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Hardcover | Out of Print | ISBN: 9780262018197 | 288 pp. | 7 x 9 in | 25 figures| September 2012
Paperback | $20.00 Short | £13.95 | ISBN: 9780262527460 | 288 pp. | 7 x 9 in | 25 figures| December 2014
eBook | $24.00 Short | ISBN: 9780262306270 | 288 pp. | 25 figures| September 2012
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Life after New Media

Mediation as a Vital Process


In Life after New Media, Sarah Kember and Joanna Zylinska make a case for a significant shift in our understanding of new media. They argue that we should move beyond our fascination with objects--computers, smart phones, iPods, Kindles--to an examination of the interlocking technical, social, and biological processes of mediation. Doing so, they say, reveals that life itself can be understood as mediated--subject to the same processes of reproduction, transformation, flattening, and patenting undergone by other media forms.

By Kember and Zylinska’s account, the dispersal of media and technology into our biological and social lives intensifies our entanglement with nonhuman entities. Mediation--all-encompassing and indivisible--becomes for them a key trope for understanding our being in the technological world. Drawing on the work of Bergson and Derrida while displaying a rigorous playfulness toward philosophy, Kember and Zylinska examine the multiple flows of mediation. Importantly, they also consider the ethical necessity of making a “cut” to any media processes in order to contain them. Considering topics that range from media-enacted cosmic events to the intelligent home, they propose a new way of “doing” media studies that is simultaneously critical and creative, and that performs an encounter between theory and practice.

About the Authors

Sarah Kember is Professor of New Technologies of Communication at Goldsmiths, University of London, and author, most recently, of The Optical Effects of Lightning.

Joanna Zylinska is Professor of New Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London, author of Bioethics in the Age of New Media (MIT Press) and other books, and a fine-art photographer.

Table of Contents

  • Life after New Media
  • Life after New Media
  • Mediation as a Vital Process
  • Sarah Kember and Joanna Zylinska
  • The MIT Press
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • London, England
  • © 2012
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher.
  • MIT Press books may be purchased at special quantity discounts for business or sales promotional use. For information, please email or write to Special Sales Department, The MIT Press, 55 Hayward Street, Cambridge, MA 02142.
  • This book was set in Stone Sans and Stone Serif by Toppan Best-set Premedia Limited. Printed and bound in the United States of America.
  • Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
  • Kember, Sarah.
  • Life after new media : mediation as a vital process / Sarah Kember and Joanna Zylinska.
  •  p. cm.
  • Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • ISBN 978-0-262-01819-7 (hbk. : alk. paper) 1. Mass media and technology—Social aspects.  2. Digital media—Social aspects. 3. Social media. I. Zylinska, Joanna, 1971–. II. Title.
  • P96.T42K46 2012
  • 302.23—dc23
  • 2012008439
  • 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
  • Contents
  • Epigraph: Media, Mars, and Metamorphosis (An Excerpt) vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction: New Media, Old Hat xiii
  • 1 Mediation and the Vitality of Media 1
  • 2 Catastrophe “Live” 29
  • 3 Cut! The Imperative of Photographic Mediation 71
  • Interlude: I Don’t Go to the Movies 97
  • 4 Home, Sweet Intelligent Home 101
  • 5 Sustainability, Self-Preservation, and Self-Mediation 129
  • 6 Face-to-Facebook, or the Ethics of Mediation: From Media Ethics to an Ethics of Mediation 153
  • 7 Remediating Creativity: Performance, Invention, Critique 173
  • Conclusion: Creative Media Manifesto 201
  • Notes 207
  • References 247
  • Index 263