Friday, December 12, 2008

Digital New Media Timeline (#40 - #54)

These timelines are the last few in the New Media Reader. They cover all of the major technological and cultural advancements in New Media between 1986 and 1994. New Media has blossomed since then, of course, but the New Media Reader gives an excellent history of all what came before it.

#40- Mythinformation
Langdon Winner, 1986
-- Mythinformation is the belief that the adoption of computers and technology into our culture will create a better world for all of humanity.
-- Winner believes that information is knowledge and that have clear access to that information will enhance democracy and social power.

#41- From Plans and Situated Actions
Lucy A. Suchman
-- Suchman made advances in artificial intelligence by suggesting a different method as to how the human mind makes decisions. By saying that people don't create abstract plans of thought, engineers are able to look at intelligence differently and therefore create better AI overall.
-- Suchman's work goes hand-and-hand with Seymour Papert, Alan Turing and Ben Shneiderman, all who have been mentioned in the New Media Reader before.

#42- Siren Shapes: Exploratory and Constuctive Hypertexts
Michael Joyce, 1988
-- Joyce provides definitions for different types of hypertext and hyperlinks. Constructive hypertexts are links created by the author. Exploratory hypertexts are links to another author's work.
-- It rare that we see constructive hypertext formats. Is this because there is just so a wealth of information on the web that we do not need to create our own hypertexts?

#43- The Work of Culture in the Age of Cybernetic Systems
Bill Nichols, 1988
-- Nichols discusses the shift in culture with the birth of video games and other simulation media. He argues that video games can be liberating as they provide freedom of movement.
-- He also argues that the liberating freedom of video games is not a huge leap in computer interaction because video games function in a highly rule-based environment.

#44- The fantasy Beyond Control
Lynn Hershman, 1990
-- Hershman's Lorna is the considered to be the first interactive video art installation.
-- People who witnessed this project were able to make choices with what they see from the piece, making Hershman's project an interesting blend of video games and high art.

#45- Cardboard Computers
Pelle Ehn and Morten King, 1991
-- Ehn and King were dedicated to working with computer users, both experts and new, in order to create new media tools. This constant sharing and giving back is common thoroughout computer history; capitalist style software only gained momentum when Bill Gates made BASIC proprietary.
-- This method of working is still very popular in Internet communities today and were heavily influenced by Ehn and King's Utopia project.

#46- The Lessons of Lucasfilm's Habitat
Chip Morningstar and F. Randall Farmer, 1991
-- Lucasfilm's Habitat project was one of the first to create large-scale, commercial, graphical virtual environment. That means that MMORPGs like World of Warcraft were somewhat influenced by Lucasfilm's design.
-- Using a two-and-a-half dimensional view, Habitat wasn't exactly popular but, it laid the foundations for many games after its inception.

#47- Seeing and Writing
J. David Bolter, 1991
-- Bolter discusses the effects computer text programs have on how we perceive writing. He argues that the movement of writing on a computer screen relates very similar to traditional writing and that is doesn't need to be that way.
-- Bolter reminds us that technology, whether that is simply just writing, or a typing program, can influence how we communicate.

#48- You Say You Want a Revolution?
Stuart Moulthrop, 1991
-- Moulthrop argues that hypertext on the Internet is not a replacement of a traditional book, but rather a replacement for television.
-- Moulthrop suggests that a when a medium reaches its limit of influence, it will reverse, become more participatory and homogeneous.

#49- The End of Books
Robert Coover, 1992
-- Coover expresses a fear that has come along with almost every new technology. Will the Internet be the dagger that ends the book era? No. Tradition shows that books stay as a medium, no matter how powerful the influence of the new technology is.
-- There have been many successful authors who have used new media ideas in their stories, two prominent examples being Joyce to Borges.

#50- Time Frames
Scott McCloud, 1993
--McCloud is a famous and clever comic artist. His comic is a comic inside of comic and views his work as sequential art.
-- His commentary of what happens within a comic looks and feels like a comic twist on the principles of hypertext.

#51- Surveillance and Capture: Two Models of Privacy
Philip E. Agre, 1994
-- Agre expresses a fear that the private information we place on the internet will eventually allow authorities to capture our information and have more control over and live and experiences.
-- Agre makes references to Foucault's panopticon and while he believes surveillance will become more widespread, Agre thinks the Web provides a medium so open to sharing that we will give up our information too easily.

#52- Nonlinearity and Literary Theory
Espen J. Aarseth, 1994
-- Aarseth wrote an excellent essay as to how literature has changed with the birth of the internet. He tells us that stories are becoming more nonlinear in nature, jumping from thought to thought and place to place.
-- Nonlinearity was popular among bards as storytellign technique before the explosion of writing. McLuhan would probably argue that since the internet brews stories that harken to back to oral cultures, the internet is therefore then cooling down our hot media society.

#53- Nomadic Power and Cultural Resistance
Critical Art Ensemble, 1994
-- The critical art ensemble feared that the open nature of the internet did not give power back to the individual but made the "power elite" more powerful.
-- With cyberspace, organizations have less physical space from which people can resist, and therfore the only way to effectively resist the power of an organization you disagree with, is to create cultural rsistance on the Web.

#54- The World-Wide Web
Tim Berners-Lee, Robert Cailliau, Ari Luotonen, Henrik Frystyk Bielsen, and Arthur Secret, 1994
-- The World-Wide Web seems to be the cumilnation of hypertext in its finest from, but it falls short in some areas.
-- The Web is a great source from almostall of human knowledge, that is, if people are willing to unbiasly transport the data gained in books of past generations to the web.
-- The cost of the internet does make it difficult for the poor to be connected, but at least in America, Barack Obama is dedicated to getting every child online.
-- Even in 2008, we are still unsure about the internet's effects on how culture and language. Online privacy is also an unresolved issue that may have major ramications on how gain or loss some of our freedoms.

Note: Hyperlinks and reactions are to be added later in an update of this post.


Anonymous said...

i think i was reading about this on NYT this month

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