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The MIT Press, self-interview


Q.: Your book [The Language of New Media] contains no illustrations of new media art, software interfaces or computer technology; instead, you begin with a portfolio of still images from a famous Russian avant-garde film Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929). Why?

A.: This was a deliberate decision. I wanted to stress historical continuities between new and old media, to show how many principles of new media can be already found in older media arts such as cinema. In addition, I wanted to foreground the avant-garde potential of new media, its promise to create new cultural forms and to re-define existing ones. So this is why I chosen not just any old media artifact but this famous avant-garde Russian film. I begin the book with a collection of stills from the film, which act as a summary of the book’s main ideas. If I am to make a sub-title for the book, it would be "Everything you wanted to know about new media but were afraid to ask Dziga Vertov.”

2001  Interview