ARTS1090 Week 4 Reading Blog

In the chapter ‘The Doubling of Place”, Shaun Moores presents the idea of media, indeed “doubling place”. What Moores portrays to the readers is how media can double reality, where audiences can ultimately be in two places at once, through broadcast media such as television, which allows instant transmission of information across the world. Moores presents this concept through several real world examples, and further explains the role and influence of broadcast media in today’s society.

Moores first example is that of public events and of routine, specifically referencing the broadcast of Princess Diana’s funeral service. Moores conveys the idea of the suspension of ‘routine’, with the routine being our everyday lives that are interrupted by a significant event. Using Princess Diana’s funeral as an example, it is important to note that this event that stopped the nation, was viewed by the majority of the population on television, not in real life. The public therefore stopped their ‘routines’ and shut businesses, to watch television, thus demonstrating the profound effect broadcast media can have upon society. Further, Moore shows the concept of “doubling place” through the actual broadcast of Diana’s funeral, through both the domestic setting of watching at home, as well as the experience of being at ‘the event itself’, portraying this concept of being in two places at once.

Moores’ second example to portray the idea of ‘doubling place’ is through the use of internet, and its role in our everyday lives. Moores uses ‘multi-user domains’ such as forums, to show how the use of such media provides a feeling of being in one place, while overriding the sense of physical place one may feel. Moores also talks about the “many roles and many worlds at the same time” to further emphasise this idea of ‘doubling place’. Moores further goes on to reveal that through the use of such media, its role in our lives is explained as being able to blur the “spheres of work and leisure”.

Moores’ last example references the use of mobile phones, and their ability to ‘double place’. Mobile phones allow users to bring the private into the public, and create a sense of co-presence, in that while a phone conversation may be taking place in a public area, it is to the caller, a private conversation, thus doubling place through both public and private means. Moores ultimately shows us through this chapter, how electronically mediated communication allows users to have a sense of doubled reality.

Moores, Shaun 2004, The Doubling of Place (in ‘Media Space: Place, Scale and Culture in a Media Age, Couldry, Nick and McCarthey), Routledge, pg. 21 – 37

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