Sunday, January 30, 2011

Culture and the book

Jenisch (2003) makes a number of statements on how the history of the world can be traced by the history of the book."The history of the book, in short, is social and cultural history that makes use of the study of books, and of their making, selling, buying and reading, to study society"(Jenisch p.231).The printed text has been the primary form of communication of information and a source of power for the literate over the illiterate for hundreds of years.Currently the western world has had a significant advantage financially and therefor in their lifestyle over other countries due to it's literacy, education levels and access to information.The printed book is structured,the author moves the reader through a linear process, is created by a few (authors and editors) and allows for the establishment of a few 'experts' in fields of scholarly pursuit, and 'heros' who author the many self help books for the general public.
The non-western world still remains illiterate to a large extent. By geography or on purpose by it's ruling elite so as to maintain control over the people. The knowledge is power theory.Interestingly there is a large number of this population that may not be particularily literate enough to read a book and follow it's structure, but have access to the internet and it's new form of co-creation, multiple linking and rapid associations and access to knowledge through hypertext.
If a culture does not go through the culture change created by the printing press and access to information to the printed text and the structure and social mores this has created in society, how will the new cultures who become digitally literate rather than print literate evolve differently? The oral traditions, narrative story telling, use of pictures as well as text and symbols in electronic text and the Internet may speed the process to democracy ? There isn't a requirement for total print literacy to access information and learn new thoughts, ideologies. I question whether access to all the information electronically and masses of associations in the new way of publishing without the critical thinking and linear thought provided by training in print learning may create disorganization, and access of information that is taken at face value without the ability to discern what is real and credible and what is not.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Evolution of Wisdom of the Crowd

This article should be of interest especially in light of Assignment #2.


Authors: Joachim Kimmerlea; Johannes Moskaliuka; Andreas Harrerb; Ulrike Cressc [ show biographies ]


This paper describes how processes of knowledge building with wikis may be visualized, citing the user-generated online encyclopedia Wikipedia as an example. The underlying theoretical basis is a framework for collaborative knowledge building with wikis that describes knowledge building as a co-evolution of individual and collective knowledge. These co-evolutionary processes may be visualized graphically, applying methods from social network analysis, especially those methods that take dynamic changes into account. For this purpose, we have undertaken to analyse, on the one hand, the temporal development of a Wikipedia article and related articles that are linked to this core article. On the other hand, we analysed the temporal development of those users who worked on these articles. The resulting graphics show an analogous process, both with regard to the articles that refer to the core article and to the users involved. These results provide empirical support for the co-evolution model.

Citation in APA Style:
Kimmerle, J., Moskaliuk, J., Harrer, A. & Cress, U. (2010). VISUALIZING CO-EVOLUTION OF INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE KNOWLEDGE. Information, Communication & Society13(8), 1099-1121. doi:10.1080/13691180903521547

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Week 3 - History of the Book response

It is necessary to divide out the cultural linguistic understanding of what text based language is with textual narrative. Text is a created and aggreed upon visual representation of human language. Like any other form of language, it is constantly evolving. Evolving in the Darwinian sense, not the social evolutionary sense. This evolution does not make textual language better over time, it only changes it. Textual narrative is the process of using this language to create and structure social meaning. 'Books,' be they papyrus scrolls or e-readers are used to store this textual narrative.

It is interesting to note that historically any new technology for transmitting this narrative is predominantly first used to plagiarize works and disseminate pornography. Yes, technology changes, but basic human behaviors and motivations do not. It is said our society now is creating more knowledge in minutes than entire previous civilization's created. We will need to find convenient and appropriate ways to store and transmit this information. We're doing the same things humanity has always done- creating narrative, transmitting culture; we're just doing them in different ways now. Each narrative, book, scroll, and so on has it's own meaning in situ. It is not so much that the item or language is changing and updating, our beliefs surrounding it are as well. Books used to be similar in value to serious hard currency, one could tell how wealthy one was by the number of books in their collection. This monetary value of books is not currently viable because culture has changed and therefore our value of our artifacts has also transformed.

