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COMUNICAZIONI SOCIALI - 2003 - 1. Attraversamenti. Spazialità e temporalità nei media contemporanei

digital COMUNICAZIONI SOCIALI - 2003 - 1. Attraversamenti. Spazialità e temporalità nei media contemporanei
Digital issue
issue 1 - 2003
title COMUNICAZIONI SOCIALI - 2003 - 1. Attraversamenti. Spazialità e temporalità nei media contemporanei
curatore Nicoletta Vittadini
Piermarco Aroldi
publisher Vita e Pensiero
format Digital issue | Pdf
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Numero uno del 2003 della rivista "Comunicazioni Sociali"



Il tempo condiviso. Per una breve storia degli studi sulla temporalità televisiva in Italia
by Piermarco Aroldi pages: 9 € 6.00
Research on the media in Italy has been focusing since the 1960s on the temporal dimension of television as a crucial element of analysis, stating from the pioneering studies by Umberto Eco and Gianfranco Bettetini on live broadcasts. From that time on this object, between semiotics and sociology, has been investigated through many aspects. In particular, the organisation of the program offer in the shape of the broadcasting schedule, especially in the neotelevision context, has been studied as a condition for a relationship of trust with the spectator, as a self-promotion strategy, or even as an overall discourse created by the broadcaster. In particular, the relation between temporal organisation of the broadcasting schedule and the social structuring of individual and family time has shed light on the mimetic and regulatory nature of television temporality. In addition, the ethnographic turning point has heightened the attention on the way television constitutes an environmental resource through which part of the domestic and family consumption of TV is shaped. As well as fulfilling the function of an interface between the organisation of offer and consumption, the time of television also stands in a relation to long seriality and to the establishment of a veritable flow of programming. Yet, with reference to the fragment, it also bears a relation to micro-texts that contribute to giving shape and body to the broadcasting schedule macrotext. In this sense, it can represent a metaphor of the cultural and social forms of our present time.
Il ciberspazio tra performance e socialità
by Nicoletta Vittadini pages: 13 € 6.00
The definition of the status of space in the new media, and in the Internet in particular, has long constituted a theoretical key-point, representing a pivotal element of debate. Virtual space and its characteristics have been invoked as a driving element of the concerning new media, engaging the attention of many scholars in the 1990s. The same theme also constitutes one of the starting points to identify the disciplinary and methodological divergences in the new media analysis. Currently, one of the most interesting keys to interpret the relation between space and computer networks is that obtained by analysing the processes linking the technology to a specific culture and to the social discourse that characterises a given culture. Such a reading is particularly insightful, as its aim is that of encompassing the complexity of the intertwined strands within which a culture develops. This study therefore focuses on the space of the network and on the concept of cyberspace according to a perspective that seeks to take into consideration the numerous strands of the current debate and to address several crucial key-points. The approach to these issues will follow two directions. The first highlights a view of cyberspace as a place allowing interaction between interfaces that shape individuals’ spaces for action; the second focuses on the main forms of the conceptualisation of cyberspace as social space. The arguments put forward here allow us to state that cyberspace forges an indissoluble integration between the dimension of social space and that of the space for action, the latter being constantly crossed by flows that reshape and redelineate its geography. It is not a question, however, of a uniform space. New local dimensions become anchored in cyberspace, and they are anthropologically charged with interest, even though certainly not similar to off-line spaces.


Globalizzazione e rispazializzazione
Per un’ermeneutica della contemporaneità
by Chiara Giaccardi pages: 11 € 6.00
This paper proposes a redefinition of the spatial coordinates of experience as a scenario within which social interaction and communication can be interpreted. Putting aside the idea of fragmentation, the concept adopted in describing the ongoing changes affecting the spatial dimension is ‘globalisation’. This paradigm concerns, first of all, the dynamics of globality, redefined here in terms of an interpretive hypothesis which can be associated with an idea of continuity and multicentricity of reciprocal influences, rather than a trend of homogenisation, or explosion of differences. The second logic referring to the dimension of globalisation is that of aspatiality: space does not disappear, but is transformed and more complex, highlighting new ‘social stages’ and endowing the local with a permeable dimension, which can be redefined in relation to what lies outside. Thus worlds are linked through relations that no longer have the stable and organised character of a map. Indeed, the third trend related to globalisation is the existence of a network structure: what defines and gives meaning to the contemporary spatial dimension is the network of relations traced by the subjects. The network is the paradigm of respatialisation not only in terms of information technology but also in everyday life, where experience is built up by untying and weawing in social relations, with a continuous movement through time and space.
Comunicare nel tempo
by Giovanni Gasparini pages: 7 € 6.00
The author aims at analysing the relation between communication and temporality according to two points of view: communicating in present time and communicating through time. The latter focuses on three points. The first, «Communicating yesterday», highlights the difficulties represented by distance in pre-modern times, and therefore the impossibility of a communication based on ubiquity. «Communicating today», on the other hand, underlines the present-day possibility of acquiring knowledge on events and peculiarities of ancient societies, establishing a sort of communicative flow from the past to the present. Furthermore, thanks to the new technologies today we can actualise what once was the dreammiracle of ubiquity; it is also possible to have phenomena such as desynchronisation among actors and flexibilisation temporal models and of the use of time by the actors involved. «Holy places and religious traditions» highlights the crucial nature of religious tradition within the framework of communication across time and space: not only does tradition irradiate from the privileged points of space, whereby place assumes a fundamental aspect for religions, but collective memory likewise centres around specific places, underlining the need to fix revelation in space as well as in time.
Place matters
‘Digital divide’ e modellamento sociale delle ICTs
by Francesca Pasquali pages: 15 € 6.00
The concept of the digital divide, on which many institutions and scholars have been focusing since the 1990s, has in most cases been considered in terms of availability of technology, comparing those who have versus those who do not have the opportunity to use Information and Communication Technologies. This vision has delineated a geography of the phenomenon and prompted a series of local measures which do not take into account the true complexity unhomogeneity of the scenario. This essay underlines the need to focus on the use of technology, promoting studies that encompass the sociological, cultural, political and economic framework. Taking into consideration local contexts and people in addition to the purely technological dimension, represents a valid starting point for digital inclusion policies: from the tendency to transfer to disadvantaged regions the media and technologies that have proved to be most successful in the industrialised areas, to strategies aiming at getting individuals and communities able to pursue sustainable development and an improvement in their quality of life. An approach considering ICT not for their own sake but as tools was adopted by the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) held in Geneva in 2003, during which a firm commitment was undertaken to «transform the digital divide into a digital opportunity for everyone».


