The Language of New Media – Quotes

Manovich, Lev. (2002) The Language of New Media.  (Reprint edition). Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press.

  1. 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 storage device. All have the same potential to change existing cultural languages. And all have the same potential to lead culture as it is. Page 19
  1. Digital compositing does represent a quantitatively new step in the history of visual stimulation because it allows the creation of moving images of nonexistent worlds. Page 153
  2. This list reduces all principles of new media  to 5 – numerical representation, modularity, automation, variability, and cultural transcoding. Pg 20
  3. The impact of the computer has yet to be seen. page 22
  4. Both media machines and computing machines were absolutely necessary for the functioning of modern mass society. Page 22
  5. Periodic trips into the dark relaxation chambers of movie theaters became a routine survival technique for the subjects of modern society. Page 23
  6. An image created through keying represents a highbred reality, composed of two different spaces. p. 150
  7. All existing media are translated into numerical data accessible for the computer. The results: graphics, moving images, sounds, shapes, spaces, and texts become computable, that is, simply sets of computer data. In short, media became new media. p 25
  8. The synthesis of a coherent space out of distinct fragments is only one example of how fictional cinema fakes reality. page 147
  9. The key assumption of modern semiotics is that communication requires discrete units. Without discrete units, there is no language. p28
  10. Montage aims to create a visual, stylistic, semantic, and emotional dissonance between different elements. In contrast, compositing aims to blend them into a seamless whole, a single gestalt. p.144
A new media object is not something fixed once and for all, but something that can exist in different, potentially infinite versions. Page 36
  1. Instead of identical copies, a new media object typically gives rise to many different versions. Page 36
  2. A new media object can be defined as one or more interfaces to a multimedia database. pg 37
  3. One of the most basic cases of the variability principal is scalability, and what to different versions of the same media object can be generated at various sizes for levels of detail. page 38
  4. The moral anxiety that accompanies the shift from constants to variables, from traditions to choices in all areas of life in a contemporary society, and the corresponding anxiety of a writer who has to portray it, is well rendered in the closing passage of the short story by the contemporary American writer Rick Moody. p44
  5. The principle of variability exemplifies how, historically, changes in the media technologies are correlated with social change. Page 41
  6. New media technology acts as the most perfect realization of the utopia of an ideal society composed of unique individuals. Page 42
  7. Where old media relied on montage, no media substitutes the aesthetics of continuity. Page 143
  8. New media follows, or rather runs a heads up, a quite different logic of post-industrial society – that individual customization, rather than mass standardization. Page 30
  9. Fractal structure of new media. Page 30
  10. IN CONTRAST, AS WITH TRADITIONAL MEDIA, DELETING PARTS OF A NEW MEDIA OBJECT DOES NOT RENDER IT MEANINGLESS. IN FACT, THE MODULAR STRUCTURE OF NEW MEDIA MAKES SUCH DELETION AND SUBSTITUTION OF PARTS PARTICULARLY EASY. PAGE 31
  11. The numerical coding of media and the modular structure of a media object allow for the automation of many operations involved in media creation, manipulation, and access. Thus human intentionality can be removed from the creative process, at least in part.p32
  12. Computers can pretend to be intelligent only by tricking us into using a very small part of who we are when we communicate with them. Page 34

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