Re: [-empyre-] Opening remarks on new media history
Yes, I'd have to agree with Simon (and also Alan) about the blocking
mechanisms of disciplinary definition, And I would be very unhappy to see
the possibilities implied by the notion of new media (as Simon suggests its
*becoming* qualities) shut down by staking out a field. In fact what seems
to be happening in game studies is simply the formation of a discipline
that has found a kind of reasonably solid object to hangitself upon.
New media on the other hand at least has the advantage of vagueness, and
vagueness as Brian Massumi has argued in Parables for the Virtual, can be
a useful tool in a culture that is geared towards quantification.
>Bio-tech, smart-materials, etc?
>The computer is a powerful instance of a type of thinking which actually
>informs the development of all these technologies. Like all paradigms though
>it paradoxically functions to blind us to future possibilities.
I like to think of the biotech/ smart connection as something that would
be unthinkable before not simply computers/computation but before
information. So that it is part of the formation of informatic culture, as
too is new media as a set of computationally based artifacts, theories,
If we look at information in the sense that Castells suggests it -
informationalism - we start to build a broader understanding of new media
than limited to being computationally supported or based. We have to begin
to take into account the structural, socio-technical, political, discursive
formations that are part and parcel of *new media*. And these have to do
with the shifts that have been occurring towards a networked. distributed
society. The problem of understanding new media in terms of the already
constituted field of computing as a science/practice is that this field can
often be unreflexive of its own history, assumptions etc. Both computation
and art and design may have more to say to each other if we look at them
through the lens of informationalism,
all bodies are in a perpetual flux like rivers, and parts are entering into
them and passing out of them continuously.
Lecturer in Digital Media Theory/
School of Art History and Theory
College of Fine Arts
University of New South Wales
PO Box 259
Phone: 612 9385 0741
Fax: 612 9385 0615
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