Linguistic mediums do not generally die, they just adapt along with the new mediums introduced. Photography didn't kill painting, radio didn't end writen documents, television didn't kill radio, and the internet has not killed television. Our usage patterns changed, but the fundamental linguistic technology remained sticky.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Digital Literacy & Me

I apologize for taking so long on this, it's been a rough couple of weeks for the technology in my life. I used the movie maker because my current netbook's mic is not working, so this is all text based. I'm trying to think of it positively as a learning experience and coping strategies test. Hopefully this works.:

Week 3: Guest Lecture from Neil Baldwin

Neil Baldwin. Image from the Creative Research Centre. 
Thanks so much to Neil Baldwin (Director of the Creative Research Center at Montclair State University) for sharing his thoughts and expertise with us here in the form of an open letter.

Students - please remember to respond in the comments.

January 23, 2011

Dear Jess: I congratulate you on the magnificence of your New Media Narratives course – all of it! -- the Syllabus, the probing and provocative questions, the required readings, the entire “culture” of the work you are doing, and the thoroughness and depth of scholarship.
I am honored to be asked to share my thoughts on transdisciplinarity and on publishing and thereby to make a simulus/contribution to the building-up and looking-forward phase of the course.
I hope you don’t mind that I am communicating as if I were writing a letter.
It’s a way for me to pretend that I am speaking to you and your students since I cannot be there in person, which would be wonderful.
You, Jess, way back when, were one of the first “appreciators” of the Creative Research Center

I won’t go into the mission and originating impetus behind the CRC, because all of that is well-spelled-out in our Mission Statement and other rhetoric pervading the site.

I would, however, like to direct you and your students to the Web-Bibliography and the Links pages of the CRC.
These have grown exponentially in the past six months, and are the two dimensions of the site of which I am proudest, even moreso than the blogs.
Let me explain why – by way of actually and yes, metaphorically addressing two of the core issues of your course.
The thoughts that follow herewith are actually the first time I have shared publicly a selection of segments of a long essay/book in progress that began gestating at the end of last year, when I finally came to terms with how much time I was spending on the Web.
For most anyone between the ages of 12-35, this is the norm.
For someone of my generation (born 1947), a “Baby Boomer,” this is a breakthrough.
That admitted, I spotlight the Web-Bibliography and the Links pages for many reasons, the primary one being pedagogical.
To me -- a lifelong teacher and learner (those two are inextricably linked), starting in the analog world and now deeply immersed in the digital -- links represent the cultivation of the ideal sensibility and habits of Mind that should be applied to the use of text on the Web. 
There is a remarkable degree of attention and sensory discrimination required to correctly, appropriately, & constructively embed a network of links into a born-digital text.
The CRC as intentionally link-laden/link-heavy.
This intention is an inherent aspect of our causal aesthetic.
If the medium is the message, then the efficacy of the medium will be judged by the degree to which the message is exploited.
I want to open up born-digital,Web-based writings and make them more permeable, reflective, and directive out into the world.
Linking breaks down the walls of the Web text that I am “on,” [as it were] – making the text into a permeable membrane.
Powerful decisions and choices are made with each link put into place: to whom, and for what reasons, are links chosen to be set into, and then to lead out of, a Key Word or term.
Links possess compositional importance.
They are not just mere elaborations, to “force” the piece wider. If the writer does that, the piece will come across as self-conscious and artificial.
Linking makes a structural statement about the way one curates and conceptualizes information and presents it - framed in a certain manner - to others.
Links open up the singular text being composed to a multiplicity of other influences and associations which make the work being written and posted become transdisciplinary on the most fundamental linguistic level. 

Flashback: Twelve years ago, at which time I was the founding Executive Director of The National Book Foundation, sponsor of the National Book Awards, I was invited by Microsoft Corporation to pay a visit to their Seattle headquarters.
I signed a non-disclosure agreement, however, nothing I am about to tell you and your students will violate that.
One of the reasons the Microsoft executives wanted me to talk with them was so they could show me the first prototype model of an e-book reader.
Remember, this was a dozen years ago.
The e-book was a glimmer in the eyes of the technology world.
The most vivid impression I retain from that visit was a mural I saw on the wall of a conference room. It was a kind of “evolutionary” chart with the Gutenberg press at one end, books as we knew them toward the middle, and electronic books at the right edge.
Someone waggled their index finger at me by way of a warning: “Books are dead. We have the wave of the future.”
They handed me a hand-made e-reader, cobbled together with screws. “This is where we are going,” they said. “The train has left the station.”

