Text Response Week #4

This past week we began by discussing broadcasting and recording. We focused our discussion on the differences between writing and the plastic arts. But later on in the week we connected writing, print and film because they are visual arts. Although what I found really interesting about these three forms of texts was their relationship to liveness. In class we discussed the different forms of liveness and provided multiple of examples, but we did not discuss whether liveness was less prevalent in our society nowadays and whether live-ness is preferred to the mechanical reproduction that has come about with the plastic arts.

The Dead Media Archive states “liveness is the absence of writing” but “it is encoding and decoding happening simultaneously”. This quote can be related back to our discussion on writing, specifically when Ong states that “writing is artificial”. Both of these quotes support the idea that speech allows the audience to connect more with the speaker and that everything can be perceived real and true since the individual can either be temporally or spatially live. I can’t help but agree with both the archives and Ong because I realize the impact a speaker or a live event can have on an individual. I think it has to do with the fact that the individual gets the chance to feel as if they were apart of something. Further Ong states that speech is more unconscious while writing is conscious and this can be related to liveness because a writer has more time to contemplate their thoughts contrary to the speaker that doesn’t have a speech prepared.

This leads me to my other point of whether liveness is held at a higher standard. I would argue that yes because liveness is “seen as more real” (Dead Media Archive). And by real I mean not being constructed. The archive also states that “liveness was once considered a marker of quality”, but it makes me question whether others don’t consider it a marker anymore. An example of a “live” event that I think is associated with the highbrow culture is opera. Opera to me is associated with the highbrow culture because the people who attend the shows belong the educated wealthy classes. I also believe that opera’s liveness allows it to be held at a higher standard because our society nowadays is overrun by technology that being able to separate oneself from elevates its quality. Finally I think that liveness is a marker of quality for opera because it reflects our societies prior to technology by emphasizing the importance of speech.



3 thoughts on “Text Response Week #4

  1. Some excellent insights here, and some coherent and clear connections made between authors in earlier weeks in the course. Count it. Two things I’d like to see you working on with your writing in the future: one, even though you may be thinking of your audience as the class, who know which readings you refer to, you’re still writing for the web, where a broader audience may not know, so provide links back to the readings to which you refer (it’s also an easy way to cite the web); two, try to remove the phrase “I think’ from writing like this – a blog is almost by definition a place where you post what you think, so just…write it instead.

    Keep up the good work (and maybe jump in more often in class: there’s a lot going on in your mind that the class would benefit from hearing. 🙂


  2. I agree with your thoughts. I think that liveness is held at a higher standard in general. I think we as society have become so immersed in technology, that liveness is held at a higher standard. Digital technology can replicate any sound, or voice with perfection. This is natural, and unnatural. Digital technology is essentially perfection. However, liveness is not. Liveness involves something that usually has to be cultivated, where the skill has to be trained. I think our culture of digital technology has increased expectations for liveness. Since liveness is imperfect, it’s more impressive when it is close to perfect. Digital technology has transformed our society to the point where we expect the imperfect to be perfect, which I find interesting. Digital technology has changed the way we view liveness, whether we know it or not.


    • Yes, and very nicely put. We may indeed be expecting “the imperfect to be perfect,” or at least to be able to stand up to standards of precision we’ve come to consider normal, even boring, in our digital networked media.

      Liked by 1 person

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