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FT 712: Television, Culture and Society

       All art can be called "a passionate pursuit of the Real," a phrase used by the Nobel prize-winner, Czeslaw Milosz, in his Harvard lectures on poetry.  Milosz was writing about the art of words, but his ideas can be applied to all forms of art, including television. 

       Does the artist have a social conscience? And in what sense? What do we think are the responsibilities of television producers toward their medium? Can we say that television displays a passionate pursuit of the Real?

       The subject matter of our class is the relationship between technologies of communication, their artistic form, and the way society uses them. Much has been written about televisionís impact on society, but it is hard to say what practical effect the millions of words expended on this subject have had on the daily work of those who create television programs.  Our approach will be to explore what is so special about television as a medium of communication and the aesthetic choices involved in producing audio-visual material for transmission on a television screen. The objective is to stimulate thinking about television as an aesthetic experience and to provide a critical framework for evaluating the moral, intellectual and artistic values presented by the television medium. I hope this course will challenge you to think deeply about the aesthetic judgments you will have to make in your own work as directors, writers, critics or teachers.  


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