Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Emergence of ‘New Media’

The creation of the two main components of modern media were created about the same time, with Babagge’s analytical engine and Louis Daguerre’s daguerreotype. Looking back through history, in my opinion, this is no mere coincidence. At some point these two fantastic creations were destined to meet. According to Manovich, ‘Mass media and data processing are the complementary technologies of a modern mass society; they appear together and develop side by side, making this society possible.’

Their history seems to run parallel for the better part of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. When separated we see a rise in ‘media entities’, recording of fantastic value such as movies, cinema, photographs, etc. And on the other side the creation of computers and calculating devices created for the purpose of processing information for the public. It is not until the recent years that these two separate and yet equally important parts find each other, intersecting vectors into a new line, a line of ‘mew media’. Manovich says it more eloquently in Chapter One when he says.

“All existing media are translated into numerical data accessible for the computers. The result: graphics, moving images, sounds, shapes, spaces and text become computable, i.e. simply another set of computer data. In short, media becomes new media.”

This meeting of new media changes both entities, the largely artistic side and the computer into something that can not only calculate your budget for the month but be a means of creation, imagination, and change. Our media has become programmable and relies on a modular framework. It is now part of an automated process and although it requires an interface it is sometimes interactive and others times not. We are growing and changing in our creations and as new media moves forward we can only hope to continue to evolve with it.

Manovich brings up the point that the problem of the future is not the creation of new media, but the location of duplications of media. Immediatley one should think of Google and the electronic world that we now live in. We are bombarded with so much information that today when I had to pick up a dictionary while tutoring a student it was almost a novelty to me. Where was the tipping point in our society when libraries are no longer places for research? Where dictionaries are online and print media is dying? Whether or not change is for the good or bad is irrelevant, change is here and new media is already a major component of our Google, Wikipedia, and Twitter filled lives.

1 comment:

  1. Great comment. I'd like to see you say more about why the two developments are not a coincidence.