Key Concepts:

Principles of new media:

Numerical representation. All new media objects are composed of digital code – numerical representations. There are two key concepts: new media objects can be described mathematically and such objects are subject to algorithmic manipulation. Therefore, media becomes programmable. In a process of digitalization continuous data is converted to discrete data, data occurring in distinct units which are not units of meaning.

Modularity.  New media objects have modular structure; they are separate identities which can be combined into large-scale objects without losing their independence. Every element can be accessed on its own.

Automation. New media objects can be created or modified media using templates or algorithms. Together with creation of new media objects, already created objects need to be easily available for access. Due to modularity of new media it can be easily found among other objects in a data base with the help of artificial intelligence of new media. However, AI is limited.

Variability. New media objects can exist in potentially infinitive versions due to its numerical coding and modular structure. It can be easily edited and, therefore, customized. It changes together with social changes.

Transcoding. There are two distinct layers: “cultural layer” (content, meaning, qualities, etc.) and “computer layer” (file size, file type, file format, etc.). Structure-wise, new media objects are compatible to, and transcodable into other computer files or the adaptation of new media for display on different devices.

 Relation to Course Outcome:

In The Language of New Media Manovich gives us basic structure of new media showing that the structure is clear, simple and flexible. Students as users can easily create new media using simplest units – discrete points, access objects of new media navigating in the media space, and modify already created objects. This allows students to experiment with new media resources, customize previously created objects, and, mainly, it allows students to see media as an ever changing process with possibility for communication rather than solid structure with no ability or limited ability to create and change.

Automatic book digitalization


In his work Manovich shows us that simply comparing old and new media “will not tell us the whole story” (47). His idea is that the new media is a result of digitalization of old media, in this process, however, some information can be lost. Change in media is always correlated to change in society. If old media valued “conformity” and “factory” production, new media values “individualization” and choice (42). The key difference between old and new media according to Manovich is that new media is programmable, it does not “hardwire” structure and content together, and it is interactive.



Works cited

Manovich, Lev: The Language of New Media. MIT Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts / London, England 2001.

65 Responses to “Note taking on Manovich”

  • Neb Zewdie says:

    I really like how you seperated “Relation to Course Outcome” and “OLD/NEW Media” rather that writing one long summary. I feel like this establishes clarity and helps bring to the light two different topics.

  • Marta Quero says:

    Relating the article to the Course outcome is a great idea to help everyone understand the meaning of the text that we were assigned to read and to see how it is important for our class. I think that is a great idea and it definitely helped me getting a better understanding of the article.

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