Digital change the form of media?

media_archaeology_detailTechnology not only pushing media industry develop further but also absorbed and restructure the old media, to fit in the contemporary standard media industry, especially the cinematographic technology makes audiences more get engaged in this urging mission in the visible the audiovisual landscape, towards to global market. For example, incorporating digital effects or the computer-generated graphics to address film in an animated narrative.

According to the one of a successful practitioner, George Lucas points out:

“Digital is like saying: are you going to use a Panavision or an Arriflex [camera]? Are you going to write with a pen or on your little laptop? I mean, it doesn’t change anything”.

(Elsaesser, 2016)

Hence, digital mainly is to promote the media to make it dynamic and readable to audiences, for example, in the perspective of the global market, digital can make media easily understand by the help of technology, for people from different countries have different cultures, ideologies and so on. In short, In the digital media, excavating the past to makes the audience more understand the present or even the future.

From in the 1980s and 1990s, media artists use themes, ideas and inspiration from past media too in order to insights into new and old media what the newness in “new media” means (Parikka, 2012).

Through the example of DamNation(2014), the documentary DamNation put rediscovered archival footage and photography, to present the young archaeological team against time to fix priceless Anasazi artefacts before the flooding of Glen Canyon in 1958. Combine with old media by using incorporates archival footage explores the sea change in big dams convey the awareness to audiences that future is related to our life and health. To strengthen and refresh the communication and memory from past. Renew itself be memorised in relation to the new media in the digital culture.

 Jing  Ding


Jussi Parikka (2012), “Introduction: Cartographies of the Old and the New”, in What is Media Archaeology? Cambridge: Polity, 1-18

Thomas Elsaesser (2016), “Early Film History and Multi-Media: An Archaeology of Possible Futures?”. In: Wendy Chun and Thomas Keenan eds., New Media, Old Media: A History and Theory Reader, New York: Routledge, 23-36.

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