Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Reflection: The Language of New Media

The Language of New Media by Lev Manovich was not an easy read for me. The introduction through chapter three seemed a bit repetitive, however, I was able to understand that Manovich believes that new media works like film, which I don't quite agree with, and the computer and culture both influence eachother, which I do agree with. As the book progresses, it begins to become a bit unclear to me as to what Manovich wants his audience to exactly take away from his book when we are finished reading. His five principles: numerical representation, modularity, automation, variability, and transcoding were pretty self-explanatory, however the next section, "What New Media is Not" relies heavily on comparisons between cinema and new media, which were not as easy to understand. The beginning of chapter six also proved to be a bit confusing, because it changes to the past tense, and it is basically a reflection about the first five chapters. I was not expecing Manovich to begin to explain why he emphasized the certain structure of his book, but I did think it was pretty interesting that he did include one chapter of explanations. Overall, I thought that Manovich had interesting points about cinema in comparison to new media, however I am not too sure this book is worth another read, in my opinion.


  1. I agree that the emphasis on cinema as a point of comparison is idiosyncratic, but it can also be quite illuminating. As I've said, new media can be compared to the story of the blind men and the elephant.

  2. I agree it was not an easy read, but looking back a worthwhile one.