The doubling of place
by Shaun Moores pages: 14 € 6.00
Il saggio affronta il concetto di «duplicazione dello spazio» e di «diverse possibilità di esistenza» in rapporto alla radio e alla televisione. Moores mostra come questi due concetti possono essere applicati a tutti i media, da quelli tradizionali a Internet e alla telefonia. Così come la radio e la televisione, i nuovi media offrono la possibilità di una trasmissione quasi istantanea attraverso grandi distanze. Tutti questi media consentono di fare esperienza della simultaneità, della presenza e della istantaneità in luoghi «trans-locali». L’idea che il luogo, e l’esperienza di essere in un luogo, possa essere moltiplicata attraverso la comunicazione mediata è dimostrata dai processi di utilizzo dei media. Moores analizza l’esempio del dolore di una famiglia che ha visto alla televisione i funerali della Principessa Diana: l’istantaneità della trasmissione ha prodotto l’effetto di «presenza», di coinvolgimento emotivo nella situazione. L’autore considera anche il caso di un partecipante a un MUD: sottolinea come si possa vedere Internet come un mondo senza soluzione di continuità con altri spazi sociali della vita quotidiana e non come un mondo separato dalla socialità «in real life». Dunque, si deve concentrare l’attenzione sui luoghi rappresentati sullo schermo e, contemporaneamente, su quei luoghi in cui il pubblico interagisce con lo schermo o, semplicemente, lo guarda. Questo approccio è stato utilizzato per analizzare il terzo caso, la storia di una conversazione telefonica privata in un treno in cui chi telefona è contemporaneamente in due posti: nello scompartimento del treno e al telefono.
The peculiar public of television
by Daniel Dayan pages: 19 € 6.00
In questo saggio l’autore analizza il concetto di «pubblico televisivo» in relazione a quello di audience. Mentre i soggetti che fanno parte di un pubblico condividono una dimensione sociale, hanno qualcosa da dire, affermano i propri gusti, sono impegnati e fedeli, il concetto di audience non fa riferimento a una dimensione collettiva del vedere, ma a un insieme di spettatori «muti». Gli studi sull’audience e sulla ricezione, secondo l’autore, non si basano su una definizione adeguata di pubblico. Neppure i più recenti definiscono in modo appropriato il pubblico della televisione. Dayan analizza, quindi, alcune trasmissioni che si possono definire costitutive di un pubblico della televisione: il serial francese Hélène et les garçons, i programmi europei di informazione e quelli rivolti ai migranti. Ne emergono quattro tipologie di pubblico: un publicum in fabula, legato ai programmi in cui il pubblico è invitato a partecipare; un pubblico, costituito prima e altrove, spesso in relazione con altri media, e solo incidentalmente televisivo; il pubblico dei fans stabile e consapevole, ma che si colloca in un mondo di finzione parallela e, infine, il pubblico degli eventi mediali, che presenta tutte le caratteristiche necessarie per costituire un pubblico, tranne quella della stabilità. La televisione attuale non appare, quindi, in grado di creare un vero e proprio pubblico quanto piuttosto un pubblico debole, o marginale, o in costante fuga.


