Mediatized Sapiens: Communicational knowledge

This book results from the IV Interna- tional Seminar on Research on Mediatization and Social Processes held in 2020/2021. The III International Seminar on Research on Mediatization and Social Processes had a pro- gram developed on two levels: debate panels with invited researchers (5 panels, with the participation of researchers fromSweden(2), Argentina (2), and Brazil (9, including five from PPGCC-Unisinos). The IV Seminar program and its structure are at https://www. programacao-2020/. In this IV Seminar, the theme of the pan- els was “Mediatized Sapiens: the social construction of knowledge among interactions, means, circulation, and social mediation.” With mediatized sapiens, we want to refer to several media processes related to the mental changes of the species. Sev- eral questions can be enunciated related to these. How can we think of knowledge social construction when mediated by the media processes? To what extent does the mental experience of the species hold media processes as references to its building and infer- ences? How do the actors in a network par- ticipate in these processes? To what extent do institutions and organizations adapt to these new environments? In particular, how do the University, research, and scientific fields participate in this repair? Do the me- dia in digital media, in action through expert systems and artificial intelligence, interpose themselves in these processes to the point of asking incisive and secondary questions? How do temporalities and spatiality affect the conditions of production and reception, including social practices, in the social pro- duction of knowledge? What epistemologies and methodologies can account for this new complexity amid indetermination and un- certainty zones?


UNIVERSIDADE FEDERAL DE SANTA MARIA Rector Vice Rector CCSH Director Head of the Communication Sciences Department Paulo Afonso Burmann Luciano Schuch Mauri Leodir Löbler Rodrigo Stefani Correa Title Mediatized Sapiens. Communicational knowledge in the constitution of the species Editors Jairo Ferreira Ana Paula da Rosa Pedro Gilberto Gomes Antônio Fausto Neto José Luiz Braga Translation Andrea da Rosa Revision Andrea da Rosa Diagramming Casa Leiria Cover Image Luisa Schenato Staldoni. Composition made with images from free-use databases.

FACOS-UFSM Ada Cristina Machado Silveira (UFSM) Eduardo Andres Vizer (UBA) Eugenia Maria M. da Rocha Barrichelo (UFSM) Flavi Ferreira Lisboa Filho (UFSM) Gisela Cramer (UNAL) Maria Ivete Trevisan Fossá (UFSM) Marina Poggi (UNQ) Monica Marona (Udelar) Paulo Cesar Castro (UFRJ) Sonia Rosa Tedeschi (UEL) Suzana Bleil de Souza (UFRGS) Valdir José Morigi (UFRGS) Valentina Ayrolo (UNMDP) Veneza Mayora Ronsini (UFSM) Editorial Board Scientific Committee Anne Kaun (Södertörn University) Heike Graf (Södertörn University) Isabel Löfgren (Södertörn University) Michael Forsman (Södertörn University) Mihaela Tudor (Montpellier III) Natália Anselmino (UNR) Stefan Bratosin (Montpellier III) Tiago Quiroga (UNB) Editorial Technical Committee Prof. Dr. Sandra Depexe (UFSM) Ph.D. Student Camila Hartmann (UFSM) Ph.D. João Damásio (Unisinos) Ph.D. Dinis Ferreira Cortes (Unisinos) Ph.D. Student Luisa Schenato Staldoni (Unisinos) Ph.D. Student Angelo Neckel (Unisinos) Ph.D. Student Mauricio Fanfa (UFSM) Undergratuate Student Sofia Roratto (UFSM) Ms. Degree Student Alexandra Martins Vieira (UFSM) Ms. Degree Student Jean Silveira Rossi (UFSM) Ms. Degree Student João Vitor da Silva Bitencourt (UFSM) Ms. Degree Student Guilherme Martins Batista (Unisinos) Ms. Degree Student Fernanda Lagotreria Carvalho (Unisinos) Ms. Degree Student William Martins (Unisinos) Ms. Degree Student Igor Malmann (Unisinos) Ms. Degree Student Jessica Worm (Unisinos) UNIVERSIDADE FEDERAL DE SANTA MARIA Administrative Technical Council Aline Roes Dalmolin (UFSM) Leandro Stevens (UFSM) Liliane Dutra Brignol (UFSM) Sandra Depexe (UFSM)


Mediatized Sapiens Communicational knowledge in the constitution of the species The present work has been accomplished with the support from: Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (CAPES) Financial funding Number 001 CNPq – Process n°: 423948/2021-0 Fapergs - Process n.°: 20/2551-0000562-3 Stint - Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education This work is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR ON RESEARCH ON MEDIATIZATION AND SOCIAL PROCESSES M489 Mediatized sapiens [electronic resource] : communicational knowledge in the constitution of the species / Jairo Ferreira ... [et al.] (Editors). – Santa Maria, RS : FACOS-UFSM, 2022. 1 e-book : il. ISBN 978-65-5773-040-9 1. Mediatization 2. Knowledge 3. Communication I. Ferreira, Jairo CDU 316.774 Catalog sheet prepared by Lizandra Veleda Arabidian - CRB-10/1492 Biblioteca Central - UFSM



