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Themesicon: navigation pathPhoto/Byteicon: navigation pathDocument and Abstraction

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can be ‹designed› with advertising. This location is a symbol for market crying, for advertisements concerned with clear messages, for the rapid conveyance of content and representation. Every available surface is used for (sales) messages; and as a rule, those who bring along the economic means can occupy these spaces. A condition for participating in the contest was a joint design process that may not have been dealt with with three clicks of the mouse, but did not, however, require financial clout. It was guaranteed that the ‹winning› entries would be presented at this location for several months, whose concentrated attention was normally sold for a large amount of money.

5. Media democracy

The much-cited media democracy is primarily characterized by the fact that it makes self-reflection possible. As soon as this is no longer available, the development of a mass medium and the society it reports on has entered a questionable phase. In this media universe, plurality, independence and comprehensible research are the guarantee that the


different ways of viewing things can get through and the ‹consumers› can paint a many-sided picture of the reported phenomena. Commercial and political instrumentalization showed themselves in the preparations for the war in Iraq in a way that was as disturbing as the sorrowful history of Italian democracy, where since Berlusconi first took office an excellent case study has been taking place that curiously enough has not yet triggered off any contradiction in the European Union in connection with anti-trust laws. This demonstrates in an alarming way how far the principle of media communication and public action have been able to be privatized and sabotaged in a democracy. The surplus of concrete, real is dissolving reality into simulations. The hidden, the undefinable is increasing and thus the ‹abstract› of a mass media society is being assembled behind this jungle of stories, this realm that eludes direct perception: reference is not primarily being made to what is being reported on, which for us is being presented in an increasingly abstract way because we no longer have direct access to it—the real in the spirit of Baudrillard—or to the why, which is becoming

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