Observations / Other Media / Questions / Thoughts

The Metaphor of the Desk

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It strikes me as ironic that perhaps some of the most revolutionary discoveries of the present generation are, either in form or concept, in fact not new at all. Plays and other live performances became films and videos. Written correspondence became real-time, verbal conversation. Paperwork became backlit images. The physical desk became a digital interface, capable of holding and displaying far more than a wooden or metal stand could hope to exhibit. 

The theme of remediation imbues many aspects of my generation. Even in concept, how many remixes and covers of already released songs do we enjoy, as if they were our own creation? How many films do we enjoy that are merely remakes of our parents’ favorites? Styles of past decades return to the fashion scene with every new season. We recycle ideas. But furthermore, and most clearly, we remediate the tools and entertainments of decades and centuries past. Literally. New media have furthered the way in which we are able to enjoy games and performances and the ways in which we execute our work and day-to-day tasks. New media have certainly increased the extent to which we are capable of doing these things, but I ask you, have they bettered these processes? Or, have they merely changed them?

Some would suggest, I am sure, that we are missing great intangibles by turning solely to new ways of doing things. As is usual, my money is on the happy medium – utilizing older, “traditional” media in addition to the new.

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One thought on “The Metaphor of the Desk

  1. Your post indicates you have really been thinking about how one technology remediates another. But there is also the "newness" of what one tech can do that the old one can not–the potential and the cost.Great posts.

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