11 A seminar of farewells and memories Jairo Ferreira Among themany functions of a book, one is to be amem- ory. This one, in particular, is also a memory of the last conference and debate by Ciro Marcondes Filho. A week after the event, he passed away. He went towards the cosmos. During the seminar, we were impacted; everyone, including those who knew him and those who had just met Ciro. The book is a variation on all of that. The recordings onMidiaticom’s YouTube channel are more “alive” ( Table I, with Ciro Marcondes and Braga, and Table 2, with the tribute to Ciro, are the records of that life that passed away, which allowed us the life that remained in the farewell. Ciro, a colleague and delicate friend from whom we learned a lot, in his specific ways of sensitivity and questioning, presented us in his farewell. It is not little. Several times, after all, we reflected on this. How to understand our presence and farewell, including icons of the communication research field in Brazil, like Ciro? Where are they kept, besides the books not always remembered? Without firm answers about this, in the field whose theories are more fleeting, we highlight what is also like this: Ciro is a researcher who speaks to us in the same way he also speaks about himself. There are few who manage to do this as intensely as Ciro Marcondes. And when they do that, they teach a lo W t. e are privileged to have this. Communication, rare, when thought about, says a lot about the way we are – as at- tempts, potentialities, and limitations. The table at which Ciro and Braga spoke is also the result of many years of debates, initiated by theWG on Epistemolo- gy of Communication and the Journal Questões Transversais, on a question that instigates both of them: what is communication?

Jairo Ferreira 12 *** This book is one of the results of the IV International Seminar on Research on Mediatization and Social Processes, held in 2020/2021. The Seminar had a program developed in two levels: Debate Panels with guest researchers (5 roundtables, with the participation of researchers from Sweden [2], Argentina [2], and Brazil [9, including five from PPGCC-Unisi- nos]). The schedule of the IV Seminar and its structure are available at programacao-2020/. *** In this IV Seminar, the Panels theme was “MEDIATIZED SAPIENS: THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF KNOWLEDGE BE- TWEEN INTERACTIONS, MEANS, CIRCULATION, AND SOCIAL MEDIATIONS.” With mediatized sapiens, we mean different media pro- cesses in their relations with the mental transformations of the species. We can enunciate several questions in these relationships. How to think about the social construction of knowledge when it is mediated bymedia processes? To what extent does the species’ mental experience already incorporate media processes as a reference for its construction and inferences? How have network actors been participating in these processes? To what extent are institutions and organizations adapting to these new environments? In particular, how do the University, research, and scientific fields participate in this concert? Do the media in digital networks, managed by expert systems and artificial intelligence, intervene in these processes to pose incisive or sec- ondary questions? How do temporalities and spatialities affect production and reception conditions, including social practices, in the social production of knowledge? What epistemologies and methodologies can account for this new complexity in the midst of zones of indetermination and uncertainty? The book presents this in four parts (not corresponding to the Panels but favoring the angles presented): Mediatization and social construction of reality; Logic, algorithms, platforms, and metrics; Event, circulation, and consumption; Production of

A seminar of farewells and memories 13 knowledge/criticism, power, social mediatization. Lucrécia Ferrara’s foreword reflects on the set and each of the chapters of this edition. *** In total, there were 15 hours of debates at the five tables. Methodologically, the Seminar takes place in the articu- lation of Debate Panels with international guests and Working Groups, with the presence of researchers, doctors, doctoral students, masters, and masters students. We highlight that still within the scope of the training processes, masters and doctoral students, masters and doctors, post-doctors and post-doctoral graduates, and members of the organizing Research Group participate as reviewers in blind evaluation of the expanded abstracts submitted by graduates in lower academic titles to theirs – under the coordination of re- search professors from the Mediatization and Social Processes Group. They evaluated (in a group of more than three dozen reviewers) each of the works submitted by colleagues with lower education, with classification notes, which resulted in the ap- proved works. These were later grouped by the Organizing Committee, successively, until reaching the event’s Working Groups. The average number of submissions to the Working Groups in the events held is 200 extended abstracts, distributed among research professors (around 20%), doctors and doctoral students (about 30%), masters and master’s students (idem, 30%) and graduates and undergraduates (20%). More than 50% of the participants are from states outside Rio Grande do Sul; the overwhelming majority (about 80%) are from outside Unisinos. Among its results, in addition to the formative processes in the course of its realization, we emphasize the con- solidation in a library of reflections in the format of complete articles of the presentations in WGs and books published in ebook format (with chapters produced by the participants of the Conference Panels). The expanded abstracts of this IV Seminar are available at inario-midiatizacao-resumos/issue/archive. The complete ar- ticles are available at

