Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chapters 5-6

I found that this week's chapters bore a significant resemblance to the "Windows and Mirrors" book. I am referring specifically to the concept mentioned in Chapter 5 about constructing the right interface to a multimedia database vs defining navigation methods through spatialized representations. This could be very easily paralleled to the distinction between Transparency and Reflectivity that Bolter and Gromala set in their book.
However, Manovich adds another parameter here, that of the database. He points out the importance of the database as a concept and he stresses how, pretty much anything related to computers and new media has a database as its basis. This led me to think how fundamental to anything technological or even non-technological the database is. Every aspect of computers, from the proper way to turn them on, to running complicated software programs is accomplished by carrying out certain functions stored in a database. The digitization of the database has enabled huge amounts of data to be put into the computer and on the Internet, and with the invention of the various search engines, navigability has become something absolutely indispensable to every user. Electronic encyclopedias and dictionaries are the first thing that comes to mind and probably a very representative example.
Manovich's interpretation of the "Narrative" is that it is a disguise for the term algorithm. I would somewhat object to that, as I consider algorithm to mean something more technical and related much more to the making of a program or game than its actual story.


  1. I didn't realize how much databases come into play until I read this section.

  2. I know, me too. Everything is a database. It is scary.