Medial Transformations: Theorising the Intelligent Mediation Sphere

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Dokumentart: PhDThesis
Date: 2019-05-17
Language: English
Faculty: 5 Philosophische Fakultät
Department: Medienwissenschaft
Advisor: Marschall, Susanne (Prof. Dr.)
Day of Oral Examination: 2018-07-30
DDC Classifikation: 070 - News media, journalism and publishing
700 - The arts; fine and decorative arts
740 - Drawing and decorative art
770 - Photography, photographs and computer a
790 - Recreational and performing art
Keywords: Medientheorie , Ontologie , Medienkunst , Medien , Mediendesign , Medienästhetik , Mediation , Neue Medien
Other Keywords:
Medium theories
media ontology
intelligent mediation sphere
media practices
media design
media art
media aesthetics
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Media are playing significant roles in the context of the contemporary world. They are deeply interwoven with many aspects of life. The relationships between contemporary media and societies and cultures are complex. Therefore, theorising media situation is a challenging endeavour. The central goals of the current book are to review the ontological and epistemological shifts in medium theories, to theorise contemporary media and critically examine the ‘new’ media practices. In a nutshell, the discussions revolve around three areas of media ontology, media typology and media practices. Media ontology addresses the concepts and definitions of media at a meta-level. The concept of media can be defined either positive – media as a particular technology or cultural/communicational means – or negative – media as complex sets of medial relations or mediation processes. In the current book, media are defined as mediation processes, sets of non-linear mediated formations in transformations (a dynamic-organic state of ‘becoming’ cultural events, media situations, mediated environments and mediation sphere). Media cannot be reduced to certain modalities or technological characteristics, rather they ‘set the shape, pace, rhythms, and typography’ of cognitive, communicational, cultural, social, biopolitical life in temporal and spatial living environment. This definition can provide a holistic approach for categorisation of media. In chapter one, the frameworks of arguments are further discussed in detail. Chapter two, three and four encompass the critical analysis of pre-medium, medium and post-medium theories. The pre-medium theories lack a cohesive and explicit line of discourses in defining media. The medium theories explicitly addressed the issue of media and introduced a new line of scholarship informed by various disciplines during the emergence of the ‘mass media.’ The post-medium theories encompass a larger spectrum of scholarship addressing the issue of mediality in globalised and networked societies. Media typologies are usually based on media technologies or instruments of practices. In the current book, the broad media taxonomies are contextualised on the basis of mediation spheres, the holistic definition of medium discussed earlier. This categorisation provides the scope for analysing dynamics of media situations in a holistic way. The milestones of media transformations in history can be divided into six categories including, presentational, representational, mechanical, electronic, intelligent and biological mediation spheres. In chapter five the dynamics and characteristics of these mediation sphere are further discussed. Contemporary media practices, which are usually termed by the practitioners, can be broadly divided into two categories of media-design (e.g. software design, application design, information design, web design, game design, sound design, computer graphic design, vision-design, interface design, etc.) and media-art (e.g. app-art, application art/software art, game-art, sonic art, digital art, algorithm art, bio-art, neuro-art, interactive-art, video-art, etc.). The two fields of practices are conceptually indistinguishable and complementary to the larger contemporary media culture. The media arts practices are usually the innovative open fields, avant-garde practices or critical reflection on media culture. Media design practices are influenced by the mainstream productions, media literacy, media competence and communication traditions within a given media culture. The media usages and media literacies are expanding progressively depending on the context of media culture. In chapter six, a case study of app-art practices and critique of app culture are discussed in the framework of the intelligent mediation sphere.

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