Jairo Ferreira 14 seminario-midiatizacao-resumos/issue/archive. As a whole, Midiaticom’s media account for nearly 80,000 hits in five edi- tions ( This book from the Debate Panels of the IV Seminar, in this e-book edition, is available not only in the project’s collec- tion ( but also at FACOS UFSM ( We reiterate our thanks to Capes, Fapergs, CNPq, and Stint (Sweden) for the financial support essential for the viability of this conver- sation proposal based on theoretical and empirical research carried out by its participants. Jairo Ferreira By the editors

15 Mediatization: what we say and what we think Lucrécia D´Alessio Ferrara1 1. Mediatization: What we say and what we think There are many merits of the International Seminar on Mediatization and Social Processes Among those merits, the smallest was not the edition of its IV meeting held in November-December 2020 and January 2021. Divided into thematic conference sessions, it had the par- ticipation of renowned names on the national and international scene, who presented results of investigations on constant themes of interest presented, in this book, in four parts: Me- diatization and social construction of reality; Logic, algorithms, platforms, and metrics; Event, circulation, and consumption; Production of knowledge/criticism, power, social mediatization. When developing these themes, we apprehend that the concept of mediatization is defined and, in this sense, would be an outdated issue. However, since the first seminar in 2016, the question has been asked: what is mediatization, and what do people think about it? Therefore, it is not an outdated issue, but it is very current; it must be debated and, above all, presented in the interface of other issues that relate to it or the consequences of its multiple axes of analysis. In these interfaces, one observes that mediatization is a central element of debates in communica- tion and constitutes the matrix of some epistemological strains. 1 Professor at the Graduate Course in Comunicação e Semiótica/PUCSP. ORCID: LATTES: 1606647058708790. E-MAIL:

Lucrécia D´Alessio Ferrara 16 In this strain, one can observe that the concept of mediatization may go beyond the technological focus that seems to be central in the routine debates around contemporary communication; on the contrary, it is necessary to know how mediatization and technical means are related or connected. As a consequence, this presentation aims to align the relationship between the themes under debate and, most of all, to present the respective contributions to the development of a possible epistemology of com- munication, which considers mediatization as one of its central axes, alongside the already established as knowledge production and social process. Among these contributions, it is nec- essary to emphasize that the themes proposed came from the epistemological perspective of communication and, therefore, it is in this dimension that this presentation should consider them, that is, it is about verifying how they contribute to the produc- tion of knowledge in the area of communication, emphasizing, however, the contributions that result from the consequences of the phenomenal dimension of social processes. Analyzing the axis of the conferences presented, we observe that they can be understood in the arc of some core interests: learning, knowledge production, and circulation as sedimentations of a way of thinking, in addition to the respective consequences that result from the current fixed devices and mobile technologies. 2. Mediatization, knowledge, inferences Since the dawn of civilization led by Homo sapiens, knowledge seems to be led by reason and finds, in the propen- sity of learning, its central and irrefutable vector; in this sense, we understand that knowledge and learning are partners and mutually consequential elements. Now, the debates presented at the IV Seminar on Mediatization and Social Processes assume, as an axis of reflection, the production of knowledge, its circula- tion as mediatization, and, finally, the role of the University in that production. As this is an academic seminar, it seems natural that knowledge gets first decoded as learning; in this sense, me- diatization would be confused with displacements of knowledge

Mediatization: what we say and what we think 17 that, in the media, would circulate, giving rise to a transmissive tendency, dear to Communication Theory studies since its first and well-known academic incursions. Communication as a transmission would constitute its fundamental role which, as knowledge, would watch over learning and, above all, its propa- gation, always alert to novelties but especially to the support of knowledge as tradition and repetition, to maintain the main social bonds sedimented. The social dynamics would be protected as long as it were possible to communicate traditional values. In this sense, mediatization could be understood as circulation and would be summoned as a central role in that social dynamic. In this process, knowledge would be learning what was estab- lished and presented irrevocably as knowledge and privilege. As a process, society changes and, most of all, adapts to the economic, cultural, and technological clashes that cross it. In this process, communication emerges as an element capable of building the social reality and its transformation processes. Following Darwin, that process drags with it all the strategies that, since Homo habilis, presented alternatives to produce and develop that change to find paths that led that man to transform himself into Homo sapiens. However, it is not enough to verify that communication builds social reality. It is essential to know how it was built, and to what extent this construction requires constant perseverance. In this compass, communication makes evident its processes of communicability available for observation, an adequate basis for a science that, adherent to its practicing or happening, elects the empirical domain as the initial and suggestive instance for the production of theoretical-interpretive inferences (Ciro Marconde T s r ) a . nslated by communicability, this process reaches the production of knowledge, and its passive learning reconsti- tutes itself as an invention, albeit a slow but steady attempt (José Luis Braga). We move from learning to invention, which presupposes discovery and the risk of making mistakes when propos- ing hypothetical attempts and, above all, inferences directed towards some possible discovery elaborated and in germ in previous attempts. The panorama of these discoveries is fueled by questions. Among them, the query that has accompanied all of

