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Mixed media: from digital aesthetics towards general communication theory

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During the last decade, many studies have reconsidered the definition of media, frequently emphasizing how new Digital media may be reproducing or reformulating old analogue media. Through a critical examination of two key contributions Bolter and Grusin (1999) on remediation and Manovich (2001) on the language of new media this article suggests that much current work under a heading of digital aesthetics, approaching media as modes of representing reality, rather than as resources for acting in and on reality, is missing not one, but two opportunities one of exploring interactivity at the level of meaning as received and interpreted, the other of specifying how the discourses of digital media enter into social interaction beyond the interface. Digital media should be understood in the wider context of general communication theory, including issues of mediated and unmediated social interaction.

Keywords: Action; Communication theory; Digital media; History of communication; Modality

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Publication date: 2007-09-07

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  • Northern Lights: Film and Media Studies Yearbook was first published in 2002 and places particular emphasis on film, television and new media. The yearbook, although carrying a theme each issue, welcomes a broad range of articles along with shorter review pieces.
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