Word Made Flesh

2 April 2008


The Cathodic Scry of Narcissus

9 June 2012   


Mass Ornament

8 March 2012   



29 May 2012


              “der Künstler produziert sicht -- the artist produces himself”

     (2012)  After almost eight decades of continuous media practice and scholarship, it seems we still find little ‘good-nature’ in televisual production, dissemination and reception.  Indeed, the familiar lament that our media are in decline continues to drone from most quarters.  Actually the opposite is true, but a very important question remains.  Why do we find so little ‘improvement’ in our media even after constant advancements in social and technological communication? 

      If most every student today is exposed to so-called ‘media literacy’ curricula, why do students, teachers and most everyone else on this planet behave like uncritical media ill-literates?  One method for evaluating this paradox is to adjust our scholarship.  Here, and throughout all Cultural Farming projects, a more potent and provocative media pedagogy takes hold: Mediaturgy.

     Mediaturgy, which springs in part from Bertolt Brecht’s dramaturgical learning plays (Lehrstücke), is a practice-led methodology in contradistinction to toothless contemporary approaches to media ‘literacy’, and also to ubiquitous ‘mediamongerings’ disseminated daily throughout the entire communication spectrum.  Mediaturgy, in true epic media dialectic, is a public provocation for signaling that technological lust, surreal spectacle, runaway capitalism, narcissistic self-promotion, even academic gravitas, will never hold more civic authority than rational responsibility, reflexive curiosity and intellectual courage. 

     Hence, a robust theoretical notion like mediaturgy requires a dispersement of simple, lean, elegant and publicly available experimental methods which, once combined, oblige a deeply focused civic (re)action to normative production practices -- because good critical media making demands historical perspective, longitudinal commitment, experimental discernment, ethnographic archiving, ethical motivation, and dialogical craftsmanship.

    The aim of a Mediaturgy (Cultural Farming) is to help:

     1.  Render historical and theoretical perspectives of media production.

     2.  Invigorate (C)ritical civic-media production through theory and praxis.

     3.  Unveil media languages and techniques as manipulable fabrications.

     4.  Challenge oligarchic media-making dominance and power.

     5.  Inoculate against insidious media persuasion and cynical parody.

     6.  Promote civic access and responsibility throughout our media spectra.

     7.  Reciprocate mediamongering through experimental Symbolic Exchange.

     One of two introductory senses of mediaturgy relates to the internal structures of a media text and is concerned with the arrangement of internal elements by the media maker, for example, plot, construction of narrative, character, time-frame and screen action.  In parallel, mediaturgy can also refer to external elements relating to overall artistic concepts regarding editing, mise-en-scene, the politics of performance, and the measured manipulation of audience response through technology’s calculated murderous techniques. 

     But the key to mediaturgical sense lies in the (C)ritical concern with the actuation of media production during its mechanical, practical, creative and ethical formation.  For mediaturgy is a venture insisting that theory and practice must continuously reciprocate each other.  Both media and educational industries, however, need workable examples of just what an ‘informed reflexive criticism of TV’ might look like and how it might publicly operate. thus should be seen as but one provocative “early warning system” experiment.  Indeed, refunctional (de)mystification is an autodidactic tool most any citizen can and should readily employ.

     Still this is no small task, for a mediaturg must also employ a formidable armory of intellectual and practical skill-sets throughout a host of methodologies extending across the entire con(per)ceptual landscape of media making -- from writer, director, designer, theorist, archivist, critic, and audience.  Indeed, as a contemporary innervation of Brecht’s “Epic Smoking Theatre”, mediaturgy’s lineage extends from eighteenth century origins (Lessing).  At bottom, all must conjoin toward its call for radical, didactic, dialogic and dialectic responses throughout all media making today.  Then, all this must be ‘said back to media’ using its own native forms (lexicon) and techniques (grammar).

     Here, one trajectory of TV mediaturgy, illustrated (without the use of a camera) in the native video-forms below, is drawn chronologically by THIS mediaturg over the last thirteen years.  Throughout you will find a wide-ranging record of my personal and intellectual walkabout from industrial media-horticulturalist, to nomadic remix-hunter-gatherer, to radical home-vidi-gardener, to a kind of self-sufficient mediaturg-pamphleteer.  Here, as elsewhere, you will find my experimental (ethnographic) manifestations probing at these glaring gaps inside normative media literacy and critique.


Social Privy

28 February 2012


Animal Spirits

8 February 2012   


Watch Me Do Me

24 January 2012


Persistence of Vision

17 January 2012   


Going Native

27 December 2011


Ethnographers in Perspective

13 December 2011


Mark of Cain

2 December 2011


Doctor Jazz

25 November 2011


JFK:  Conspiracy Theory

22 November 2011


Jerry Rape

6 November 2011


Nightly Banality

21  October 2011


Arab Spring

11 October 2011


War Primer

18 March 2011


Secret Snow

11 March 2011   


Black Bricolage

4 February 2011


B Movie

27 October 2010


My Erotic Screen

17 October 2010



15 October 2010


Oh Canada

27 September 2010


Seeds of Change

11 September 2010


When Pictures Say Ain’t

9 September 2010


Determined to Deceive

1 September 2010


Making Movies

27 July 2010


Miss Trash

28 May 2010


Liminal Thresholds

15 April 2010


Exotic Bodies

5 April 2010


Climate Change

31 March 2010


Terminal Telephony

17 March 2010   


Wasted Vastlands

7 March 2010


Allied Forces

3 March 2010   


# Nine

1 March 2010


Graven Images

9 February 2010


Stranger Danger

21 January 2010


Our Aural Eye

18 December 2009


FOX Nation

22 September 2009


Extensions of McLuhan

3 June 2009


Digital Natives

12 December 2008



23 August 2008


Black Arts

20 August 2008


Leave Britney Alone

15 August 2008


Zapook of the North

6 May 2008



5 March  2008



3 March  2008


Oh, You Know Why

1 February 2008


That’s Not Harm

30 january 2008


The Secret Code of TV

8 June 2007


WTC 2001

13 February 2007


Manifesto Beans

12 October 2006


Digital Racer

11 September 2006


Our Body Media

14 April 2006


Screen Reality

2 July 2005


Media Nipple

27 April 2004


Thai Pink

10 May  2005


The Money Shot

30 September 2012


Détournement: Next Generation

6 December 2012   


Diane: A Perfect Storm

30 December 2012


King Don-John Trump

21 January 2017 - 21 January 2018

    After a five year hiatus to focus on other projects, I decided to include another controversial project here: The Dirty Presidency.  King Tump is a unique and robust exploration of Brechtian mediaturgy.  This project focuses upon several simple theoretical tenets: Personal emancipation from, Public reciprocation of, and Political resistance to the vile fraudulent media-made presidency of 2016.  In this current world where cameras are guns, screens are liars, and normative means of digital resistance fall dangerously short, MEDIATURGY helps me to reply-in-kind to the endless hate I see every day on my home TV screen.  This is Surrealism and Fair Use put to good work.  This is Cynicism well spoken, and “magical aura” reconsidered.

       -- This is Potlatch and Symbolic Exchange for a Dirty Presidency --