Tag Archives: Lev Manovich

New Media Objects: Interactive Installations by Robison, Charity



Hello, my name is Charity and I am a post-bach student in the DTC program.  I come from a fine arts background so my challenge is to transfer what I can of my studio skills and knowledge into a digital format that I can use to further my language of expression.

Math offends me and the digital realm is challenging with its limited tactile process and lack of physical or organic matter to touch, feel, and manipulate with my hands.  It also looks a lot like math..

There are a great many new media objects to chose from so I decided to simply look over the slides and see what came to mind.  This random exploration worked out well and resulted in some unexpected recollections.  When I looked  over interactive installations, I was immediately taken to an experience I had at Burning Man in 2009 with an installation titled Steve the Robot H.E.Ai.D.

It is described as “a Human Energized Artificial Intelligence Device that encouraged collaborative sound and music making inside a giant 35 foot structure made to resemble a giant robot head. Motion is detected using a camera mounted at the peak of the structure, which is then used to generate sound and project the laser image.”

I had come to it out on the playa late one night and found myself completely fascinated by the physical and visible connection I had with the piece.  I danced with someone and watched it trace my every move along with theirs via laser lights onto the playa dust beneath me.  I was actually watching the electricity and energy between myself and another.

In relation to the characteristics of new media by Lev Manovich, I believe this met all five.  By creating an interactive connection between a computer and the human body, numerical representation (p.27) was made via intelligence that communicated between various systems to create the whole. There is an algorithm recording and transcribing human movement into a digital format.

The numeral representation here incorporated modularity (p.30) by combining several methods of data gathering to create the cohesive result of man and machine.  This is also, in part, an automative (p.32) process.  Computers have been explicitly designed and programed to record the human or analog movement and transcribe them into a digital format that can then be further translated into a visual shape and form.  Variability (p.36)  is then nearly infinite as it is defined by each individual that interacts with it, recording not only their physical stature and form, but also their movement.  Transcoding (p.45) follows with the materialization of this digital interpretation of an analog subject.  The human body and its movements are displayed in a digital format via laser lights.

Here is a short video clip of the installation:

New Media Object – IPad

The first iPad came to the world on April 2010 and it is obvious example for digital object. It was only about two years since the first iPad released but it shifted the technological human demands to higher levels as a new media. More than that, people are getting close to technological world because of the digital device’s features as iPad and it brings people closer to others by communication developments. Apple Incorporation created iPad and it is small mobile computer with touching operations. It has Numerical Representation as it converts continuous data into numerical representation (Manovich 28); for example, you can view your images on iPhoto that is one of the greatest applications on iPad. There are a lot of features on the iPhoto that you can adjust the image’s color, shadow, angles and you can flat or crop the photo. It also satisfies Modularity; Manovich states “These elements are assembled into large-scale objects but continue to maintain their separate identities” (Manovich 30). We can watch movie on Ipad and movie is the combination between sounds and images. They always have different identities but they all run at the same time. Plus, the World Wide Web is also modular (Manovich 31); the iPad was invented with built-in Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity. That way, you can search any websites on Ipad by Safari. Besides, iPad goes along with Variability as it maintains itself and generates new supporting programs by period updates (Manovich 38).  IPad’s update requirements are established in the App Store and it will alert you when the new updates release. This new media is an amazingly great device that has multiple benefits with reasonable prices.

Week 1 Blog Response



My name is  Jared Abraham. I am a DTC major and am in my first semester at Washington State University Vancouver.

Tablets and smartphones have revolutionized the way we we interact with our  computers, our televisions, and our friends. As well as, giving us instant access to people around the world in an instant. One of the many ways that we are able to  do this is  through applications. Applications, or apps, by using cellular data provided by various phone companies like Sprint and Verizon, have the ability to connect someone from Washington to someone in Rome in a matter of seconds. For instance, Facebook has given everyone who chooses to use it, a window into peoples lives through their status updates. Although Facebook started out as a website only, with the quick rise in popularity of smart devices the social media company has launched several different apps, ranging from the original Facebook app to the Messenger app. Facebook has also purchased some apps launched by different companies like Instagram.

