Vadim Moroz, Media Culture: Art Communication Technology, Petersburg:
Frost Publishing, 2017. Soft cover, 5.5" x 8" , 168 pages, $26.00 plus S/H
Media Culture is an informative and entertaining book addressing a broad audience: educators, students,
communication specialists, artists and other professionals. This book is a helpful guide through the various aspects of the
contemporary culture. It begins with an overview of the emergence and development of media culture and shows the transformation
from the culture of artifacts to the culture of brands. The rise of new media, juxtaposition of Pop Art and New Media Art
from the 1950th through 1990s, illustrates the initial intellectual reaction to the rise of the culture of mass-consumption
Moroz discusses the function of memes,
the ideas of Roger Perry, Richard Dawkins' meme concept, and the media virus concept by Douglas Rushkoff. Based on these theories,
Moroz examines the usage of memes as a form of communication, the function of gene-memes and virological media-memes. Using
the example of Duchamp's artwork Fountain, Moroz investigates the creation of memes leading to the branding of creative ideas and artifacts. Discussing
the function of memes, the author demonstrates the language of new media and offers strategies and methods for its usage.
According to Moroz," The increased specialization of the twenty-first
century post-industrial society requires communication and cooperation of people with varied sets of talents and skills."
He also argues that, "In the twenty-first century, such multi-talented cooperation is a key to success in almost all
branches of social and professional activities." Based on this notion, Moroz suggests adjusting the postsecondary education
system to the students' needs by introducing Memetic Centers in colleges and universities.
According to Moroz, Humanities are largely influenced by the scientific paradigms. He describes
the paradigm shift that started in the late twentieth century and continues in the first decades of the twenty-first century.
The first part of the Media Culture ends with the chapters dedicated to the critical approach to the theories and
paradigms of the twentieth century that continue to be relevant in academia.
The second part of the book is dedicated to the Gestalt approach to culture and aesthetics that, according to Moroz,
offers common language to creative professionals, theorists and broader audiences. Therefore, the second part of the book
is a discussion of a new approach to perception. Based on the theory of UVA professor David Summers, Moroz reintroduces the
concepts of aesthetical appreciation and emotional perception into mainstream art and culture theory. Moroz suggests that
the concept of Gestalt, widely used by photographers and filmmakers, should become a part of the basic education in visual
culture. The book ends with the chapter on the crisis of humanities. Moroz argues that the 1950's Cognitive Science paradigm
continues to impact contemporary theories in the Humanities. Therefore, it is difficult to defend the importance of emotional
needs, the needs for fine literature and visual arts that are an important part of Liberal Science.
In this relatively short volume, Vadim Moroz provides a lot of useful information, concepts and ideas. Some
themes of this book appear as sketches that deserve deeper investigation. This book is not a substitute for the 101 elementary
textbooks on new media and communication. Despite this, it is a valuable work enhancing the understanding of Media Culture
and offering useful strategies.
The author, Vadim Moroz
is an artist, art historian and writer. He published several award winning books. Moroz completed cultural studies at Maximilian
University in Munich, Art History at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Master of Liberal Science at Arizona State University.
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