«What is new media? We may begin answering this guestion by listing the categories commonly discussed under this topic in the popular press; the Internet, Web sites, computer multimedia, computer games, CD-ROMs and DVD, virtual reality. It is all there is to new media? What about television programs shot on digital video and edited on computer workstations? Or feature films that use 3-D animation and digital compositing. Shall we also count these as new media? What about images and text-image compositions – photographs, illustrations, layouts, ads – created on computers and then printed on paper? Where shall we stop?
As we can see from these examples, the popular understanding of new media identifies it with the use of a computer for distribution and exhibition rather than production. Accordingly, texts distributed on a computer (Web sites and electronic books) are considered to be mew media, whereas texts distributed on paper are not. Similarly, photographs that are put on a CD-ROM and require a computer to be viewed are considered new media; the same photographs printed in a book are not.
Shall we accept this definition? If we want to understand the effects of computerization on culture as a whole, I think it is too limiting. There is no reason to privilege the computer as a machine for the exhibition and distribution of media over the computer as a tool for media production or as a media storing device. 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.» …
Read more about it! Page 19 in Lev Manovich; The Language of New Media, 2001, ISBN 0-262-13374-1, 0-262-63255-1.
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