The Start or The End?

Manovich Argues in his definition of New Media that the computer, although a machine for distribution and exhibition mostly, it is limiting to refer to it  as such and not allow it by definition to be referred to as a tool for production or even storage. Though it is a tool for new media it encapsulates all the processes involved in old media from conception to production, and even after to distribution, exhibition, and storage. It serves as a factory and museum in one. Yet he asserts that, “All have the same potential to change existing cultural languages. And all have the same potential to leave culture as it is. The last scenario is unlikely, however.” (Manovich 43).

Manovich believes that this new age of new media and the tool at hand is an age that has just dawned on us, we as a society have not yet learned all of its possibilities and functions. He argues this because of the various ways and places society has been affected by it which is unseen when compared to the printing press of the fourteenth century that only truly changed society from the perspective of what he calls cultural communication.

While giving such praise to a tool that has shifted society into this new age is worthy, it seems naive to believe that another age of technology will not soon spawn or grow out of what has already been a major step toward continuous scientific and technological advancements, similar to the advancements in photography from black and white to color.  In the same way that Manovich argues that perhaps we have not understood and come to realize the true power of this tool and how long it plans to keep shifting our culture, perhaps we have become to comfortable with its almost easy and consistent advancement. Perhaps there is no more to see, yet again perhaps it is reaching the end of its age as we await the new age.

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2 thoughts on “The Start or The End?

  1. I found your post really thought-provoking, Danny, and by the time I was finished reading it there were two points that I was particularly eager to hear more about.

    First, do you think Manovich is being “naive” in his discussion? That is, do you think he’s not anticipating what you see as an inevitable shift to another paradigm?

    Second, you close the post by suggesting that we’re near the end of the “new media” age, and that this is perhaps why we take much of the technology for granted. Are there specific examples out there in the world of technology and/or culture that make you think this?

    Just curious.

    • Thank you Professor, but i didn’t mean to come out of line I just felt as if his reasoning was hard for me to follow. I think that perhaps he anticipates it but at distant future. And that to me seemed to be too much of an assumption, his argument seemed based on the belief that there could quite possibly be no new life changing or paradigm shifting technology being worked on now that we are unaware of that could make the way we live and the computer almost obsolete. Perhaps I wasn’t as much disagreeing with him just questioning his reasoning.

      Then interestingly enough that, this may be me taking technology for granted, and the rate of innovation that we are accustomed to could be a momentary peak. I simply feel as though we have reached an age of technology and life where our attention is shifted so quickly from one app to the next and one item to the other, true they are at the same level, and perhaps this is the problem with our generation of demanding immediate satisfaction, that when it does not come, we do not know how to settle down and appreciate the capabilities of what remains in front of us. I was just uncomfortable with referring to the present as an age that has either just started or is developing, when we do not know when shifts occur since periods of focus are relative to each other.

      I didn’t mean to be unsure in my response, that part of the reading just had me going back and forth in my mind a lot.

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