Lucrécia D´Alessio Ferrara 18 Ciro Marcondes’ scientific production stands out: what kind of man is being designed by this mediatized society? The search for the answer led the researcher to empirical experiments con- ducted with students. The prognosis of investigation based on heuristics is highlighted, which would become considered the matrix of the epistemology of communication. Learning changes its baseline: it transforms questions into inferences tending to solve problems presented to Homo sapiens daily in all its editions. Social processes develop, and the invention is an element that, with technological support, can reinvent itself although, empirically, it continues to use experimentation. In this sense, there is a risk, among all the doubts about what is said and how mediatization is defined, to insinu- ate that it is nothing more than a risky experiment. In this sense, mediatization is a social experiment through which the capacity for invention is experienced. As the master of technical means, man is capable of inventing them, at the same time that he criticizes or adapts to them. In this sense, mediatization is a recent exercise that proposes, for the epistemology of communication, a bias that contemplates the very way in which technology and the means propose the development of knowledge in commu- nication. Mediatization is a learning experience, and as such, it should be studied, but its highest challenge is the ability to invent. Mediatization makes communication stand out as com- municability that establishes, with social production, a double logical implication and manifests itself as supporting its own construction (Ciro Marcondes). 3. Mediatization as a method for inventing The word mediatization contains the word media, which requires considering that the technologies of analogic, electronic, and digital mass media must be considered when we try to understand those media as instruments of a method to invent. As a technology, this method is tautological and does not seem to allow experimentation; on the contrary and increasingly, it assumes certainties that act as automatic practices and produce expected effects: there is talk of reliable codes and net-

Mediatization: what we say and what we think 19 works, with a view to mutation, but the transmission or reconfiguration of those codes, through algorithms and platforms. If we understand mediatization is an experience aimed at invent- ing, it is necessary to accept invention as a risk that must rely on the unpredictability that limits all certainties and makes the ex- perience an adventure made of attempts produced in the trans- versality of the established knowledge (José Luis Braga). However, if we understand it not as an attempt but as a routine led by codes or technological modulations, we can transform it into a habit that reproduces itself in a predictable and self-explanatory way, like an algorithm. However, a mismatch arises from that habit. If applied to social processes, mediatization is as open and complex as societies are and requires daring to work with systems in a flux of change, more focused on experiences of invention than on certainties of applicative learning. A revolution that transforms knowledge production into an uncertain and unforeseen flow, which admits everything as an inferential method, but promises nothing, although it creates intermediate theories for communication (José Luis Braga). A revolution in the means of learning that imposes the need to review, in its flow of transformations, all application predictability, as they can insinuate differences that, not infrequently, are interpreted as possible accidents along the way and end up, therefore, being trivialized (Sandra Massoni, Eneus Trindade, Göran Bolin). In this way, unforeseen phenomena arise, such as the occurrence. Mario Carlón studies the event in its chronological evidence and, therefore, as a historical event, foreseen in causes and consequences. One can observe, however, that, contrary to the dynamics of the event, the occurrence is capable of attract- ing attention to the media unusual or spectacular; that is, the occurrence is not to be confused with the historical event and not permeated by causes and consequences that can chronologi- cally be demarcated as before, during, and after. On the contrary, the occurrence does not admit chronologies because it is inde- terminate in its causes and unpredictable in its consequences; therefore, the occurrence is as suitable for mediatization as it distances itself from the spectacular predictable event in its con- sequences and, above all, in its causes. One can observe that the

Lucrécia D´Alessio Ferrara 20 mediatization that emerges as an experience of living among technical means requires knowledge capable of adapting to the uncertainty of the indeterminate without a determined time or place. However, led by mediatization, social exercise requires the ability to solve problems, although nothing presents a safe method to prefigure it in its possible developments. In this sense, an epistemology of communication attentive to the ex- ercise of mediatization does not confound communication with action programs, even if they are ethical and desirable as moral or political performances, clearly demarcated. The mediatiza- tion of these performances goes far beyond the performances already enshrined in the circulation of media communication, such as that focused on consumption and led by persuasive ad- vertising strategies, supported by preferences, desires, or psy- chological drives, foreseen and explained by psychoanalysis (José Luis Aidar), or by newsworthiness, more or less favorable to the impulse, which makes the news a game of interests in dis- semination and, in some cases, in circulation. More than ever, mediatization demands the criticism of scheduled or explana- tory tactics or strategies of knowledge itself (Ana Paula da Rosa; Pedro Gilberto Gomes). That is, as a possible epistemology of communication, mediatization appears as a critique of communicology itself that is based on theoretical or political programs; that is, the mediatization of social processes is found in the imponderability of its emergence and obeys nothing; however, adhering to the logic of the media, mediatization observes circulation and this characteristic is responsible for the constitution of public opinion and the nature of consumption, both led by transmission, more like the propagation of interests than the development of ways of thinking. Circulation as propagation is predicted by the logic of the media, but this logic changes in the dynamics of public opin- ion itself and, therefore, it cannot be determined by the way it circulates or by its causes and consequences. Through circula- tion as a chapter of the logic of the media, the repetition or reit- eration that enshrines media programs seems to be scheduled, but mediatization, as the circulation of experience itself, can al- ways emerge new and unforeseen.

