Consuming Culture

by Jeff Jensen, Brett McCracken & Lisa Swain

Consuming Culture workshop from the 2015 CCCA Arts Conference entitled the Digitization of the Christian Imagination.
The 2015 arts conference explores the challenges and opportunities of digital technology on the imaginative life of the Christian artist. The digital revolution of the last decade has unleashed an unprecedented wave of unlimited creative opportunities for artists in all fields. Does this democratization of digital tools result in better art, film, music and literature or is true talent instead drowned out in the vast digital ocean of mass culture? This year’s conference will address this question and explore the exciting creative possibilities and challenges offered by digital technologies. 

Jeff Jensen, Brett McCracken, and Lisa Swain discuss our interactions with popular culture derived from television and film. Writer and critic Jeff Jensen discusses the participation of the audience in pop culture, our role as “consumers,” and our collective obsession with mystery.

Brett McCracken is a Los Angeles-based writer. He is a regular film critic for Christianity Today and the author of the books Gray Matters: Navigating the Space Between Legalism & Liberty and Hipster Christianity: When Church & Cool Collide. Brett has also written for The Wall Street JournalThe Washington Post,, Huffington PostThe Princeton Theological ReviewBooks & Culture and is managing editor for Biola University’s Biola Magazine. Follow him on his blog or on Twitter

Lisa Swain, Associate Professor, Cinema and Media Arts
Before coming to Biola, Lisa Swain worked in the entertainment industry for over fifteen years as a production supervisor on film projects ranging in budget from 15 million to 150 million. Her credits include the commercially successful movies Big FishAnger Management, America’s Sweethearts, Face-Off, Varsity Blues and Mars Attacks among others. She has worked with such notable producers as Richard Zanuck, Barrie Osborne, Bruce Cohen and David Permut and directors Tim Burton and Gore Verbinsky. Lisa has also worked in dramatic television as the production coordinator on Amblin Entertainment’s SeaQuest and in the sitcom world on the Family Channel’s Big Brother Jake. Early in her career, Lisa won the prestigious student silver Oscar for Best Dramatic Picture awarded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Turtle Races, a film she produced while working on her masters degree at Regent University. Lisa is an active member in the Producer's Guild of America, the University Film and Video Association and the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. She teaches classes in production and criticism.

Jeff Jensen
As a TV Critic for Entertainment Weekly, Jeff Jensen became the authoritative blogging voice for the hit TV show LOST. Writing wildly popular recaps after each week’s episode, Jensen’s theories caught the attention of LOST co-creator Damon Lindelof, who recruited Jensen to be a co-writer for the Disney film Tomorrowland slated to be released in 2015. In addition, Jensen has won the Eisner Award for his graphic novel, Green River Killer: A True Detective Story.

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