I have singled out the power of links because they are the most fundamental building-blocks of transdisciplinarity. Links are the most viable currency of digital communication because they permit texts to connect without disrupting original words. It was an extension of link-thinking that inspired me to make the CRC; because, in a higher education setting, where disciplines are hard-wired and immutable on an analog level, I believed the CRC would break new ground without threatening existing academic “units,” as we call them here in the USA. And now we are seeing the efflorescence of a hypertext boom in publishing allowing us to carry around thousands of books unencumbered.

I remember saying to myself a few short months ago that I enjoyed expressing my thoughts and observations on the exponential growth and expansion of media technology; but I also harbor no illusions that my opinions – well-considered and interesting though they may be – are going to in any way effect the pace of change.

All the best, & please keep in touch. Yrs., Neil Baldwin      

Week 3: History of the Book

It’s not just about the printing press! The history of the book presents us with a complete, observable communications revolution. The historical record allows us to examine the whole of a vast socio-cultural, political, and economic change over a period of some three to five hundred years (depending on whose perspective you prefer). By following the developments in manuscript and print book production, tied to the changes in the technologies used to produce those texts, we can also chart the various changes in social organization, politics and economics. 
“Can books only exist in the paper-printed media? Can the text be separated from paper to be reused as a book through digital media? Is such a discussion relevant to the subject of books?”

Some key ideas to consider:
  • the history of the book
  • the end of books (!?)
  • the net_reading/writing_condition
  • What are some current views about the emergence and diffusion of media?

Was There a Reading Revolution in the New American Republic?

Professor Robert Gross explores the history and historiography of book history and reading in pre Civil War America. This lecture was originally given at the University of Toronto in the fall of 2008.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Digital Literacy & Me

This assignment was a challenge as I do not have a extensive online community and I am not familiar with all the new digital technologies. Podproducer seemed overwhelming and I did not find any online manuals or blogs to help me feel comfortable with the program. I ended up using Window’s Movie Maker as it allowed me to import the files and then drag the files to a "work area". I played around with different ways to record the audio. I found that using Window’s Movie Maker was the best alternative as it kept the sound consistent with the music audio. This was a challenging project but now I feel more capable of working with some web applications.

Week 2 - Hypertext Possibilities

Evolving Hypertext: Vision and Reality
“As we may Think” – one of those visionary minds foresees the future of technology. Bush presents the need for collaborative between medium and disciplines; and presents the possibilities that can emerge from such collaboration. As Bush writes, “ ... record of ideas .. has enabled man to manipulate ans to make extracts from that records  so  that knowledge evolves and ensures  throughout the life rather that of an individual” (Wardif-Fruin & Monfort (2003), p. 37). There is always the threat that, “ truly significant attainments becomes lost in the mass of the inconsequential”  (p.37).
In the world of WWW – this statement is so true. With the number of websites created every day, it is not that easy to find the pearls lost in ‘virtuality’. Here the possibility of hypertext with its ability to link allows the searcher keep together the knowledge found on the web.
Bush(as cited in Wardif-Fruin & Monfort (2003 ) discusses the evolution of modern technology – the “advanced photography which can record what is seen...” (p.38); facsimile transmission a technology that can be transferred into printing photography; voice translator – Vocodor by Bell; mathematical computing machines and predicts someday we will “click off arguments on a machine” (p.42); and finally his dream machine – memex – “ a device in which an individual stores all his books, records and communication ... may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility” (p.45).
The foresight on the availability of hypertext mechanism on memex – “... with a mesh of associated trails running through them” (p.46) and the ability to “strike the trail established in studying an earlier similar case” (p.46); is very incredible at that time and age. But as Michael Joyce points out what Bush predicted was not exactly the hypertext of the WWW.
As per Joyce (as cited in Wardif-Fruin & Monfort (2003), the use of Hypertext as an exploratory tool, “ ... enables its audience members to view and test alternative organizational structures...” (p.616); and hypertext as a constructive tool can, “... use hypertext as an invention or analytic tool...” (p.616).
Hyper text challenges the traditional structures of knowledge organisation. For instance the use of tagging allows the data to be stored in the cloud without any structure but can be accessed any time. The possibilities of hypertext seem exciting.

Interesting Project: Human Library

Perhaps extra interesting for Week 3 and our discussions on the history of books, print culture and technology.

