In a post ‘dot.com’ world, where digital media has become both more ubiquitous and, in many respects, more mundane in how its use shapes these fields, there is a need not only for more grounded and less speculative modes of study, but also to understand how theses ‘first generation’ theories have themselves evolved over time. This entails not only critical reflection on new media, but also critical reflection on how this new media has itself been theorized. (25)
Technologies can be understood at three levels
- at the simplest and most common-sense level, technologies are the tools and artifacts used by humans to transform nature, enable social interaction or extend human capacities. These technologies do not do anything independently of the users that made them (25)
- Software, since hardware cannot interact without it, this technology must accompany it. This software or content has irredeemably social and cultural dimensions. A computer only has value when it hard drive contains programs and software packages that enables the user to do things with it. This second level can be defined as technologies by their contexts of use, as well as the physical forms themselves (26)
- The system of knowledge and social meaning that accompany technologies development of use.
Steve Jobs, the epitome of the fusion of technology and culture
Is a difficult term to define and like technology it has layers.
- aesthetics, which equates culture with the arts, and both with the schemas of cultural value. (26)
- The whole way of life, or forms of lived experience, of people, communities and social groups. (26)
- Culture as underlying structural system (27)
New media can thus be thought of as cultural technologies as and in this sense always changing. (38) New media tends to focus on aphorism and analogy instead of empirical data, and thus it is fitting that new media be paired with culture. (38)
The summary of the article would be a focus on this fusion of technology and culture as different elements in today’s society work to create new media. Examples of this can be found in the section on modernity and post-modernity in which there are three examples in the elements of the postmodern that in turn apply to culture and technology of today’s new media:
- the emergence of a distinctive aesthetic style In areas such as art, design, and architecture, based upon irony, self referentiality, bricolage of elements of the past and present, and the absorption of a ‘popular vernacular (34).
- an intellectual reaction to modernism, and its underlying assumptions about there being general and universal forms of knowledge, truth, subjectivity, value, progress, and the relationship between social reality and its modes of representation (34)
- A series of cultural developments associated with mass media culture, such as the explosion of information, the universalisation of access to media such as television, and the blurring of lines between ‘truth’, ‘reality’, and their representation through media forms such as broadcast news and television advertising (35)
There are more examples, but these are the ones that I find most pertinent to the discussion of culture, technology, and new media. All of these examples like post modernity itself make new media difficult to define, and thus illustrates that it is always changing with the culture and the constant advancements in technology. The aesthetics of film can now be appreciated on your computer or through a Netflix account. You don’t have to go to an art museum to see a painting, or got to a concert to see a musician perform, New media has allowed all of this to happen with the push of a button.
How has new media changed the way we live?
Technology has become infused into our culture. This article helped me to realize this and that we probably couldn’t survive without some of the comforts technology has now brought us. How would we cook our dinners, hell, how would we get from point A to point B without the built in GPS in our phones. What if we had to call someone, or worse go to their house….
what will happen when the blocks reach the top?
Flew, Terry. New Media = An Introduction. Oxford: Oxford Up, 2005