Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Thursday section - Archiving New Media

In “New Media," Lisa Gitelman investigates the historical and theoretical problems of media production, more specifically those of the Internet, and the conditions of reception that operate from competing frames of reference and experience. She questions what constitutes “new media” and demonstrates how access to records and documents determines the way in which we, as users of the World Wide Web, perceive media history. In describing the process of archiving electronic data, she says: “Today’s errant search result reminds users that the complete work…is less of an ‘autonomous object’ than the ongoing result of its own making, remaking, and reception” (Gitelman, 124). This suggests that the Internet is not a self-governing, independent entity, but rather a revolutionary technology that is used collectively by consumers to create unanticipated cultural consequences. Just like history, it is constantly being re-written to better fit the changing times.

How do we sort and store digital information? What is our cultural memory? What new kind of knowledge will exist in the future as a product of this archival system? These are some of the questions that come to mind when thinking about the Internet and its repercussions/influence on the way in which we process information.

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