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New Media and Digital Humanities

New Media and Digital Humanities

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Mobile Media, Design, and Gender

For many of our interactions with digital media, we do not sit at a keyboard but hold a mobile device in our hands. We turn and tilt and stroke and tap, and through these physical interactions with an object we make things: images, links, sites, networks. In The Fabric of Interface, Stephen Monteiro argues that our everyday digital practice has taken on traits common to textile and needlecraft culture.

The War Between Data and Images

If the twentieth century was tyrannized by images, then the twenty-first is ruled by data. In Technologies of Vision, Steve Anderson argues that visual culture and the methods developed to study it have much to teach us about today’s digital culture; but first we must examine the historically entangled relationship between data and images. Anderson starts from the supposition that there is no great divide separating pre- and post-digital culture.

Archaeology of a Data Practice

Machine learning—programming computers to learn from data—has spread across scientific disciplines, media, entertainment, and government. Medical research, autonomous vehicles, credit transaction processing, computer gaming, recommendation systems, finance, surveillance, and robotics use machine learning. Machine learning devices (sometimes understood as scientific models, sometimes as operational algorithms) anchor the field of data science. They have also become mundane mechanisms deeply embedded in a variety of systems and gadgets.

Today, in the age of CCTV, drones, medical body scans, and satellite images, photography is increasingly decoupled from human agency and human vision. In Nonhuman Photography, Joanna Zylinska offers a new philosophy of photography, going beyond the human-centric view to consider imaging practices from which the human is absent.

Teens, Teachers, and Mobile Media in a Los Angeles High School

Schools and school districts have one approach to innovation: buy more technology. In Good Reception, Antero Garcia describes what happens when educators build on the ways students already use technology outside of school to help them learn in the classroom. As a teacher in a public high school in South Central Los Angeles, Garcia watched his students’ nearly universal adoption of mobile devices.

Media Art and Activism

The innovative French media artist and prankster-provocateur Fred Forest first gained notoriety in 1972 when he inserted a small blank space in Le Monde, called it 150 cm2 of Newspaper (150 cm2 de papier journal), and invited readers to fill in the space with their own work and mail their efforts to him. In 1977, he satirized speculation in both the art and real estate markets by offering the first parcel of officially registered “artistic square meters” of undeveloped rural land for sale at an art auction.

The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet

Between 1959 and 1989, Soviet scientists and officials made numerous attempts to network their nation—to construct a nationwide computer network. None of these attempts succeeded, and the enterprise had been abandoned by the time the Soviet Union fell apart. Meanwhile, ARPANET, the American precursor to the Internet, went online in 1969. Why did the Soviet network, with top-level scientists and patriotic incentives, fail while the American network succeeded?

Habitual New Media

New media—we are told—exist at the bleeding edge of obsolescence. We thus forever try to catch up, updating to remain the same. Meanwhile, analytic, creative, and commercial efforts focus exclusively on the next big thing: figuring out what will spread and who will spread it the fastest. But what do we miss in this constant push to the future? In Updating to Remain the Same, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun suggests another approach, arguing that our media matter most when they seem not to matter at all—when they have moved from “new” to habitual.

How Computer Programming Is Changing Writing

The message from educators, the tech community, and even politicians is clear: everyone should learn to code. To emphasize the universality and importance of computer programming, promoters of coding for everyone often invoke the concept of “literacy,” drawing parallels between reading and writing code and reading and writing text. In this book, Annette Vee examines the coding-as-literacy analogy and argues that it can be an apt rhetorical frame.

Attuning to Voice in Media and the Arts

Moved by the Aboriginal understandings of songlines or dreaming tracks, Norie Neumark’s Voicetracks seeks to deepen an understanding of voice through listening to a variety of voicing/sound/voice projects from Australia, Europe and the United States. Not content with the often dry tone of academic writing, the author engages a “wayfaring” process that brings together theories of sound, animal, and posthumanist studies in order to change the ways we think about and act with the assemblages of living creatures, things, places, and histories around us.

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