GVU Brown bag: Catharsis and Flow: Two Modes in Our Media Culture

Event type: 
GVU Atlanta
United States
Record Status: 
Short description: 

This talk is not a report on a particular project; it is an attempt to reflect on the state of our mediascape today, which is made up of both traditional media (such as film, television, and music) and new digital forms that we here in the GVU are helping to create. Today's media can be characterized by a productive tension between catharsis and flow. For example, popular film aims to provoke catharsis, an emotional release through identification with a main character, while videogames and some contemporary music aim through repetition to induce in their audience a state of engagement that the psychologist Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi has famously named “flow.”  We can think of flow and catharsis as individual, psychological reactions to our media, but they also define different strategies for media producers and designers. These two modes compete and cooperate in a variety of entertainment forms and industries, and their interaction defines our media culture at the beginning of the twenty-first century. 

Critical writing presented:

Record posted by: 
Maria Engberg
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