Testing new media theory

From Danny Butt’s Local Knowledge and New MediaTheory come some affecting remarks on materialist and praxis-logical approaches to studying media arts.

“One of the questions that continues to haunt interdisciplinary work (not just in new media, but also in fields such as cultural studies) is that centering the community of knowledge around the object of study rather than the methods of inquiry tends to result in a lack of interest in or knowledge of precursors from times before that object came into being. To name one example, new media thinkers tend to valorise participatory models (such as ‘citizen journalism’) without reference to the investigations of the limits to citizenship and participation in pre-Internet media. This ethic reflects a particular instance of what Stephen Turner calls “settler futurism” and Barthes called “neomania”, a focus on “making over and moving on” that is incompatible with cultural systems based on a different sense of time”

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