Mediatization: what we say and what we think 21 Therefore, mediatization does not refer to the technological world available to transmissive circulation; on the con- trary, it goes beyond and, despite the means, it establishes new and other interactional processes that reinvent the world and human relations, becoming evident that it is not a consequence of the circulation of transmissive communication. Quite the op- posite, as it mediates itself, communication changes transform, and becomes new, although circulating. That is, mediatization, as a consequence of the communication means, goes beyond them and the very communication. Along the way, there are interfaces with theories that privilege logical-deductive procedures config- ured in different areas of knowledge. These theories are possi- bly totalizing, and those procedures tend to explain or predict social processes and, as a consequence, the reach of mediatiza- tion itself. To do so, they transform processes into the flow, into habits of action, feeling, and thinking. In its interfaces, knowledge is challenged because, rather than habit, mediatization is circulating and is structured to the extent that it is structuring and requires us to consider it in the semiosis of its processes (Jairo Ferreira). Therefore, mediatization does not refer to the techno- logical world available to transmissive circulation; on the contrary, it goes beyond and, despite the means, it establishes new and other interactional processes that reinvent the world and human relations, becoming evident that it is not a consequence of the circulation of transmissive communication. Quite the op- posite, as it mediates itself, communication changes transform, and becomes new, although circulating. That is, mediatization, as a consequence of the communication means, goes beyond them and the very communication. Along the way, there are interfaces with theories that privilege logical-deductive procedures configured in different areas of knowledge. These theories are possi- bly totalizing, and those procedures tend to explain or predict social processes and, as a consequence, the reach of mediatization itself. To do so, they transform processes into the flow, into habits of action, feeling, and thinking. In its interfaces, knowl- edge is challenged because, rather than habit, mediatization is circulating and is structured to the extent that it is structuring

Lucrécia D´Alessio Ferrara 22 and requires us to consider it in the semiosis of its processes (Jairo Ferreira). If mediation consists of transmissive communication between a sender who, while transmitting, models what the receiver should think and how he should act, mediatization, on the contrary, does not impose objectives to be transmitted; quite the opposite, it refers to a way of life that, crossed by technical means of multiple characteristics, transmits nothing, except the experience of being communicating and interactive beings. Through mediatization, we can perceive the world while it allows us, in real-time, the interactional experience of being ev- erywhere and at all times. Mediatization allows us to be aware that we are citizens of the world we inhabit and which inhabits us. The subtlety of this concept lies in making us realize that technicality requires us to experiment with new ways of think- ing and acting, opposing, therefore, any mimetic activity that can prevent us from acting creatively in the place and in the way we live or want to live. Assuredly this anti-mimetic facet of media- tization remains hidden until we admit that it invites us to communicate without imposing the form we should communicate (Pedro Gilberto Gomes, Igor Sacramento). 4. Mediatization at the University As a producer of knowledge, mediatization presents itself as a challenge for the university and its social exercise, espe- cially when challenged to respond to unforeseen and imprecise phenomenal contingencies as occur, for example, when local and global society faces obstacles such as the pandemic reality cur- rently experienced (Fausto Neto). Although the learning routine constitutes the master key of academic life in its exercise of habit, it is necessary to risk the attempt of insecure prediction of its possible exercise. Inse- cure because, tied to the repetition strategy that gave it a leadership role and social power, the University presents itself as a structure attached to the immovable and insensitive to move- ment. In this sense, we can understand that mediatization offers nothing to the University as it presents levels of action that sug-