Read more:

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hypertext Vannevar and the Memex

Vannevar (1945) describes the memex as a potential 'invention' to increase access to knowledge that men of science should build rather than weapons of mass destruction. The memex would extend the power of a man's mind through the creation and saving of information through human association patterns of thought. While Vannevar was describing an invention, his idea is echoed in the 1960's by Marshall McLuhan and his 4 laws of media.
An individual's or organisation's use of technology in a new way extends the reach of body and mind."
These technologies change how humans think, feel and act, even the individual's perception and information processing. New technologies have had psychological, physical and social effects.
Media is an extension of a person's thoughts and capabilities just as the memex is an extension of how an individual thinks and associates knowledge stored in an easily accessible technology that can retrace our thought processes or associations.
Vannevar envisioned an invention in 1945 that was capable of retrieving data from a large storage system that selected information by association or 'relevance' to a human question. An example of this in use today would be in Google where retrieval of hypertext nodes are based on relevance to the question, or in the U of A databases that sorts and retrieves information based on the words and/or author entered into the search box. McLuhan took this one step further theorizing that "technologies change how humans think, feel and act, even the individual's perception and information processing. New technologies have had psychological, physical and social effects." This is recognized today and being studied in many formats such as network theory, transliteracy, knowledge management in organizations, digital communication, economic globalization and even in privacy legislation as a few examples.

Further to data retrieval Vannevar envisioned an invention that was able to store an individuals thoughts, communications in text , picture, or however the individual anted or visualized it stored and then the ability to make associations between all of the stored data. PDA's, PC's are certainly examples of this ability today. What Vannevar didn't envision or describe was the ability to create, co-create digitalized media in any format, publish and communicate this instantly across the WWW to those with access to this technology. This has enabled enormous probabilities for people of associations of thought and ideas.
What I do see as well that echoes McLuhans ideas of technology change how we think and act, is that the WWW and hypertext has also assisted in developing the increased pace of the world today and expectations of 'immediacy' in the form of immediate access to information, data, people, responses to others, media.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The New River Journal

Here is an digital lit./new media narrative journal that should be on all our reading lists:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Digital Literacy & Me

My experience of podcasting
This journey of creating a podcast was an exciting one. In the past I have tried audio podcasting just out of curiosity. But working with a video format for podcasting was my first attempt.  I learned a lot. I figured out new applications and effects.
I started to record with an external microphone and with audio recording software available with the Microsoft accessories. But the output volume was very low – i couldn’t work with it. So I tried various other programs. Then I went back to my handheld digital recorder. I transferred my file to the computer and added it to the windows movie maker, which I was very comfortable to work with.  
I learned some new tricks of transitions and extending the voice file as music input and played around with captions. I prepared a script on what I wanted to speak; organising my ideas with digital literacy. This in a way made me reflect upon the influence of digital technologies in my life over the years. Thanks for the opportunity.

Digital Literacy & Me

My first attempt at creating a podcast certainly was not a walk in the park. Put a learning curve together with a computer that will be going into the Mac store tomorrow, for repairs and you have some moments of panic. Having listened to podcasts before mainly for music remixes, I certainly had a different understanding of them and still wonder if they aren't meant to be audio only. I used Garage Band and Imovie, both of which had some technical issues that really took some time. Uploading to was probably the easiest part of the whole assignment, although I do have to say I'm a little concerned about having this in such an 'open' forum.

The assignment had it's moments where thinking back to the different technologies and when I used them brought some laughter. The chaos in working to get this done on time while learning on the fly really made it intense. I think that in general, technology becomes so intrinsic to us that when we have to deal with glitches, it really does become unnerving. I would say that the issue I always have with technology is that once I start using it I want to really understand it and know how to use it 'well' - I want to be completely literate. Even as I post this I wish I had more time to really learn the tool and do a better job. I need to tell myself that it takes time.

The images used in the podcast are from my own photo collection.

Digital Literacy & Me

When I looked at the first assignment, I knew this was going to be a challenge. I had never created a podcast before and had only viewed a handful of them. I tend to think in terms of abstract ideas, ultimately corralled by textual representation. Although I have experience with a number of different hypermedia applications, my role has primarily been one of a user, rather than creator. My limited interaction has consisted mostly of commenting on blog posts and other forms.

