Wednesday, April 21, 2010

WS: Convergence

Jenkin’s text introduces convergence as a new means of understanding media chance. This change, Jenkins argues, “operates as a constant force for unification but alays in dynamic tension with change,” reminiscent of Manovich’s discussion of the battlefield and juxtaposition of existing media forms.

While I find Jenkin’s overall argument concerning the role of “new media” in the shift in function and status, rather than the death, of “old media” objects” compelling, there are a couple of points that I would like to put pressure on. For example, Jenkin’s analysis of media convergence relies on a separation between technology and culture. He writes, “ Delivery systems are simply and only technologies; media are also cultural systems. Delivery technologies come and go all the time, but media persist as layers within an ever more complicated information and entertainment stratum”(14).  While Jenkin’s notes the problematic focus on media change to solely technological changes, the division that he sets up is one of culture and technology, a separation that is also subject to critique. 

In what ways does Jenkin’s overlook or narrowly define apparatuses or rather "hardwares of representation", referring to them as merely delivery technologies? It is important to investigate the ways in which these technologies produce or facilitate markets, distribution, culture, and industries. What would be the role of the commodity and more particularly, commodity fetishism, in Jenkin’s analysis?
How can we take changes in technology, but not necessarily, “media,” as Jenkins might define it seriously? What about Liang’s example of cassette technology and the questions of piracy, an issue that becomes increasingly brought up in relation to new technological innovation? In what ways does Jenkin’s paradigm disable any account for these phenomena (Jenkins 13)?

Monica Garcia

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