Mediatization: what we say and what we think 23 gest paths that cut across the usual ones because they go against the current programs, curricula, and scheduled and planned ac- tivities, even if disguised by current technology. Understanding that mediatization is an exercise without programs, it is possible and fair to ask: what Univer- sity emerges from the daily life affected by the pandemic, un- derstood as a possible mediatized dimension of social reality? (Fausto Neto) The answer seems to impose itself: the University will only be ready to respond to challenges analogous to the one that the pandemic presented if it is capable of revising its habits and certainties; that is, to become mediatized, it requires that the University can review itself in its practices and projects. These reviews impose the necessary empirical observation attentive to phenomenal modulations that, unforeseen, require the risk of proposing comprehension rather than safe explanations. One knows that the demonstrations of university power emanate from the comfort and security of those who hold the academic places of speech, echoes of certainties of those who know and stand against the doubt, always risky, of those who seek to know and, as a consequence, ask (Igor Sacramento). For the University to find itself in a condition to answer the questions proposed by the contemporary, it will be necessary to understand communicology of mediatization is always in process and, therefore, will be more able to adapt to the new that requires invention than to the use of the learning of what is conserved by tradition or comfort. Without quick and immedi- ate empiricism, the University needs to mediatize itself to learn how to live among media and, above all, to be able to discover itself as a social media that is not commonplace but critical of its work and its possibilities of acting in the territory of knowledge in mediatization. 5. Mediatization: from thought to critical conscience In the complexity of this territory without proven paths, there is no established or desirable literacy because we always present mediatization as if it were new (Michael Fors-

Lucrécia D´Alessio Ferrara 24 man). In this novelty taken as a recurrence of what was always experienced, although perhaps not apprehended, there is a tech- nological literacy that, as a power structure, presents itself as a package of transmissible rules, ready to be passed on in a learning process as mimetic as it is uninteresting for those who, liv- ing media day-to-day, are no longer naive, but demanding while waiting for another performance different from simple literacy and attentive to the unpredictable requests of the novelties of the media and their respective technologies or devices. In this sense, it is necessary to observe that mediatization promotes openness to consider other levels of analysis and, among them, communication that, although being common to all organic and inorganic living species, finds, in anthropological phylogenesis, another cognitive and perceptive matrix that establishes intimate relationships between sensitivity, mind, body, space, and language, inaugurating a cognitive matrix not superior, but more complex than the common phylogenesis of all living beings. Without anthropocentrism, but attentive to the reality that mediatization suggests we live in, we see the urgent need to develop critical thinking about the contemporary. Although a requirement of our historical time/place, it is imperative to realize that criticism only establishes itself as thought, based on a conscience capable of questioning the lived context and perceiving, under the demands of everyday practice, what is the biggest reason for the actions, deliberations, or duties required of us or possibilities of life and actions about which we have rights. Consciousness accompanies critical thinking but goes beyond it because it requires assessing the context of each one and the consistent and appropriate action at each moment. Paulo Freire proposed and preached the development of critical thinking through awareness of each one’s daily life, from child- hood to maturity, from child to old age. It is the program of the revolution proposed by Paulo Freire to materialize the ideal of a democracy of the future without literacies or models because the critical conscience proposes itself as new every day in dif- ferent contexts: a culture that demands itself without models, although with ideals that are not idealized, but worked on every day and renewed in every conscience capable of criticism. It is

Mediatization: what we say and what we think 25 up to this other way of being in consciousness to understand media literacy, not as learning a technological competence, but rather a demanding observation that does not refuse the chal- lenge of discovering what may not yet have been presented but is already proposed like another invitation of life (Michael Forsman). 6. Presenting to mediatize In this presentation, we had no other objective than making explicit the debates suggested by the works dealing with mediatization and its provisional definitions, which sought to revisit concepts and trends enshrined in different theories of communication. Presenting some certainty and definitions those concepts do not manage to apprehend the insinuations proposed by living between interactions as mediatized manifestations that refuse to weave definitive medialogies. This re- fusal imposes on mediatization researchers and, above all, those gathered at the Seminars on Mediatization and Social Processes, a need to develop a long exercise that empirically envisages ob- serving mediatization processes to be able to invent another way of studying communication, far from the theoretical/explanatory linearity that affects programs and media scripts.

27 Part I Mediatization and the social construction of reality

29 The Communicational Construction of Reality Ciro Marcondes In memorian1 Abstract: The text presents Ciro Marcondes Filho’s last confer- ence and public debates before his death. In the presentation, Ciro addresses the communicational construction of reality, raising questions that he considers central according to mo- ments in the history of the media concerning the species (dia- logue and cave painting; writing; technologies of reproduction; mass media). Starting from these questions, he situates the cen- tral problem: What kind of newman is being engendered by this society and marks this decisive moment in our culture? In the debate with José Luis Braga, Aidar Prado, and Isabel Lögfren, he updates these questions and crosses them with his perspective of a new theory of communication. Keywords: Construction of reality. Mediatization. Communi- cation. New theory. 1. Introduction The theme of this communication is the Communicational Construction of Reality and how Communication inter- fered with the forms of construction of reality. This theme will accompany us until the end of this exposition. 1 Ciro Marcondes died the week after the debate held after this conference. We kept the original text of his presentation, changing only seeking for adjustments to the written text. Afterward, we present the debate held with José Luis Braga and other researchers.

