Today, information is exchanged across an expanding spectrum, from divergent sources, in a multiplicity of applications. This new theory of transmission extends its vision beyond the boundaries of television to the still-shifting territories of interactive media. The chapters in Transmission investigate the impact of video and interactivity and virtual reality on the social, cultural, and economic environment of television. Comparing the recent past with the present–and the immediate future–this groundbreaking work examines aesthetic values as they are shaped by gender, race, and class issues. Since video looks at how television (mis)represents culture, Transmission examines the effects of communication tools and technologies on its participating constituents. An important volume for any scholar or student in the areas of media studies, mass communication, cultural studies, or popular culture.
Video pioneers didn't use covered wagons; they built media vans for their cross-country journeys colonizing the vast wasteland of American television. It was the late 1960s, and Sony's introduction of the half-inch video Portapak in the United States was like a media version of the Land Grant Act, inspiring a heterogeneous mass of American hippies, avant-garde artists, student-intellectuals, lost souls, budding feminists, militant blacks, flower children, and jaded journalists to take to the streets if not the road, Portapak in hand, to stake out the new territory of alternative television.
In those early days everyone with a Portapak was called a “video artist.” Practitioners of the new medium moved freely within the worlds of conceptual, performance, and imagist art as well as documentary. ...