Class Notes for Th, 14 Feb 2008

All,

I’ve posted notes from today’s lecture. You can find the notes using either of the two links below:

Regards,

-Bob
rmolnar[at]indiana[dot]edu

All,

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2 Responses to Class Notes for Th, 14 Feb 2008

  1. lifeworlds says:

    I wan to comment on a key point from Feb 14th’s lecture. The specific quote from Bolster and Grusin is below.

    It is [1] that which appropriates the techniques, forms, and social significance of other media and [2] attempts to fival or refashion to rival or refashion them in the name of the real.”

    I made a comment about the transition from LP –> CD –> MP3 and so forth.

    It seems to me that although the MP3 format is building on the “techniques, forms and social significance of other media” it is not in fact “refashion(ing) in the name of the real.”

    I do agree with Dr. Bardzell and his feeling that having an iPod loaded with songs allows the person to switch on as they please and effectively “enhance” or increase their mood by playing an appropriate song.

    Yet I see a problem that arises from the transition from LP –> CD –> MP3 and also with the transition from Paper based books –> to ebooks.

    The question I pose is this: Does the absence of a tangible artifact reduce the quality of the experience for the user? The user is essentially so disconnected from the original medium or “original medium’s artifact” that he is unable to experience the remediated form as anything but a separate entity, and thus cannot see the relationship between the original media and the supposedly new remediated form.

    Additionally, if the user is disconnected from senses such as “touch, smell, and sight” the new medium has to reivent the experience but does this re-invention mimic the old medium or recreate a new medium that takes the place of the old medium.

    A beautiful iPod playing old jazz music is certainly nifty, and is an experience and allows me to take my experience on the go..but if I crave a different kind of experience, one that may be seen as nostalgic to some, such as listening to an LP on a record player, is the new medium is essentially saying “The Old Medium had to be replaced with xyz” and thus the old medium and the old experience is swept under the rug in the name of progress. It seems that just because remediation is technically better doesn’t mean that it is the same kind of experience that the user may crave.

    Nathan A.

  2. bharat says:

    I want to give my 2 cents on Nathan’s ideas and then make a comment of my own:

    I agree with Nathan’s point that technological superiority may not necessarily mean it creates an experience that one wants. Indeed, I have friends (a couple of them quite young too) who like to play their music on an LP just because they like the “feel” of it. They say it gives them a nostalgic kind of feeling just as Nathan has mentioned.

    However, I certainly feel there is more to the popularity of iPOD music than it being technologically superior. Among the other factors that were mentioned in Bolter and Grusin, I also see a social aspect to it. Sometimes we can even see and feel it around us – for people who don’t have an iPOD I am sure there are some who often feel a certain attraction to the experience that an undergrad is having when listening to her iPOD while walking to and from classes. It is very symbolic of the young generation. So, it seems fashion has an important role to play in the popularity of media too. Fashion also enters into our casual conversations – someone would tend to feel left out if they are in a group and others are going on discussing about the latest ipod release, its features, its look and feel and everything- when they don’t know anything about it.

    Materially speaking too, the portability factor is a big one that goes in favor of the ipod.
    So, it seems to me whether a medium will have an edge over the one that it is remediating depends on a complex interplay of these factors and something that I’m sure goes into the thought process of the design of the new medium.

    Secondly, I found the point about “immediacy” that the authors make, quite intriguing. When we were discussing about Madden ’06, some of us said they liked to switch off the commentary when watching the game/playing the game – which is interesting because they are cutting off the factor which is making the medium a hypermediating experience. Looking at it otherwise, it is just an attempt to make the medium at hand more transparent or immediate.
    Which also leads us to the idea that hypermediacy and immediacy maybe looked at as two separate ends of a spectrum ?

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