Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Recent Work

The UCSD Communication Department studies how humans, individually or institutionally, make sense of the world and act in the face of meanings others seek to impose on them, and how this sense-making activity is symbolically mediated by communication technologies.

Cover page of Financialized Hollywood: Institutional Investment, Venture Capital, and Private Equity in the Film and Television Industry

Financialized Hollywood: Institutional Investment, Venture Capital, and Private Equity in the Film and Television Industry

(2020)

The financial sector has a hidden, but dramatic effect on Hollywood: three institutional investors hold the largest investment stakes in nearly all major companies; corporate venture capital has arisen within every entertainment conglomerate; and private equity firms have enacted leveraged buyouts of companies in all sectors, including production, distribution, exhibition, talent agencies, audience measurement, trade press, and content catalogues. This article argues that “Financialized Hollywood” is a dangerous development; financial engineering strategies are extracting capital and reducing operational capacity, further depriving Hollywood of the diversity and heterogeneity it might provide the public sphere.

Cover page of The good fight

The good fight

(2020)

Through solidarity and resistance, workers can guide the ethics of tech giants

Cover page of The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Fragility

The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Fragility

(2020)

Impermanence and fragility have become the defining conditions of the digital age. Technologies that were ubiquitous barely a decade ago, like floppy disks, now look like archaeological relics. It takes only a few years, if not months, before software environments are replaced by newer versions, often with limited backward compatibility. At the same time, digital technologies rely on hardware that has short life expectancy. The radical obsolescence of this new digital register raises a number of important questions. How are we going to prevent the fragile memories of contemporary digital cultures from receding into oblivion? This essay answers this question by looking at one of the institutions in which the problems associated with digital fragility are most especially felt, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and by exploring the ontological displacements that digital objects are operating at the heart of the museum.

Cover page of Asia: A Fallacy of Misplaced Concreteness

Asia: A Fallacy of Misplaced Concreteness

(2019)

This essay operates from a challenge that is evident in Miyoshi’s life and career, a humility of our knowledge system and the quest to exceed it. I suggest that Asia is trapped within a historical framing (as the Orient) that prevents people and places within Asia from extracting themselves from that condition of being. The problem lies within the conflation of Asia as a relational condition and the places of Asia, which adds materiality to the idea. History and the nation have been the media and form through which this problem has emerged and how many have tried to extract themselves. This circularity, I argue, reiterates what Alfred North Whitehead calls a “fallacy of misplaced concreteness.”