• Digital Media is dead — There is Only Software.

    According to Lev Manovich (http://lab.softwarestudies.com/2011/04/new-article-by-lev-manovich-there-is.html)

    “Depending on the software I am using, the “properties” of a media object can change dramatically. Exactly the same file with the same contents can take on a varirty of identities depending on the software being used.

    What does this finding means in relation to the persisting primacy of the term “digital” in understanding new media? Let me answer this as clear and direct as I can. There is no such thing as “digital media.” There is only software – as applied to media data (or “content”.)”

    Do we need to think differently about “digital media”? Manovich uses the example of a photo. Is a digital photo (perhaps especially objects “born digital”) the same as a physical photo. The physical photo is produced once; if you have the negative and create it again, perhaps to lighten the photo, then you have a new physical object with it’s own characteristics. The digital photo, to lighten it, you run software to show it lighter. You may or may not create a new file and even if you do, this new file can be transformed by software to look like the old one. For the digital object, the software used, define the object revealed.

    Is Manovich right? Is there only software?

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.