Given the tight deadline for this assignment, I knew I would have to scale the learning curve quickly. I had no idea even what type of software was required, or how to use it. Fortunately, I had access to a 14 year-old who explained it to me. (A 14 year-old who has already posted over 300 videos to YouTube and even been paid for some of them.)

My goal with this podcast was to somehow convey the strangeness that is me while still answering the questions in the assignment. I think I achieved this goal in a modest way, although I feel I could significantly improve the end product if I had more time. (In fact, as the video was uploading to YouTube, I thought of at least three improvements I could have made.) Initially, my planned process was to write the script first, and then think about what images/sounds would enhance the presentation. However, I was surprised to find that while I was writing the script, I was consciously thinking about images and music, and these thoughts ultimately had some influence on the shape of the narrative. This was an interesting discovery for me, and will consequently influence how I approach future hypermedia projects.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Digital Literacy & Me

This was the first time I created a podcast. I have listened to podcasts for news and radio episodes but never had interest in creating one. I tried to use PodProducer but found it to be challenging. I was not able to align two sound inputs, which I required to include music in the background. Instead, I opted to use Windows Movie Maker, which worked well but I was unable to incorporate links of any sort. My voice was a video input and I covered the lens so that the music in the background could be an audio input. Blip TV was very easy to set up and use. I could have used Blogger to upload the video but figured this would be a good chance to try out something new. I will definitely play around with podcasting software and decide if I should use it in the future.

The assignment was an interesting one since it gave me a chance to reflect on the history of my online activity. The reasons why I started or stopped using applications were strictly based on what was going on in my life at the time. It brought back some memories about the excitement and frustrations I experienced when learning new software. The names and functions of online web technologies has changed, but they all allow for collaboration and community development. I should also note that I used several tools to help me prepare this podcast. I used Youtube and Twitter to get some tips and tutorials. I also used message boards to answer some of my questions.

Here are some of the links that were mentioned in the podcast:

Twitter: @sunil_agnihotri


Digital Literacy and Me

My experience in creating a podcast highlighted a personal anxiety and lack of confidence in using technology and tools.  While I am comfortable with videoconferencing, IM, chat, Skype and e-mail at home and at work, the requirement to create and publish my own transliteral communication was anxiety producing. For information I went to the Internet and googled “How to create a podcast.” From the many hits displayed I reviewed and then printed a document on how to create a podcast on Mac or PC. From this information I then ordered an upgraded software package from APPLE. Creating Delicious bookmarks and new tags, going onto were preparation for the podcast and new experiences with new applications. I did not have any colleagues, friends or children that had created or published a podcast but YouTube was suggested as a site that had ‘everything” on it. Sure enough, there were podcasts that visually demonstrated the steps to making a podcast and video podcast on a MAC.
I learned how to use Preview to take images from the computer, upload pictures, blog, import bookmarks and I now have music on an account in ITunes.
The creation and publishing of this video podcast was a personal journey for me. I will be using these tools again as there is extensive application to facilitation, teaching and communication in my area of work. While this assignment highlighted to me how non-literate I am across the depth and breadth of the new media, it also demonstrated to me how quickly adaptation is to media that is useful to an individual’s life. Over a two-day time frame I attended a WebEx, videoconference, teleconference and communicated through e-mails. I was online reviewing new research and accessing knowledge transfer literature. I drafted a PowerPoint, podcast, Skyped with my mother from B.C., Blackberry Messenger my daughters numerous times, talked to other friends on the phone, googled for information, watched YouTube, accessed various new sites, printed off research articles and actually read a few of them. The new world of transliteracy will be and is different for each individual. We will use technologies we need for work, personal life and are capable of learning new media software when required. The new media and ability to be transliterate is personal, needs to be user friendly and requires me now to plan how I use it and what sites I will access in a day. Blogs, wikis, Facebook, YouTube all require a commitment of time in already busy lifestyles. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Transdisciplinarity - collaboration through new media TKB

In this new media environment transdiciplinarity entails the sharing of knowledge within different disciplines. Today's technologies facilitate this sharing of knowledge through relative ease. Perhaps this ease also results in collaboration between disciplines, which without the use of technology would find it very difficult to exchange concepts and techniques. The technology serves as a bridge.

