In The Language of New Media, Manovich analyzes the “continuities between computer interfaces and older culture forms, language, and conventions” and repeatedly iterates that the evolution of the computer originated from a tool for work to a tool used to produce cultural content that is representative of a “universal media machine.”
I believe that there is a strong equivalent between new media and literature. Manovich stresses that new media is capable of transparently merging with mental processes, is a model of the world and the human experience, and exhibited what was once private to the public sphere. What was unique became mass-produced, what was hidden in an individual’s mind becomes shared. It is true that there is a difference in evolution and interfacing techniques between new media and literary representation, however, each media is an important one that should be thoroughly considered. This evolution of personal and cultural exchange was introduced when the printing press was created and books where mass distributed.
The mass production, access, and the reuse of existing media objects and the creation of new media objects is an interesting reflection of American culture. The abundance of media, which Manovich discusses, has assisted in the evolution of our society by intruding seemingly endless amounts of products to purchase. The extreme marketing within American culture consists of various methods of individualization resulting in immense amount of options and discarded materials. Even though marketing studies have show that our culture is extremely brand loyal, we yearn to have choices – limitless choices – to maintain a sense of individuality. Along with new media, these marketed cultural objects are dependent on choice, variation, and development that are constantly morphing what was old into something new.
As an artist, I am interested in the repetition of images, sound, the reduplication of objects that create anesthetized affects on our mind and emotions, and how that reflects our culture and creates a dialog with other images. All media has developed a way of organizing cultural information. Each representation is distinct and is created as a means to record the human memory, the human experience, and illustrates how we exchange social and cultural information. The reading encourages me to visualize the affects of media on the consciousness and how repetition and methods of thought has developed media. Repetition of human action and learning provides comfort and uniformity. Generally, human activity requires the same few basic functions – similar tools and demands with in individual programs and work situations – that become methodical and easy to use. This is an interesting concept that I would like to research further and implement into my work.
Read the entire paper on Manovich’s, “The Language of New Media”, (manovich_soriano.pdf, 68kb)