I’m a little behind this week– I don’t know, maybe the Monday holiday has thrown me off, maybe the cold has slowed me down– so I’ll start the discussion threads for the other readings a little later today. Usually, I won’t, but like I said, a little behind….
Anyway, Manovich: Lev Manovich is kind of a big deal in the world of “new media” studies in large part as a result of his book The Language of New Media. He’s both a computer science and a “creative media” kind of academic, too. I mention this for two reasons. First, he is not coming at this from the same disciplinary perspective of the other things we’re reading around definitions this week– that is, he’s not a composition and rhetoric or “English” department kind of person at all. Keep that in mind as we keep up with Halbritter and move on to the essay from Lauer. Second, what we’re reading is kind of short version of his definition of “new media.”
I like the overall categories: that is, new media has “numerical representation” (in the form of computer programs, etc.); it has “modularity” (this is something Halbritter talks about in chapter 2 of his book, btw); it has an element of “automation” to it; it has “variability” in that it is not forever fixed (like print, for example); and “transcoding,” which is to say that new media has a “logic” and perhaps even “appeal” to computers. All of these observations are obviously debatable but quite interesting.