Lecture Liveblog: 9-6-2007

Manovich – Interaction Culture

Manovich draws heavily from Russian literary theory and Marxism. A focus on modes of production and consumption.

“Digital materialism … principles of computer hardware and software and the operations involved in creating cultural objects on a computer to uncover a new cultural logic at work.” (p.7) [means of production]

However, he may draw on some structuralist theory.

  • “The Language of New Media.”
  • “Montage”
  • “I use ‘language’ as an umbrella term to refer to a number of various conventions used by designers of NM objects to organize data and structure the user’s experience.” (p.7)

Structure tends to trump content. Meaning comes from the structure of a sentence and not individual words.

Information Culture – “includes the ways in which information is presented in different cultural sites and objects .. Includes historical methods for organizing and retrieving information..”

Language – “it was important for me to use the word language to signal the different focus of this work: the emergent conventions, recurrent design patterns nd key forms of new media.”

Gene is a unit of the physical and biological. Meme is a unit of the cultural.

Object – “may be a digital still, digitally composited film, virtual 3-D environment..” (p.12)

  • Modularity of media
  • CS object
  • Russian constructivist notion of art that pointed toward factory production of art, rather than studio

Avant garde artist approach to scientific like experimentation of cultural forms.

Advocates a novel approach to analyzing new media with regard to previous media.

“New media objects are cultural objects .. thus … can be said to represent, as well as help construct, some outside referent: a physically existing object, historical information..” (p.15)

What does a YouTube video represent? A piece of culture? Vessel for content? The video stands in a as proxy for the subject whose likeness is transmitted through the video to the viewer. Different vessels (media) offer different and/or better representations of the original.

Construction may be the meaning that the author puts into the film, perhaps at the request of viewers. Alternatively, it may be the meaning that viewers construct based on their unique life experiences.

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About Tyler

PhD Student, Human-Computer Interaction and Design School of Informatics @ Indiana University
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