Ambient Television: Visual Culture and Public Space (Console-ing Passions)

Ambient Television: Visual Culture and Public Space (Console-ing Passions)

By: Anna McCarthy (author)Paperback

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Although we tend to think of television primarily as a household fixture, TV monitors outside the home are widespread: in bars, laundromats, and stores; conveying flight arrival and departure times in airports; uniting crowds at sports events and allaying boredom in waiting rooms; and helping to pass the time in workplaces of all kinds. In Ambient Television Anna McCarthy explores the significance of this pervasive phenomenon, tracing the forms of conflict, commerce, and community that television generates outside the home. Discussing the roles television has played in different institutions from 1945 to the present day, McCarthy draws on a wide array of sources. These include retail merchandising literature, TV industry trade journals, and journalistic discussions of public viewing, as well as the work of cultural geographers, architectural theorists, media scholars, and anthropologists. She also uses photography as a research tool, documenting the uses and meanings of television sets in the built environment, and focuses on such locations as the tavern and the department store to show how television is used to support very different ideas about gender, class, and consumption. Turning to contemporary examples, McCarthy discusses practices such as Turner Private Networks' efforts to transform waiting room populations into advertising audiences and the use of point-of-sale video that influences brand visibility and consumer behavior. Finally, she inquires into the activist potential of out-of-home television through a discussion of the video practices of two contemporary artists in everyday public settings. Scholars and students of cultural, visual, urban, American, film, and television studies will be interested in this thought-provoking, interdisciplinary book.

About Author

Anna McCarthy is Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.


Introduction: The Public Lives of TV 1 Part I. Histories and Institutions Rhetorics of TV Spectatorships Outside the Home 27 1. TV, Class, and Social Control in the 1940s Neighborhood Tavern 29 2. Gendered Fantasies of TV Shopping in the Postwar Department Store 63 3. Out-of-Home Networks in the 1990s 89 Part II. Places and Practices Reading TV Installations in Daily Life 115 4. Shaping Public and Private Space with TV Screens 117 5. Television and Consumption at the Point of Purchase 155 6. Television While You Wait 195 7. Terminal Thoughts on Art, Activism, and Video for Public Places 225 Notes 253 Works Cited 287 Index 305

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780822326922
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 328
  • ID: 9780822326922
  • ISBN10: 0822326922

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