Propositions d’étude des temporalités médiatiques
by Claude Domenget, Jean-Pierre Filiu pages: 8 € 6.00
With the expression ‘mediated temporalities’ we mean the relationship with time perceived during the use of audiovisual media integrated with social temporalities, playing a role more or less important throughout the daily life of users. This subject is more concerned with the reception, and tends to differ from the studies focused on the times of the reception, which use a theoretic approach coming from semiotics and pragmatic. This essay aims at analysing the temporalities perceived by the users stressing the differences of the relationships with time according to the age of the user and the evolution of the temporalities with the introduction of new technologies. The relationship that elderly people have with media underlines an approach allowing both «happy meetings» and «hazards»: the unexpected, together with the habits, plays an important part in their choices. Time managing is in this case characterized by a temporality of occupation, related to users who leave open their time of fruition to the television. The use of PVR (Personal Video Recorder) shows a rational managing of time and activities: a new kind of time articulation can be observed, that of “conciliation”: it allows combining perfectly the vision of a television program with the rhythm of life.
Regimi temporali nella televisione generalista
by Giorgio Grignaffini pages: 8 € 6.00
This paper shows how broadcasters operating in a liberal marrket, acting as macrotextual objects, shape a structured temporal architecture whose consequences on the socio-semiotic level are very challenging. Focusing on the relations that link the four temporal parameters of television productions, that is structure of the sequence, duration, temporal positioning and frequency, the article points out that the broadcasting schedule sets up a dialectics between continuity and discontinuity. Thus the schedule affects the flow of television on the aspectual level, by inscribing within its construction operations that concern the relations of continuity and discontinuity. Considering the structure of the sequence and the positioning as parameters belonging to the aspectual category of punctuality and duration and frequency as associated with durative aspect, the temporal nature of television can be seen as exhibiting a continual oscillation between unrepeatableness and cyclicity, between qualitative vision (enhancing the uniqueness value of each broadcast programme) and quantitative vision of time. Television temporality thereby takes on a strongly self-referential dimension, which, however, has a close relationship with non-television temporality: not only do the aspectual dimensions of punctuality and durativity reflect the dialectics between linear and cyclical time typical of social time, but television temporality is furthermore able to influence the very rhythms of daily life. Therefore, by endowing the social dimension with a temporality compatible with its own rythm, neotelevision offers itself as a reassuring social calendar.
Il tempo riappropriato
Tempo e palinsesto della televisione satellitare
by Andrea Bellavita pages: 9 € 6.00
This essay highlights some of the central issues of a study focused on the relation between social time and television time within the broadcasting schedule of satellite television in Italy. Analysing the organisation of the broadcasting schedule can be a useful cognitive tool not only to investigate the nature of satellite television, but also to examine implicit spectator model. However, satellite television has some characteristics that imply the need to adopt different analytical categories compared to those used for general broadcasting: the essentially thematic range of programmes, the nature of multiprogramming and the general absence of commercials redefine the relation between television time and the temporal framework of social use. The classical dichotomies are thus redefined, introducing concepts such as spiral flow, flow of appointments, feast, ‘ferialisation’. The essay then proposes two new interpretive categories. With the paradigm of reappropriation of time, the usage patterns typical of satellite television are identified: for example, an organisation of viewing time based on the constant multiplicity of the offer, the availability of a time no longer organised by target, the increasing offer of non-media social and communicative events. Reappropriated time thus highlights the change of rhythm of satellite television: the study of the rhythm of the broadcasting schedule represents a new horizon for analysis.


Il tempo dell’interazione
Azioni e passioni digitali
by Carlos A. Scolari pages: 8 € 6.00
The sequence of actions a user of an interface must perform in order to achieve a given goal is termed interaction syntax. This paper, starting from the study of some strategies used by the designers of interfaces for videogames, Internet websites, PC applications, such as the condensation or extension of sequences of actions and the prolonging of syntax, highlights the emergence of the temporal dimension in man-computer interaction. It is also possible to identify a narrative dimension in Human Computer Interaction, since interactivity is a process that takes place along the temporal dimension and is displayed in a linear chain of successive actions. The narration is thus an element shared by all interactive experiences, from multimedial encyclopaedias to word-processors, from web surfing to using an ATM. This means it is possible to apply a semiotics of passions also to interactive environments, and to investigate how interfaces contribute to the creation of affective states and to arouse emotions. Such an approach would reveal the contractual and interpretative aspects of a process – interaction with the computer – which is far from being an automatic and ‘natural’ operation.
Due racconti da giocare
La continuità dei videogiochi nel sistema dei generi attraverso l’analisi del loro spazio e tempo
by Antonio Dini pages: 15 € 6.00
This essay aims at legitimating videogames as cultural products belonging to the system of genres, endowed with particular modes of structuring, interaction and using contents. In order to recognise the unique and original impact of the videogame within the overall mediatic range we have first of all to consider the capacity of the object to regain possession of the symbolic and technological space of interaction with the machine: visual space and interactivity with the computer are totally occupied and evolve according to their own particular metaphors, logic and patterns of use. By analysing the construction and the relevance of the temporal and spatial dimension in the narration and in the use of two successful products (the Japanese Shenmue – chapter 1: Yokosuka and Metal Slug Supervehicle 001), the article highlights how, on the one hand, the stories narrated by videogames are necessarily and deterministically linked to the specifications of the type of general interaction provided by the hardware; on the other such stories are linked to strategies belonging to narrative meta-genres, thus offering the possibility to consider videogames as cultural product that belong to and share genres originally typical of other media.
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