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The Language of New Media

av Lev Manovich

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
437344,922 (3.85)Ingen/inga
A stimulating, eclectic accountof new media that finds its origins in old media, particularly the cinema. In this book Lev Manovich offers the first systematic and rigorous theory of new media. He places new media within the histories of visual and media cultures of the last few centuries. He discusses new media's reliance on conventions of old media, such as the rectangular frame and mobile camera, and shows how new media works create the illusion of reality, address the viewer, and represent space. He also analyzes categories and forms unique to new media, such as interface and database. Manovich uses concepts from film theory, art history, literary theory, and computer science and also develops new theoretical constructs, such as cultural interface, spatial montage, and cinegratography. The theory and history of cinema play a particularly important role in the book. Among other topics, Manovich discusses parallels between the histories of cinema and of new media, digital cinema, screen and montage in cinema and in new media, and historical ties between avant-garde film and new media.… (mer)
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Brilliant observations on the role of art and design in digital media. Interesting examples, fascinating conclusions, and a very clear method of writing. Loved every page. ( )
  ephemeral_future | Aug 20, 2020 |
5 estante atrás
  Lior.Zylberman | Apr 11, 2020 |
In The Language of New Media, Lev Manovich “uses the history and theory of cinema to map out the logic driving the technical and stylistic development of new media" (pg. 287). Manovich writes, “Just as film historians traced the development of film language during cinema’s first decades, I aim to describe and understand the logic driving the development of the language of new media. (I am not claiming that there is a single language of new media. I use ‘language’ as an umbrella term to refer to a number of various conventions used by designers of new media objects to organize data and structure the user’s experience.)” (pg. 7). He does not seek to look at the future of new media so much as to define what it is and how it developed.
Manovich writes, “New media follows, or actually runs ahead of, a quite different logic of post-industrial society – that of individual customization, rather than mass standardization” (pg. 30). Furthermore, “On one level new media is old media that has been digitized, so it seems appropriate to look at new media using the perspective of media studies” (pg. 47). Regarding interfaces, Manovich writes, “In contrast to design, in art the connection between content and form (or, in the case of new media, content and interface) is motivated; that is, the choice of a particular interface is motivated by a work’s content to such degree that it can no longer be thought of as a separate level. Content and interface merge into one entity, and no longer can be taken apart” (pg. 67). He continues, “Text is unique among media types. It plays a privileged role in computer culture. On the one hand, it is one media type among others. But, on the other hand, it is a metalanguage of computer media, a code in which all other media are represented…It is also the primary means of communication between a computer and a user” (pg. 74). Manovich writes, “Just as in cinema, ontology is coupled with epistemology: the world is designed to be viewed from particular points of view. The designer of a virtual world is thus a cinematographer as well as an architect” (pg. 82). Finally, “Cultural interfaces try to balance the concept of a surface in paining, photography, cinema, and the printed page as something to be looked at, glanced at, read, but always from some distance, without interfering with it, with the concept of the surface in a computer interface as a virtual control panel, similar to the control panel on a car, plane, or any other complex machine” (pg. 91-92).
Manovich continues, “The history of software is one of increasing abstraction. By increasingly removing the programmer and the user from the machine, software allows them to accomplish more faster” (pg. 117). Due to this, “New media objects are rarely created completely from scratch; usually they are assembled from ready-made parts. Put differently, in computer culture, authentic creation has been replaced by selection from a menu” (pg. 124). Looking at illusion, Manovich writes, “In the twentieth century, art has largely rejected the goal of illusionism, the goal that was so important to it before; as a consequence, it has lost much of its popular support. The production of illusionistic representations has become the domain of mass culture and of media technologies – photography, film, and video. The creation of illusions has been delegated to optical and electronic machines” (pg. 177). Therefore, Manovich argues, “The visual culture of a computer age is cinematographic in its appearance, digital on the level of its material, an computational (i.e., software driven) in its logic” (pg. 180). He further argues, “Along with surface versus depth, the opposition between information and ‘immersion’ can be thought of as a particular expression of the more general opposition characteristic of new media – between action and representation” (pg. 216). Manovich concludes, “Art historians and literary and film scholars have traditionally analyzed the structure of cultural objects as reflecting larger cultural patterns (for instance, Panofsky’s reading of perspective); in the case of new media, we should look not only at the finished objects but first of all at the software tools, their organization and default settings” (pg. 258). ( )
  DarthDeverell | Sep 4, 2017 |
Visar 3 av 3
Lev Manovich's _The Language of New Media_ has been well received, and hailed by reviewers as, for example, 'the most rigorous definition to date of new media', and 'the first rigorous and far-reaching theorization of the subject'. [1] It is an ambitious project, (necessarily) broad in scope, as it attempts to provide, as the back cover tells us, 'a systematic and rigorous theory of new media'. Rather than retread ground and re-hail the rigour that has already been covered and hailed by others, I will identify here some of the aspects of Manovich's work that I feel don't quite work (whether that is due to my own subjective, stylistic preferences or prejudices, or due to what I consider to be omissions or oversights), as well as the parts which seem to make assumptions or which gloss over issues which might be explored in more detail than they are currently. This is not to say this will be a negative review -- far from it -- Manovich's book is interesting, useful, and, while it is already three years old, still timely. Almost undoubtedly it will be revised for a second edition (updates of Chapter 3 and Chapter 6 have recently appeared on Manovich's website). Hopefully, some of the points identified here will be addressed in a future revision.

In seeking to provide a critique of the whole work, I have identified some of the ways in which Manovich's prose doesn't quite (to me, anyway) yield the expected meaning. This may be a fussiness on my part over stylistics, as the anticipated meaning is usually to be found some time later. And while I have suggested that Manovich has undertaken an ambitious project, on a task akin to mucking out the Augean stables, at the same time I have suggested there are places where the book has not quite done enough: places where I would like to see some further discussion, some clarification in passages where, for me, the argument seems to move too quickly. Elsewhere, I have identified areas left unexplored that might usefully have been developed. This is not to, as Enid and Becky from _Ghost World_ might have it, 'accentuate the negative', but is simply a subjective critique of an ambitious work. Overall, Manovich's book *is* useful and thought-provoking, even if it does contain some irritations in style and pacing. I have already ordered a library copy, and I look forward to a revised second edition.
 

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A stimulating, eclectic accountof new media that finds its origins in old media, particularly the cinema. In this book Lev Manovich offers the first systematic and rigorous theory of new media. He places new media within the histories of visual and media cultures of the last few centuries. He discusses new media's reliance on conventions of old media, such as the rectangular frame and mobile camera, and shows how new media works create the illusion of reality, address the viewer, and represent space. He also analyzes categories and forms unique to new media, such as interface and database. Manovich uses concepts from film theory, art history, literary theory, and computer science and also develops new theoretical constructs, such as cultural interface, spatial montage, and cinegratography. The theory and history of cinema play a particularly important role in the book. Among other topics, Manovich discusses parallels between the histories of cinema and of new media, digital cinema, screen and montage in cinema and in new media, and historical ties between avant-garde film and new media.

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