Transdisciplinarity brings to light the question – who becomes the subject matter expert? When teachers, educators, critics, artists and curators are all collaborating on a particular project or initiative, is the expertise then based on the collective wisdom of all the people involved or do we still have clear cut answers as to who holds the knowledge in relation to a particular concept or technique? Maybe we are now living in a world in which subject matter expert is closely linked to who can best use technology to become the expert on a particular topic. New media affords us access to a great deal of knowledge. It remains to be seen whether we take that knowledge and we simply become more knowledgeable or do we then create so called experts, with all of us knowing a little bit about everything but very little about something.

The collaboration within transdisciplinarity requires a solid understanding and appreciation of the various disciplines that are present-their values, standards and means in which they conduct their work. This is also the same within publishing. When all of these disciplines are sharing knowledge, there needs to be a valid and efficient way in which this knowledge is compiled, shared and archived.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Week 2: The Beginning of Hypertext and the Web

What is "new" about "new media"?

What are the characteristics, both technical and social, of new media? 
How does new media transform and "remediate" earlier media practices?

As noted in the lecture notes, here is an excerpt from Bolter and Guisin's Remediation:

Bolter, J. D. and Grusin, R. (2000). Remediation: Understanding New Media. The MIT Press, 1st edition.
 (excerpts selected and titled by course instructor)

Immediacy and Hypermediacy

Immediacy is our name for a family of beliefs and practices that express themselves differently at various times among various groups, and our quick survey cannot do justice to this variety. The common feature of all these forms is the belief in some necessary contact point between the medium and what it represents. For those who believe in the immediacy of photography, from Talbot to Bazin to Barthes, the contact point is the light that is reflected from the objects on to the film. This light establishes an immediate relationship between the photograph and the object. For theorists of linear-perspective painting and perhaps for some painters, the contact point is the mathematical relationship established between the supposed objects and their projection on the canvas. However, probably at no time or place has the logic of immediacy required that the viewer be completely fooled by the painting or photograph. Trompe l'oeil, which does completely fool the viewer for a moment, has always been an exceptional practice. The film theorist Tom Gunning (1995) has argued that what we are calling the logic of transparent immediacy worked in a subtle way for filmgoers of the earliest films. The audience members knew at one level that the film of a train was not really a train, and yet they marveled at the discrepancy between what they knew and what their eyes told them (114-133). On the other hand, the marveling could not have happened unless the logic of immediacy had had a hold on the viewers. There was a sense in which they believed in the reality of the image, and theorists since the Renaissance have underwritten that belief. This "naive" view of immediacy is the expression of a historical desire, and it is one necessary half of the double logic of remediation. (pp. 30-31)
As a counterbalance [to immediacy] hypermediacy is more complicated and various. In digital technology, as often in the earlier history of Western representation, hypermediacy expresses itself as multiplicity. If the logic of immediacy leads one either to erase or to render automatic the act of representation, the logic of hypermediacy acknowledges multiple acts of representation and makes them visible. Where immediacy suggests a unified visual space, contemporary hypermediacy offers a heterogeneous space, in which representation is conceived of not as a window on to the world, but rather as "windowed" itself—with windows that open on to other representations or other media. The logic of hypermediacy multiplies the signs of mediation and in this way tries to reproduce the rich sensorium of human experience. (pp. 33-34)
The logic of immediacy has perhaps been dominant in Western representation, at least from the Renaissance until the coming of modernism, while hypermediacy has often had to content itself with a secondary, if nonetheless important, status. Sometimes hypermediacy has adopted a playful or subversive attitude, both acknowledging and undercutting the desire for immediacy. At other times, the two logics have coexisted, even when the prevailing readings of art history have made it hard to appreciate their coexistence. At the end of the twentieth century, we are in a position to understand hypermediacy as immediacy's opposite number, an alter ego that has never been suppressed fully or for long periods of time. (p. 34)
In all its various forms, the logic of hypermediacy expresses the tension between regarding a visual space as mediated and as a "real" space that lies beyond mediation. Lanham (1993) calls this the tension between look at and looking through, and he sees it as a feature of twentieth-century art in general and now digital representation in particular. (p. 41)

Media Con(Media)tent

Again, we call the representation of one medium in another remediation, and we will argue that remediation is a defining characteristic of the new digital media. (p. 45)
The digital medium can be more aggressive in its remediation. It can try to refashion the older medium or media entirely, while still marking the presence of the older media and therefore maintaining a sense of multiplicity or hypermediacy. [ . . . ] This form of aggressive remediation throws into relief both the source and the target media. (p. 46)
Finally, the new medium can remediate by trying to absorb the older medium entirely, so that the discontinuities between the two are minimized. The very act of remediation, however, ensures that the older medium cannot be entirely effaced; the new medium remains dependent on the older one in acknowledged or unacknowledged ways. (p. 47)
[ . . . ] remediation operates in both directions: users of older media such as film and television can seek to appropriate and refashion digital graphics, just as digital graphics artists can refashion film and television. (p. 48)

What is New About New Media?

