RE: [-empyre-] Re: new media's name - who cares?

> The term "new media" is obviously problematic, but mostly because of
> its lack of agreed upon meaning than anything else. It has been a
> collective phrase for all sorts of diverse media, modes and
> combinations of technologies. 
> So my question is, does it really matter what new media means as long
> as everyone has a rough idea what you are saying when you say it?

I think that the issue here is the conflation with the idea of New Media
as a category and New Media as a movement.  Consider the Neue
Sachlichtheit of the 20's; is it new now?  Of course not.  

Where I believe we are at in relation to New Media is that the art
community is going through the transition point of progressing from
genre to movement.  This is a big difference, as one has much broader
implications and looser terminology than the other.

> The term will resolve into a set of more discreet terms as time
> progresses (and of course it already is starting to - we have words
> such as CD-ROMs, DVDs, and even the Web is beginning to coalesce into
> "genres" such as Blogs, Search Engines, etc.). 

This is a brilliant analogy as to how things will shake out.  There will
be genres within the New Media movement as new media expands beyond its
limitations of being considered as a genre itself.  My opinion is that
this is already happening/has happened, 

> The danger with taking this obsession too far is that we risk arguing
> about a name whilst the world as moved on. If we were to apply this to
> cinema, we would be debating the words "film", "projector" or "cinema"
> whilst standing outside the auditorium and missing the experience
> inside.

Precisely.  Conversely, it is also productive to be self-aware of one's
milieu.   But one of my favorite metaphors is that of the scene from
Enter the Dragon where Bruce Lee is pointing at the moon, and says, "Do
not look at the finger, or you will miss all that heavenly glory."

It is important to understand what is meant by pointing to the moon, but
once that is done, one must not worry so much about the pointer, but
then consider what is pointed at... 

(Semiotic martial arts!  Serves me right for working at 3 AM.) 

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