Framing versus Transversality


Word: transversally

Acknowledging the dichotomy of framing-transversality is key to understanding and gaining an insight into the ever-changing media environment as a product of the current speed in which technologies are developing. Despite the introduction of said devices having been aimed at enhancing the everyday lives of individuals and their experience of the world, it has come as a challenge to well-established structures and their ability to… This has largely led to the notion of ‘adapt or die’ among major media platforms and outlets.

Framing refers to the means by which we are able to define the world by discerning truth, useful information, as well as our sensory perception and how these all come together to shape our notions of our reality. However, rather than exerting absolute power through restricted definitions and ‘frames’, framing works to form a rough sketch of how things should, or should not be interpreted.

Meanwhile, transversality refers to our ability to transform the ideas formed through framing. Modern media is characterised by such a technique as the increasing connectedness and dynamic relationships that are formed across, through and between frames are now being brought together to create new media events.

Despite the tensions experienced between these two elements, framing and transversality must be understood as being symbiotic as they exist together and rely on each other for survival. This framing-transversality dichotomy can be best explained when examining the ever-evolving music industry.

With audio CDs having been commercially available since 1982, there developed a structure whereby hard copies of the music were bought either as singles or albums directly from music stores with the social practice of both browsing through the racks and ‘collecting’ CDs being aided by its following the social practices of the vinyl era. However, with the release of the MP3 file towards the end of the 1990s and the subsequent flourishing of MP3-based file-sharing networks, both the existing social practices and how the music industry has been ‘framed’ faced significant changes. As a result, musical artists have had to evolve in order to maintain their legitimacy within the music industry. With the increasing use of social media as a medium of transversality and the emergence of globalisation, more and more institutions have had their legitimacy challenged. Said phenomena are impossible to avoid and as such, swift adaption is arguably crucial within this new media environment.


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