of human activity that is the ‘outside’, has become an effectively public media place. The ‘space’ that Massey describes has been networked, patched and sewn into our every day lives more than ever before.
My home, with its wires and screens epitomizes the evolution of personal space. Though I can still mediate the flow of information, say turning off TV or computer, what was once moderately protected from Masseys space has become a hub for it, a place for me to gorge myself on it.
Of course, with my thriving meme addiction, you’ll never hear me complain about that.
Warburton, N 2013, Doreen Massey on Space, Audio, February 1, 2013, Social Science Bites, viewed 3/08/2016