Software Takes Command (International Texts in Critical Media Aesthetics)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Software has replaced a diverse array of physical, mechanical, and electronic technologies used before 21st century to create, store, distribute and interact with cultural artifacts. It has become our interface to the world, to others, to our memory and our imagination - a universal language through which the world speaks, and a universal engine on which the world runs. What electricity and combustion engine were to the early 20th century, software is to the early 21st century. Offering the the first theoretical and historical account of software for media authoring and its effects on the practice and the very concept of 'media,' the author of The Language of New Media (2001) develops his own theory for this rapidly-growing, always-changing field.
What was the thinking and motivations of people who in the 1960 and 1970s created concepts and practical techniques that underlie contemporary media software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Maya, Final Cut and After Effects? How do their interfaces and tools shape the visual aesthetics of contemporary media and design? What happens to the idea of a 'medium' after previously media-specific tools have been simulated and extended in software? Is it still meaningful to talk about different mediums at all? Lev Manovich answers these questions and supports his theoretical arguments by detailed analysis of key media applications such as Photoshop and After Effects, popular web services such as Google Earth, and the projects in motion graphics, interactive environments, graphic design and architecture. Software Takes Command is a must for all practicing designers and media artists and scholars concerned with contemporary media.
Google Search whenever you use this service; clicking the “+1” button on Google+ or the “Like” button on Facebook; using the “retweet” function on Twitter). Developing software tools and services that support all these activities (for instance, programming a library for Processing that enables sending and receiving data over the Internet;20 writing a new plugin for Photoshop, creating a new theme for WordPress). Technically, this software may be implemented in a variety of ways. Popular
were democratized enough, many creative people started to focus on creating these new structures and techniques rather than using the existing ones to make “content.” Since the end of 2000, extending the computer metamedium by writing new software, plugins, programming libraries and other tools became the new cutting-edge type of cultural activity – giving a new meaning to McLuhan’s famous formula “the medium is the message.” Today a typical article in computer science or information science
Smith added “‘not paint’ that reversed the color of every pixel under the paintbrush to its color complement.” He also defined ‘smear paint’ that averaged the colors in the neighborhood of each pixel under the brush and wrote the result back into the pixel.” And so on. Thus, the instances where the paintbrush tool behaved more like a real physical paintbrush were just particular cases of a much larger universe of new behaviors made possible in a new medium. The permanent extendibility As we saw,
conventions of media software applications are not the result of a technological change from “analog” to “digital” media. The shift to digital enables the development of media software—but it does not constrain the directions in which it already evolved and continues to evolve. They are the result of intellectual ideas conceived by the pioneers working in larger labs, the actual products created by software companies and open source communities, the cultural and social processes set up when many
voltage levels controlling the display. Or, in another example, when we design an object to be printed on a 3D printer, an analog representation on the screen is translated by a computer into a digital file that then drives the analog signals controlling the printer. The two levels of encoding—first, a sampling of a continuous analog signal to create its representation using a scale of discrete numbers (for example, 256 levels commonly used to represent grey tones in images), followed by a