All of these apps have what Lev Manovich calls the principals of new media (The Language of new media, pg.27). some of these principals can be found in Instagram.  For instance, an example of Manovich’s first principal, Numerical Representation (pg. 27) could be Instagram. Instagram is a photo editing app that you can install on your smart device, using algorithm to remove or add noise to or from a photo(pg. 27). Instagram could also be an example of “Modularity” (pg. 30). An example would be the pixels of an image.

It is exciting to think how far technology has advanced in just the past five years. We can only imagine what new innovations and advances will be made in the next five years.

iBooks Author


Hi, my name is Vitaliy. I graduated from Clark College with an Associate in Arts Degree. This is my first semester as a freshman at WSU Vancouver. The plan is to major in Computer Science.

iBooks Author is an application created by Apple to create gorgeous, multi-touch textbooks for the iPad. According to Manovich, there are five characteristics that identify a new media object. The characteristic of numerical representation applies to iBooks Author because it is an application that stores information electronically using a binary code (Manovich 25). The characteristic of modularity is also satisfied by iBooks Author. Manovich states that elements are combined together, yet still continue to remain separate (Manovich 30). In iBooks Author, the author has the option to make his/her textbook interactive by adding widgets such as galleries, videos, diagrams, 3D objects, and much more various items. These elements are all combined in a digital textbook, yet still remain separate from one another. Automation is the third characteristic that defines a new media object. Automation assists the individual through “agents” such as templates so that “human intentionality can be removed from the creative process” (Manovich 32). iBooks Author has many templates designed by Apple to assist the individual and make the textbook look stunning instantly. The fourth characteristic of variability is also achieved by iBooks Author. A new media object must be able to arise in many different versions in order to have variability (Manovich 36). With iBooks Author, the individual can create textbooks for a variety of subjects, as well as create more volumes for the same subject. The fifth and final characteristic, transcoding, has not been left out by iBooks Author. The media that is generated must be readable by the human, as well as the computer (Manovich 45). There is no doubt that that the textbooks can be read by applications such as iBooks or iTunes U, and these applications can decide if the textbook is the correct file format, file type, or size. iBooks author is a powerful, yet amazing tool for creating digitally-interactive textbooks, and fulfills the characteristics of a new media object.




Hulu is an online website that allows anyone and everyone to access the latest in television entertainment. There are highlights of weekly episodes, lists of popular shows and even clips of various programs under the “best of” category. Hulu is a new media object as defined by Manovich as it fits all five characteristics he explains in his book, “The Language of New Media”. The first descriptor he uses is the visual aspect of such an object–numerical representation. This is a website; it is digital and plays digital videos. Secondly, there must be modularity; links to other websites that draw from the host site. Hulu has ads and even commercials interspersed within the programs it shows. Although many find this to be obnoxious, the ads serve their purpose. Automation or the process of working without any human interaction is easily identified with weekly updates and the upload of episodes at a specified time each day. Humans need not worry about pressing the “upload” button at just the right time in each timezone if we can simply program a computer to do it for us. Variability is another part of Manovich’s definition of a new media object. Hulu displays, based on shows viewed previously by the user, shows and clips that are related to the intended audience. For instance, if someone were to watch an episode of the Colbert Report, Hulu will suggest other episodes and perhaps even shows that are often coupled with Colbert like the Daily Show. Lastly, there must be technological influence in the form of transcoding. Transcoding is all about the way in which new media is associated with certain stereotypes in culture. Hulu for instance brings in audience members from all facets of life: people living without television who depend on online streaming, people with busy lives who miss certain shows and wish to view it online rather than waiting for it to rerun, et cetera. Hulu encapsulates the five core concepts of a new media object and will continue to set the trend for the digital age as more and more people choose to eliminate their cable or satellite contracts and switch to online streaming.

Kik Messenger


Hey guys! That’s my twitter name, ^^^^^, follow me! My name is Bethel Muasau, I am a freshman here at WSUV, majoring in Biology, wanting to become a Family Practitioner.