Ciro Marcondes 30 Communication, organization, and the social construction of communicability are a topic that involves both communi- cation and other aspects of civil society, aspects that are demar- cated by a great division between the institutions themselves, which will collaborate in the construction of reality. Reality is not a given fact; it is not always an omnipresent fact. On the con- trary, reality is an instance that is continually changing and continually demands this entry of elements of communicability into its organization. Of course, communicability does not always have a central function. Communicability is seen, considered, and in- cluded as an adjunct, at least in the early days of human history. I would say that after this primary, elementary phase of dialogue and cave painting, they marked a certain theocracy. We had, with the rise of the Church as the founding power of this same society, and of culture itself, a significant change in this sense. The Church was responsible for this process for about a thousand years, in which writing and the spoken order were replaced, especially the spoken order was replaced by the reading of the Scriptures. What did reading the Scriptures mean? It meant that society would need to learn to decipher, interpret, read the sacred texts because it was them that, at the time, controlled or assumed the social priority of the societies themselves. So, we have here a society in which the basic value was how things were translated for people, how sacred texts were translated for people, and the function now, then, of the translators, the hermeneutics, those who had the job of reproducing the texts was and became the principal aspect of that same society. I would say that if there were one main question that was asked at this time: what does it mean? It, of course, naturally refers to the question of the trans- lation itself or the very readability of the texts of the time. It changed, and in the 16th century, we had the great turning point, which was the Cartesian proposition of dividing the being into two dimensions: a thinking being and an extended being. It then meant a whole revolution of thought that would go through two sides that would somehow oppose each other in this process as a whole. But at the same time, it is a society that creates not only this division but also a technological revo- lution, a political revolution, and social evolution. Technological

The Communicational Construction of Reality 31 because it meant the introduction of typography, which changed a little the way people started to relate to their worlds. Typog- raphy brought the reproduction of books and reading material as a whole, not only religious but also political, cultural, ideological, in short. And it would also shape minds as it would, so to speak, restructure the way people looked at the world and the texts themselves. It means that there would be a basic change in society its W el h f. at we have at that moment, after this passage, is an- other transformation, which introduced a new sensibility at that moment. This new sensitivity was characterized by Espinoza, by Leibniz, and marked its time and also provoked a break with the Cartesian thought of the time because it also introduced concepts that were outside the basic Cartesian model of thought. But the main change was not there, the main change occurred with the presence of the philosopher Nietzsche, who brought to these societies not only a critique of society itself, what he called decadence, but also, of course, to the critique of metaphysics, historicism, and Christianity, bringing new concepts, such as the concept of energy, the concept of color, and the concept of force. The very concept of spirit is, in a way, reintroduced here by Nietzsche, who somehow puts the Greek question back on the agend A a n . d this turn that marked the sensibility was one that also, in a certain way, prepared the ground for the revolutions that would come. These revolutions even preceded the presence of the philosopher and meant: the emergence of the people as a prominent political figure; the public sphere; journalism, and also recording and reproduction machines. These machines re- produced, in the Second Industrial Revolution, the images and sounds in movement through the photographic camera, the phonograph, and the cinema. It is clear that this would not leave society as before. They make the sensitivity transform. And the new question asked at that time was, exactly, what new sensibility is emerging here in this new context? But it doesn’t end here. We also have, at this moment, the unfolding of what happened in the 19th century, which was the emergence, in the 20th century, of the great mass media, which became prominent in political conduct and social struc-

Ciro Marcondes 32 turing, in the way men came to see its own society. At that time, in the 20th century, Communication schools emerged, which did not always manage very well to account for their importance and their historical object. I would say that Communication was the most important factor of the 20th century but also in the 21st century when it also started to assume the main role in society, and this fact made it, indeed, become decisive in this construction of reality from the means of communication. 2. The current era Our time would not fail to be the main one, the one that most interests us at this moment of communication, precisely because it is the moment in which we live. It is the moment in which today we dedicate the greatest concern, the greatest in- terest to discussing. Because communication, which, so to speak, would have played a secondary role in its beginnings, and then became important from typography and from some human transformations that transformed sensitivity in several different times, today it becomes, or, more importantly, so to speak, the equipment that combines us, that organizes us in this social life, and in a way imprisons us. Why? Because we know that the big media were, for a long time, funded, led, controlled by big capital, and big capital not only produced newspapers, and maga- zines but also invested in the cultural area, in glamour, in the way in which the media developed. Not only now, the printed media, newspapers, maga- zines, but the radio, which also appeared at that time in 1918, and other devices started to appear in the 1920s, especially television and cinema, which also occupied a very important space in the social imaginary. This is not without results, with- out effects, without impacts on society. On the contrary, this made these societies acquire a new dimension at this moment, that dimension that was, so to speak, passive, in communica- tion, becomes fully active. A basic characteristic of this epoch is that man can move from the center of attention to the periph- ery, thanks to the reproduction devices that take his place, that occupy his place. Moreover: these societies are marked by the

