Digital Media Can Be “Fun.” – Jesse Haynes

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 threFUN-2013-GRAMMYSe 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

3 thoughts on “Digital Media Can Be “Fun.” – Jesse Haynes

  1. I totally agree with Lev Manovich saying that “A new media object is not something fixed once and for all but can exist in different, potentially infinite, versions,” and I love how Jesse picked this quote, as it really stands out to me, too.

    I took this quote and thought about reading, specifically Nicholas Sparks. When I read Sparks’ book “The Last Song,” I had a totally different idea in my head than when I watched the movie. Yes, they had the same synopsis, but the character portrayal made me dislike different characters. For a quick example, in the book I didn’t like Ronnie’s brother very much, but in the movie I didn’t like Ronnie’s mom at all.

    The example of “The Last Song,” relates to Manovich’s work by proving that this form of media (a novel and a movie) can exist in different ways. Jesse said that Fun. can exist in different ways, and I agree with that, because I think that music and writing is different for each person. A person connects to something he/she is familiar with when listening to music, reading a book, or watching a movie, which is why I think it is potentially infinite.

    Each audience member takes something different when reading or watching a movie, and so I think that media (especially novels, movies, and songs) can live infinitely.

  2. Both of these interpretations of Manovich’s work are very interesting to me. Jesse your explanation of a music groups ability to be fluid in their music was an especially good way to explain how one entity, Fun., is not fixed even within one form of media. Many artists move within their genre and even into new genres. Katherine your interpretation then brilliantly plays off of Jesse’s by showing how one entity, “The Last Song”, is not fixed within many forms of media. Characters are changed from book to movie and although it is the same story it can leave you feeling differently depending on the medium.

  3. I am another Group C member that is commenting on this because not all posts have a Group B comment on them so I am doubling up. Jesse your interpretation of music being digital media is something I hadn’t thought of. I like how you say there is limitless combinations of genres and instruments a band can form together to make music because it is an example of how everyone could see the different media in their own way to make it unique to themselves. I find Katherine’s application of the same idea to books very helpful. Although a specific person wrote the book from their thoughts everyone is going to read it different. I think both of you were getting at the point of media is in the eye of the beholder. No matter how the author intends it to be everyone is going to react in their own personal way.

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