RE: [-empyre-] "new"

Wanted to quickly offer some thoughts on the phrase "new media." I like to
explain that "new" is used with a bit of irony -- although Noah might
disagree here. I find in the ironic use of the term the awareness that
novelty isn't the only interesting thing (or even the main interesting
thing) about computer media, digital creativity, etc.

The term was certainly around in the New Media Reader sense of the word
before the book came out (e.g., see Lev Manovich's The Language of New
Media) and it has been used this way since (e.g., MIT Press has a "new
media" list of books with the term having a similar meaning).

If people have other ideas for a term, please share them! Janet Murray
would prefer "digital media studies" I think (the name of a new Georgia
Tech PhD program) and the conference "Digital Arts and Culture" provides
another possible term. But I find "digital" problematic because I think it
emphasizes the wrong thing; computation is the really interesting, dynamic
thing here while "digital" is a static property that enables computation.
However, we can't very well say "computer media," because that refers to
floppy disks and CD-Rs!

-Nick Montfort
 My new book, Twisty Little Passages:

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