The Communicational Construction of Reality 33 idea of i​mmortality. Within the recording media, people will record their voices, their movements and will, therefore, be- come immortal. And they may reappear as prominent figures in social life. Furthermore, this is also a new reality, which is a world reality, marked by the existence, by the production of a new plane, of a new level of sociability, which is the abstract, imaginary plane, and the production of ideas, which will be the new sociability plan. What we have now is the process in which big capital (which finances all this, which was responsible for the appearance of the great machines, the reproduction machines of the Second Industrial Revolution, these great devices) mobilizes these means and uses them in a different expanded form, precisely through the interference of new technologies and techni- cal equipment that men will use. So, we have here that the great communicational company will become the pivot of the great communicational change that we have, and, from the user’s point of view, this new entrapment of sensitivity will mark the third question in our question box. Our third question is: What new man is emerging from all this? A radical question because it seems that we no longer identify ourselves, we are no longer able to know our attribution, depending on what we said earlier, the moment of moving through the periphery, of immortality, of being replaced by devices and the creation of this new structure that would be the new world reality. With this whole set of questions, we formulate a third question that we don’t know the answer to. What new man is being engendered by this society that marks this decisive moment in our culture? We don’t know, and this is the question that bothers us, that calls our attention, and that brings us here to a debate that is undoubtedly a decisive debate and that seeks to propose some main questions for us to discuss in our era. 3. Debate CIRO: Good morning, Braga. Good morning, Jairo. Good morning, everyone. I was not aware that Jairo also operated with agonists. This will help me a lot, mainly because I learn a lot ev-

Ciro Marcondes 34 ery time I talk to Jairo, to Braga. To Braga, mainly. Well, indeed, something very interesting happens. The way he exposed his text intersects in a very interesting way with my text because he and I have worked with this crossing of levels from antiquity to today. So, at several points, our talk will deal with the same topic. He and I started from a difference that is the beginning of the history of communication. Starting naturally from cave painting, which, in my opinion, initiates the communication pro- cess. But not only that. It also marks the beginning of a kind of human attempt to make the other part of an idea that is mine and that I somehow expose and share. It creates a certain kind of differential already. Differential marked by the voice, by im- age, and this image will be, let’s say, the driver of a new type of human relationship. As Flusser said: this image will mark the first division between man and the world. Through the process of visibility and theorization. From then on, a new change takes place; what Braga calls instability. This instability will provoke another change, not only in writing, not only in communication but also in power relations because the Christian Church will incorporate the text. The text will signify a new form of power because whoever dominates the text, and knows how to trans- late it, will now have a tool in their hands, and this tool will be an instrument of power in society. This domain of translatability will last until the 16th century, with the turn of civilization that will introduce bipolar thinking with René Descartes and his proposal for the separation of body and soul. There is a coincidence there, with the emergence of reproducibility technologies coming from typography. Typography will be a revolution. This revolution will mess with ideas and concepts, changing the framework of politics, science, and religion. But we are not yet in the last phase of civilization, which will introduce recording and reproduction systems into the culture that will bring people a new universe. And I formulate three very clear phases of the civilizing process, characterized by three questions: the first, ‘what does this mean?’, which is the writing phase; the second, then, sorted by importance, has the question: ‘what new world is now emerging with the devices?’ Third, ‘what kind of man is being created in the 20th and 21st centuries?’

The Communicational Construction of Reality 35 So, these three questions modulate these changing times. Coupled with them, there is in the 19th century an equally fundamental change. Three changes, which are: man loses his privileged position in culture; the concept of immortality becomes relative; a new world emerges, a new reality, which is the reality of the world created by technologies, which is a second world, an imaginary world. Well, going into Braga’s text a little, he talks about the conflict between Habermas and Marcuse. But I think this was not the main German conflict of the 20th century, but the conflict between Habermas and Luhmann because Luhmann brings another light to the issue of communication. Luhmann comes from another theoretical school, which is based on the studies of contemporary theories, which he calls communication, but is not our communication, and this way of seeing is new because it relies on cybernetics, second-order cybernetics, which says that communication, in principle, does not exist. Neither does infor- mation. That these do not exist as fixed and stable data but as relations. I mean, we can constitute it or not, depending on the relationship we make with others. So, a new interpretation of communicability was cre- ated, although based on the non-existence of communication. And this new communication more or less excludes, it prevents the old interpretations of communication. And what we have is a repercussion of what was done in Europe at the beginning of the last century, a concept that is built during the process of com- municability itself. So what I mean is that communication as metaphysics does not exist. Metaphysics, in the classical sense, one that said that communication is transport, transference, of something when, in fact, it is nothing of the sort. There is no transfer of anything. There are only attempts or possibilities to talk to the oth- er, and the other will understand as he wants; so that the worlds, the minds, remain separate. That was, in principle, what I wanted in this exhibition where I am here arranging ideas, without a script, just trying to recompose the map of what I exposed in the recorded text. ***