Re: [-empyre-] New Media Reader

The Voices in my Head tell me that on 1/1/04 8:33 PM, Nick Montfort at wrote:

>> What is at stake, do you think, in the notion of 'new media'
>> constituting a 'field'?

I am now, and have been for quite a while, rather apprehensive about the
terms "new media". While I completely agree with statements like:

"the topic deserves to be studied on its own terms, with
methodologies and approaches that are native to new media."

any field of endeavour that has the word "New", "Post-", and/or "Modern" in
its name usually sets off my alarms, much as a product with the words like
"Turbo" or "Xtreme" or whatever marketspeak du jour is being bandied about.

Will what we call "New Media" be "New" in 20,000 years? Somehow, I doubt it.

Since right at this moment (strung-over and hung-out, way short on sleep and
Happy New What?) I'm not clear enough to cook up a better term; I'll just
stipulate it as "New Media" for now, and I humbly suspect that's how it got
the name in the first place. That said, Nick pointed out the following:

"The question is whether we will only approach
new media from existing disciplines -- such as cultural studies, film
studies, media studies, art, computer science, and English literature --
or whether will we develop a new way of understanding these computer
creations that draws on existing approaches to develop new and powerful
ways of thinking about new media."

I think that the language used to express these new understandings will
logically evolve from the languages used to describe other, more narrow,
disciplines. Terms will be modified and appropriated and recontextualised.
But it is completely up to the people who make the stuff and talk about it
to do it. Such as here now.

I would humbly submit that there needs to be some sense of discipline in the
analysis - not all inter-disciplinary work is "New Media", nor vice-versa. I
look forward to reading the NMR and see what it says in this regard.

my very best regards to my fellow empyreans, and a happy new year to all.
This looks to be a fascinating month.


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