The Aesthetic of New Media and Communication Devices in Film and Television Language

The Aesthetic of New Media and Communication Devices in Film and Television Language

Alberto Hermida (University of Seville, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3119-8.ch001

Abstract

The establishment of mobile media and the development of Web 2.0, in parallel to the current omnipresence of user interfaces and the multiscreen landscapes, have led to the consolidation of changes in all spheres of life. Subsequently, and due to the hybridization and remediation processes inherent to the digital environment, the more conventional media have been considerably affected by these transformations in the media ecosystem. Accordingly, this chapter examines the influences and formal loans in film and television language by analyzing the aesthetic transfers occurring in fiction and non-fiction.
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In The Domains Of The Digital Environment

Over the past decades, many terms and approaches have been used to designate the hybridization capacity of the digital environment on the basis of assimilating and combining heterogeneous languages. This distinguishing trait, driving the convergence between different techniques and aesthetics, is doubtless particularly important for understanding the visual synergies discussed here. In point of fact, Le Grice (2001) already stressed the unique ability of the digital environment to blur technological boundaries using the metaphorical term “hydra-media” (p. 297): the branching of previous technological models into one sole integrating technology.

For Manovich (2013, p. 163), it is the progressive development of computers as metamedia that have allowed for the media hybridization defining their discursive essence. Specifically, through the “softwarization” of the biological meaning of the term “hybrid”, the author stress the way in which “media techniques start acting like species within a common ecology —in this case, a shared software environment. Once ‘released’ into this environment, they start interacting, mutating, and making hybrids” (p. 164). From a visual perspective, the aesthetics of hybridity are coupled with the emergence of a new language, a sort of “polygraphy” in which the discursive particularities of the different languages assimilated by digital technology are shared (Gómez Isla, 2005, pp. 710-711). In the process, moreover, Manovich (2013) underscores its capacity for “deep remixability”, namely, not only for remixing content coming from diverse media, “but also their fundamental techniques, working methods, and ways of representation and expression” (p. 268). Beyond mere addition, deep remixability triggers interactions between virtualized techniques, ultimately representing the aesthetics of contemporary audiovisual culture (p. 273).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Remediation: The representation of a medium in another, a phenomenon characteristic of the digital environment.

Hypermediacy: One of the two logics on which remediation is based, through which the medium itself is shown and displayed, its reality thus becoming apparent, in tension with the object of representation.

Deep Remixability: The capacity to remix media, content, techniques and forms of representation and expression in interaction inherent to the hybrid language representative of the digital age.

Desktop Cinema: A cinematographic practice that, in its formulation, assimilates the dynamics and appearance of a desktop computer, transferring the device’s interface to the screen.

Vertical Video: A representative filming/reproduction format of mobiles devices, above all smartphones.

Mise-en-interface: A term employed, in relation to desktop cinema, to designate the construction and visual deployment of content on screen.

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