Media Ecology in Exit Through the Gift Shop

“If the medium itself and its unique laws of formal representation serve as a starting-point, many of its parameters either transcend or obscure the categories that have been gained in tracking narrative strategies of literary texts” (Kuhn & Schmidt, 2014). The assemblage of different media can be regarded as an ecology, a form of life with a range of dynamically related and symbiotic elements, in which users or spectators are considered as a vital part of the ecology.

Exit Through the Gift Shop, directed by Banksy, is a film about immigrant, photography, street art, gallery and filming. This film is under the circumstances of globalisation, in which Thierry Guetta is a French immigrant living in America, constantly filming his surroundings. The technique of transmedia storytelling is adopted in the film, systematically distributed stories in different media platforms, through elements such as photos, street art and filming, which seems independent each other but as a whole in fact, allowing talented narrators to have a bigger stage and loyal fans to share their ideas better (Moloney, 2013).

Casetti once revealed, “Cinema is a dynamic reality that is always on the point of going beyond its borders and yet is also always ready to reaffirm its basic characteristics”(Casetti, 2015:88). Exit Through the Gift Shop demonstrates Casetti opinion vividly. As Elena del Río indicated, “like an expired body that blends with the dirt to form new molecules and living organisms, the body of cinema continues to blend with other image/sound technologies in processes of composition/decomposition that breed images with new speeds and new distributions of intensities” (Elena del Río, 2016). The film also display as apparatus in Guetta’ show, apparatus was modified to take into account its heterogeneity as well as social conditions so that it can be seen as “deeply historical [and] characterized by multiple genealogies and variable structures”(Casetti, 2015:78), thus, exhibiting the enrichment and vitality of the film.

Written by Zifei Xu


Casetti, F.(2015). The Lumière Galaxy: Seven Key Words for the Cinema to Come. New York. Columbia University Press.

Chih-yung, C.(2012). Becoming Figural The Digital Moving Images in the Post-Cinematic Era. Available From [Accessed 29 March 2017]

McLuhan, M. and Quentin F. (1967). The Medium Is The Massage. New York. Bantam.



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