What is new media? This is an area that is quite hard to define. At one point in history the written word was considered new media. Then came the ability to electrically transmit messages through telegraph, telephone, phonograph radio and television. Now new media has taken on another new identity. Many people link new media to the computer. Immediately you think social internet media. Why not call it digital media? Today, it’s gotten to the point where just about all media is created or organized with the help of a computer, so you can’t single out new media as digital media because just about everything is digital. Radio, television and film have all said goodbye to the days of analog production. Even newspapers, although printed on paper, were in all likelihood written on a computer based word processor. Even the wire news services such as the Associated Press transmit their news through digital means. With all that being said it is definitely hard single out exactly what constitutes new media.
The new technologies associated with new media make the production and transmission of messages so much more efficient. It’s even gotten to the point where computer hardware and software can handle creative tasks. As mentioned in earlier posts, I’m a big fan of animated comedy TV shows. For instance, South Park was originally created with construction paper cut outs using stop motion animation. The creators of the series, Matt Stone and Trey Parker say they animated this way because it was all they could afford. Now that show is successful, it is animated solely on computers. Yet, they kept that original style. With all of the technology available, the animation is still based on the construction paper and stop motion animation. Thanks to the new technologies available the South Park Production team can spend more creative time on content rather than the animation.
Does technology take away from creativity? No, I believe it adds to it. In the world of animation there really is no need for your traditional pen and paper animator. Well, now you feel bad for the animators who are out of a job. But, in reality it’s evolution. Without the time constraint of analog production, more effort can be spent in other creative areas, like writing or editing. New technologies open up many possibilities creatively for media. Like James Cameron’s Avatar revolutionized 3-D motion picture technology. Now new artist can take advantage of new media technologies and create something newer and better for the future.