When TV Became Art – NY Mag



“For anyone who loves television, who adores it with the possessive and defensive eyes of a fan, this was most centrally and importantly the first decade when television became recognizable as art, great art: collectible and life-changing and transformative and lasting.”

That’ll shut my mom up.

Also, I think Nussbaum’s most interesting point is that the rise in technologies such as the DVR, the DVD, the online forums have aided in the elevation of television into the realm of art.  She writes, “”By opening up TV to deeper analysis, these technologies emboldened a community of TV-philes, fans and academics who defended the medium as worthy of critical respect.” The DVR allowed the consumer to pause and reflect (some critics of television claimed that television was inherently ephemeral, which surely had an effect on quality of the content itself), which has led to more complex narratives and visual landscapes.

The online communities that have developed around these shows have produced a forum in which intelligent analysis could take place.  I think this harks back to Bourdieu’s idea of fields and cultural production. It’d be ridiculous to call television an art unless there were people out there developing a critical language to discuss the medium as an art.  I thought this would be an apt quote by Henry Jenkins to describe the way in which technology has changed the way in which we view our media – “A man with one machine (a TV) is doomed to isolation, but a man with two machines (TV and a computer) can belong to a community”.  


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