The Language of New Media

Front Cover
MIT Press, 2001 - Art - 354 pages

A stimulating, eclectic accountof new media that finds its origins in old media, particularly the cinema.

In this book Lev Manovich offers the first systematic and rigorous theory of new media. He places new media within the histories of visual and media cultures of the last few centuries. He discusses new media's reliance on conventions of old media, such as the rectangular frame and mobile camera, and shows how new media works create the illusion of reality, address the viewer, and represent space. He also analyzes categories and forms unique to new media, such as interface and database.

Manovich uses concepts from film theory, art history, literary theory, and computer science and also develops new theoretical constructs, such as cultural interface, spatial montage, and cinegratography. The theory and history of cinema play a particularly important role in the book. Among other topics, Manovich discusses parallels between the histories of cinema and of new media, digital cinema, screen and montage in cinema and in new media, and historical ties between avant-garde film and new media.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DarthDeverell - LibraryThing

In The Language of New Media, Lev Manovich “uses the history and theory of cinema to map out the logic driving the technical and stylistic development of new media" (pg. 287). Manovich writes, “Just ... Read full review


FOREWORD by Mark Tribex
Numerical Representation 27
Cinema as New Media 50
The Myth of Interactivity 55
2The Interface62
Representation versus Control 88
4The Illusions176 SYNTHETIC REALISM AND ITS DISCONTENTS184 Technology and Style in Cinema 185
The Icons of Mimesis 195
5The Forms212
A Database Complex 233
The Poetics of Navigation 259
KinoEye and Simulators 273

The Screen and the Body 103
Representation versus Simulation 111
3The Operations116 MENUS FILTERS PLUGINS123 The Logic of Selection 123
From Image Streams to Modular Media 136
Video 149
6What Is Cinema?286
From Animation to Cinema 298
Cinema Redefined 300
The Loop as a Narrative Engine 314
Cinema as an Information Space 326

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About the author (2001)

Lev Manovich is Professor of Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego. His book The Language of New Media (MIT Press, 2001) has been hailed as "the most suggestive and broad ranging media history since Marshall McLuhan."

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