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HIGH/LOW: Taste, Quality, and Resolution - Events - Berkeley Center for New Media
Special Events

HIGH/LOW: Taste, Quality, and Resolution

Special Events
08 Feb, 2019

HIGH/LOW: Taste, Quality, and Resolution

Sponsored by Townsend Center for the Humanities, Department of Film & Media, Berkeley Arts + Design, Berkeley Center for New Media, and Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

A degraded film strip. A lossy jpeg. A pirated cassette tape. An HBO drama. A Tomatometer rating. An amateur YouTube video. Questions of quality, taste, and resolution have been key to discourses about the moving image from cinema’s early days. Twenty-first century changes to our media environment replay debates about quality and resolution that have long circulated around the cinema. The 2019 Berkeley Film & Media Graduate Conference seeks to put into dialogue ideas of taste, quality, and resolution in form and content from the standpoint of the digital age. HIGH/LOW asks how historical understandings of quality,value, and taste persist or are challenged by emerging medial forms.

Media technologies have become increasingly relevant to fraught questions of access, inclusion, and exclusion. What is the role of so-called gatekeepers in the contemporary reception of media? How do big data and algorithmic curation determine formulas for value that function as criteria for 'quality'? How do useful and non-theatrical media forms feature into debates of quality? To what extent have digital technologies opened up new avenues for creation and circulation of content by amateurs and marginalized groups? What role does resolution/bandwidth play in the creation or dissemination of content? Have new forms of distribution and curation democratized viewing practices or siloed audiences into personalized echo chambers? What role do platforms have in determining how a given media is perceived in algorithmic culture?

This conference addresses contemporary and historical questions of taste, quality and resolution, in cinematic and other medial forms.

Speakers include: Laila Shereen Sakr, Assistant Professor, University of California Santa Barbara; Rick Prelinger, Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz; and Abigail De Kosnik, Associate Professor, University of California, Berkeley, among others.

Visit https://highlowberkeley.weebly.com/ for the full program.

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