When describing his five points of “New Media,” Lev Manovich explains how new media (in this case we are discussing digital media) carries an enormous amount of variability. In fact, he begins his fourth point with the statement, “A new media object is not something fixed once and for all but can exist in different, potentially infinite, versions.”
This, to me, can be related to a plethora of different items, but I want to relate it to something I am passionate about: music. More specifically, my favorite band, called Fun. (with a period). The band is composed of three members (from left to right in the picture): Nate Ruess, Andrew Dost, and Jack Antonoff. All three were members of their own bands, but then joined to form Fun. in 2009, when they released their first album, Aim and Ignite. The album received positive critical reviews but it did not sell a grand number of copies after releasing under a small label. 3 years later, after being picked up by Fueled by Ramen (a much larger label), the band released their second album Some Nights, which went platinum and included smash hits like Carry on, Some Nights, and the Grammy-winning song of the year, We Are Young. The band also received the Grammy for “Best New Artist” because of their wide range of sound.
Relating back to Manovich’s fourth point on variability, Fun.’s music can most certainly fit into that description, as digital media. Between the three members of the band, the different instruments Dost and Antonoff play, the limitless possibilities of lyrics Ruess can write, and the different ways he could sing them, there are literally an infinite number of combinations of songs to be made. When studying digital media, it is important to keep an open mind regarding what can fit into the category, and I personally think that digital humanities can use a little Fun.
- Jesse Haynes