Displaced Media [MS, Thesis]

  • Displaced Media [MS ComD Thesis, Pratt Institute] is an exploration regarding the erractic and participatory process of media translation. Sparking from a quote by Marshall McLuhan in 1964's Understanding Media, this thesis expands into a study of reverse uses of media—common in the realms of games and art—as means to user participation, and as a form of technological inquiry.

    ‘It is the artist’s job to try to dislocate older media into postures that permit attention to the new.
    To this end, the artist must ever play and experiment with new means of arranging experience, even though the majority of his audience may prefer to remain fixed in their old perceptual attitudes.’
    —Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media (254)

    The thesis intentionally draws from varied academic sources in and out of design including Media Theory, Design and Art Critical Studies, Philosophy, Language Studies, Cultural Studies, Film or Futurism to provide an extensive view of the value of ambiguity and participation in communication and defining instances where the audience is an active agent in fabricating meaning. It also explores how in a time of expanding technological mediation, it is the duty of the designer to dislocate media in order to uncover its unanticipated applications and consequences. 

    The final project, Readlook, is a real-time web word-to-image translator and a universal visual dictionary mediated by Google Images. Unfortunately, after a very promising week using a functioning but deprecated Google API, it was taken down.