Re: [-empyre-] Re: empyre Digest, Vol 29, Issue 9

hi jim,
yes, i totally agree with you that familiarity, literacy, normalization, etc. are primary forces leading to the 'seeming' transparency of a media form and obviously the qualities (bandwith, etc.) too.

ps--sorry to take a day to reply ... had a bit of the flu and was horizontal;-)

On Apr 17, 2007, at 7:45 AM, Jim Andrews wrote:

Here is generally my stance on working in emerging media forms.
Emerging Media forms are those new technologies that have yet to
become standard communication tools--they tend to be surrounded by
hype, fear, disinformation, hyperbole, etc.  Their very unusualness
makes them massively signifying--non-neutral--non-transparent forms
of communication, so that the "medium" tends to strongly impact "the
message".  For instance if you cast one statue out of bronze, another
as a detailed, 3-d stereo halograph, and another identical shape out
of putrid, live, glowing transgenic slime-mold the average viewer
will describe primarily the content of the first and the material/
medium of the second and third.

Thus, I don't believe that the familiar argument that a given
bleeding edge technology "allows me to best portray my inner
dreamscape" is very defendable since such technologies are not
particularly amenable to transparency.  Artists need to understand
that their particular medium is not invisible and therefore its use
will transform/inform the viewer in some way.  It may frighten,
seduce, normalize, create associations, etc.

I wonder if "transparency" concerning media is merely imaginative acclimatization to the medium to the point where it seems 'natural'.

Walter Ong suggested that what we 'naturally' think is 'intelligence' (and
test for) is, instead, better described as types of literacy.

New media changes our notions of literacy. And thereby our notions of


The more we say, the less it means?
The more we say, the more we affirm what we would negate and negate what we
would affirm?

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