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Convergence by means of globalized remediation

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Prophecies of media convergence have been a key component of recent discussions of digitalization. It has been claimed that the manipulability of digital data facilitates convergence and allows an erosion of differences between media. This article questions these assumptions by showing how there are also considerable obstacles against such manipulability, as well as against the erasure of differences between media. By examining empirical developments, as well as arguments put forward by theorists like Friedrich Kittler, Jay Bolter, Lev Manovich and Rosalind Krauss, it is maintained that what we are seeing is more a proliferations of media than a convergence leading to their unification. In part, this is due to our affection for a multiplicity of media. However, one way in which media do become similar is by increasingly being remediated on a digital platform. Thereby they become subject to a globalization effect by having their functionalities augmented by basic traits of the computer.

Keywords: Convergence; Digitalization; Media aesthetics; New media; Post-medium condition; Remediation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Publication date: September 7, 2007

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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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