Television Aesthetics: Perceptual, Cognitive, and Compositional Bases

Television Aesthetics: Perceptual, Cognitive, and Compositional Bases

Television Aesthetics: Perceptual, Cognitive, and Compositional Bases

Television Aesthetics: Perceptual, Cognitive, and Compositional Bases


USE FIRST TWO PARAGRAPHS ONLY FOR GENERAL CATALOGS... This volume offers a response to three ongoing needs:

• to develop the main composition principles pertinent to the visual commmunication medium of television;

• to establish the field of television aesthetics as an extension of the broader field of visual literacy; and

• to promote television aesthetics to both students and consumers of television.

Based on effective empirical research from three axes -- perception, cognition, and composition -- the aesthetic principles of television images presented are drawn from converging research in academic disciplines such as psychology (perceptual, cognitive, and experimental), neurophysiology, and the fine arts (painting, photography, film, theater, music, and more). Although the aesthetics of the fine arts were traditionally built on contextual theories that relied heavily on subjective evaluation, on critical analyses, and on descriptive research methods, the aesthetics of today's visual communication media consider equally valuable empirical methodologies found in all sciences. Investigations in these different academic disciplines have provided the constructs and strengthened the foundations of the theory of television aesthetics offered in this book.

Special features include:

• a great variety of pictures supporting the topics discussed;

• a thorough, up-to-date, and specifically related bibliography for each of the major parts of the book;

• computer drawings illustrating the concepts examined in the text;

• scientific data -- tables and charts -- documenting the research findings cited;

• simplified explanations of the processes of visual, auditory, and motion perceptions of images, enhanced by specific diagrams;

• detailed analyses of the threefold process of stimulation, perception, and recognition of televised images; and

• workable, easy-to-understand and use rules of picture composition, visual image evaluations, and television program appreciation.


A few years ago it was inconceivable to consider television, particularly commercial television, a serious mass communication medium capable of presenting tasteful programs with unique artistic merits and recognized aesthetic qualities. The broadcasting industry that developed the television medium was not truly concerned with people's tastes, artistic expansions, and aesthetic awareness in their television programming. The industry's concern was mass distribution and mass consumption of television programs for huge profits. Knowledgeable electronic engineers, skillful media practitioners, and inspired business entrepreneurs worked hand in hand to develop the broadcasting industry as we know it today. Their backgrounds and motivations were driven mainly by science and technology. Their basic beliefs were practicality, economic gain, marketing, supply, and demand. Business and the desire for success dominated the actions taken by the pioneer developers of the broadcasting industry that Brandford (1987) called the "left brain oriented industry" (p. 36). This phenomenon that is not unique to our times, having occurred repeatedly over the history of media development in the Western world, had profound consequences and caused severe drawbacks in the field known today as television aesthetics. It took enormous efforts, perseverance, and persistence of media artists who are predominantly rightbrain oriented (Brandford, 1987) to become involved in broadcasting media, particularly in the new medium of television. As McLuhan (1978) observed, it took some time for the atrophic right brain of Western man to develop, to comprehend, and to recognize the media evolution of the 20th century. Gradually, artists already working in other media such as music, theater, and photography transferred their artistry to radio and television. They ex-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.