In “What is New Media,” by Lev Manovich, he talks about all the possible media objects made through computers and media objects not made by computers. There are five characteristics that define new media according to Lev Manovich; numerical representation, modularity, automation, variability, and transcoding. A new media object that has been in use of lately is Kik. It is not as popular as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or even Tumblr. Kik was created by Ted Livingston from Waterloo University, in Ontario, Canada. It took Livingston 15 days just to reach a billion followers, “it took twitter two years to do that,” says Livingston. Kik is a free instant-messaging application that enables users to send messages to their friends, see when they’ve been delivered and when their friends actually have read the message. It even lets users know when their friends are typing a message. According to Manovich, the first characteristic that was mentioned that defines new media is numerical representation. In the article, it states, “numerical representation is a media object that is converted from analog media sources than composed of digital source,” (Manovich 27). On Kik, it allows the times to change and because of this, the binary code that contains 1s and 0s, are converted so that times, dates, and thanks to something called “digitization,” data can be continuous as well as represented with good quality, (Manovich 28). The second characteristic modularity – is the structural parts of new media, (Manovich 29). On Kik, the messages and the way the contacts are presented are organized the same way, every time you log on. Units presented each time you log on come in choices to either create new message or add new contact or add a smiley face, all of these units make up Kik. Third characteristic that defines media is automation. As Manovich said on page 30, automation is almost defined like automatic. The media object can be created or fixed automatically. Every time you “Kik” a friend, and there is no service, Kik will automatically inform you that the message has not been sent or the message is not able to be sent. The fourth characteristic is variability – otherwise known as existence of different, potentially infinite versions, (Manovich 32). This step would not be possible without modularity. This is the storage part of Kik, or any other new media device. Because there were other social networks such as MySpace, Facebook, and Tumblr, Kik was made so that there would only be messaging involved. Kik only involved messaging another person or other people. Lastly, the fifth characteristic – transcoding. According to Manovich, (45), “Transcoding is the ability for an object to combine “cultural layers” and “computer layers” to create a certain experience or mood for the user.” On Kik, the cultural layers are things such as what you want to input and people you want to add. The computer layers are the edits to things you want to input onto the object. Combining the two together creates the mood, as said, for the Kik user. Kik is a new media object that could be used effectively according to Manovich’s five principles.

New Media Objects: Lev Manovich – What is New Media?

There are various different examples of new media within the world today. These examples range from a variety of items found on the internet as well as in everyday life. For example, an item such as an alarm clock can be interpreted to be “new media” following the terms given out by Lev Manovich. This is because the terms used do not all have to be included in this one digital item. If it fulfills any few categories of “new media” then it can be considered to be new media (49). This follow me as problematic; however, irrelevant to the topic in question. Primarily, these terms are just guidelines in an attempt to define new media as he stated (49). What then is something that can be considered to be “new media”? A cell phone, a tablet, a desktop monitor, anything that seems to involve automation and numerical representation is adequate to be considered “new media”. A cell phone for example would fall under the terms, numerical representation, modularity, automation, variability, and perhaps transcoding. Simple things such as numerical representation and modularity can be seen immediately. Any cell phone is coded with a numerical system that follows algorithms in order to act or function. Modularity means that it includes multiple different objects or created from such objects (51). “Apps” and other parts of the cell phone is more than enough to fulfill this category. Furthermore, automation and variability are also very basic additions to cellular phones (even though Manovich calls them more middle ground (63)). Automation within cellular phones through the use of voice mails, alarms, etc. Variability can be seen through the various amounts of cell phones out there that serve the same purpose. It seems that variability is a must now in society not because of the need for it to be new media but rather for the necessity of being different. As for transcoding which has a broader definition involving culture (63) it can be seen throughout different cultures the need or lack of need for a cellular phone. Many cultures still use verbal communication passed on through other people as well as letters. In more modernized and less egalitarian cultures one can see the use of cellular phones more often not just serving as a method of communication but a way of organizing his/her own thoughts, reading emails, reading the news and also browsing the web. Although cellular phones are not as modern as they seem to be, they can still be considered new media as it’s technology develops. However, it seems that perhaps anything technological can be considered to be new media for as long as it fulfills one of the 5 or infinite requirements.