Our primary concern will be with visual technologies, such as computer graphics and the World Wide Web. We will argue that these new media are doing exactly what their predecessors have done: presenting themselves as refashioned and improved versions of other media. Digital visual media can best be understood through the ways in which they honor, rival, and revise linear-perspective painting, photography, film, television, and print. No medium today, and certainly no single media event, seems to do its cultural work in isolation from other media, any more than it works in isolation from other social and economic forces. What is new about new media comes from the particular ways in which they refashion older media and the ways in which older media refashion themselves to answer the challenges of new media. (pp. 14-15)

The Reality of Remediation

The process of remediation makes us aware that all media are at one level a "play of signs," which is a lesson that we take from poststructuralist literary theory. At the same time, this process insists on the real, effective presence of media in our culture. Media have the same claim to reality as more tangible cultural artifacts; photographs, films, and computer applications are as real as airplanes and buildings.
        Furthermore, media technologies constitute networks or hybrids that can be expressed in physical, social, aesthetic, and economic terms. Introducing a new media technology does not mean simply inventing new hardware and software, but rather fashioning (or refashioning) such a network. (p. 19)

SEED QUESTIONS - Please Post Comments Here

Q1. After reading Vannevar Bush’s “As We May Think” think about Bush as being considered the “father” of hypertext (although he did not coin the term). To what extent can we see his concept implemented in the World Wide Web that for many people defines their notion of hypertext? What are the differences?

Q2. Andries van Dam encourages us to approach hypertext as a new medium and not copy “old, bad habits.” What are some news ways to think about hypertext? How might we use hypertext in publishing, in writing, in thinking?

Q3. Joe Levy, in 1993 said: “if information is available, then any (authorised) person should be able to access it from anywhere in the world.”What implications does this thinking have to our own notions of publishing and the current online environment? You can use examples from your own experience.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Week 1 - New Media & Transdisciplinarity - Sunil A.

Transdisciplinarity in this new media environment is a research method that crosses different disciplines. With traditional media meshing with communication technology, the internet opens up more nodes and networks to interact with. This interaction is critical to information sharing and knowledge production for any field.

With the amount of information available increasing because of the web, researchers have to be open to engaging with other disciplines. Tools that allow for tagging digital documents and media opens up the possibility of tapping into a new field that may support an individuals or groups knowledge production.

Combining so many areas of expertise (ex. Teachers, designers, etc) will present challenges when publishing information. Each discipline has its own history and standards of publishing. If knowledge can be produced among different people from different areas, a common approach to publishing has to be established. Not to say that one has to trump that other. Perhaps new methods and standards of publishing altogether can be developed to reflect a transdisciplinary research approach.

Important things to consider when publishing would be the history of each discipline and how it has published articles in the past. What journals tend to publish their work and what standards are in place. New media also has the capabilities of further manipulation. For example, digital media can be personalized and re-coded in the background to reflect what the user wants and/or needs.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Week 1, new media continuities, Glenn Arnold

Lev Manovich suggests that the people who have “articulated fundamental ideas of human-computer interaction” are the major modern artists. I agree with this to a point – new media has created new artistic forms and relationships. But I don’t think these forms necessarily have to supplant existing artistic modes. Experimentation with interactive storytelling can be rewarding, but so can Manovich’s more traditional “romantic” idea of solitary authorship. As a writer, I love to create narrative, but I also like to be told a story. I can fully enjoy reading someone else’s story and not feel any need to directly interact with the words on the page or the screen. The interaction occurs within my own consciousness, as I process and comprehend the effect created by these words, which may then subsequently influence my own writing. I don’t disagree with Manovich’s point that new artistic forms are emerging as a result of technology, but I think these new forms can still coexist with existing modes. The idea of a strong narrative thread is a continuity that can be applied to any form of storytelling, whether it is interactive or uni-directional.