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Re: <nettime> What *ARE* New Media?
twsherma on Sun, 12 Oct 2003 23:47:43 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> What *ARE* New Media?



The term "new media" was being tossed around in the early 1980s when the
idea of convergence was everywhere.  The term "new media" was always
problematic in that the "new" always heralded undeveloped media over more
mature, functional media with better distribution, etc.  In other words,
video was never a new medium even though much of the power and promise of
new media is to deliver video content on demand.

> As the fellow who "coined" the term NEW MEDIA (circa 1990, in preparation
> for the America Online IPO, whereupon Steve Case awarded me this email
> address), I have often been asked -- So what the HECK is (er, are) New
> Media, anyway?
>
> The answer then and now is the same -- New Media are the mediums which
> will replace TELEVISION as the dominant *environment* in our lives and
> culture.

The use of "mediums" instead of the word "media," the correct plural of
medium, would help this definition.  I hate to think that people will soon
be calling themselves "new mediums artists," but perhaps this is
inevitable.  This use of the incorrect "mediums" in 1990 does demonstrate
early misuse.  I didn't begin to hear/see artists working in
"multimediums" until the mid-1990s.

Tom Sherman

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