Both of this week’s readings were explaining the concept of new and old media. Though their ideas were a bit different and, I may say, contrasting.
Charles Acland in “Residual Media” talks about how we can always find the presence of the past in something new, very recent. The old is always being improved and rediscovered which, in a way, does not allow us to let it go. Found Magazine (foundmagazine.com) is one of the examples mentioned in the text. This website allows people to share their findings of old Polaroids, notes, audios and makes the website act almost as a mobile museum or virtual cabinet of curiosities bringing people this weird, prideful feeling of discovery and nostalgia. Bringing history to the second life can be explained by vintage things being a new mainstream trend. Vinyls and secondhand clothing are currently being woken up by the millennials for the second life by being sold at garage sales and secondary markets because they are seen as something trendy and fashionably old-fashioned. Marc Auge says that “History is on our heels, following us like our shadows” which means that we can never get rid of our past whether it is memories or technology. The old and the new are in this constant circulation mode. They complete each other and go hand to hand.
Tara Brabazon in “Dead media: Obsolescence and redundancy in media” shows a little bit different and a harsher view on old media and the old in general. The author believes that “Media has a cycle” and once it is forgotten, it is gone and nobody can bring it back for second life and to support her point, she came up with a pattern (“Excitement. Ownership. Decline. Denial. Decay. Disposal. Death”). There is no need to cling on old, aged things because there will always be something new and better to replace it. Thus as soon as something new comes out, technically it is already nearly dead because new updates, new versions are being processed. The article suggests an equation (“Old Media + New Media = Now Media”) which shows where and how the old media disappears and states the new media is useful and relevant to current days.
I prefer Charles Acland’s ideas rather than Tara Brabazons because I strongly agree that old and new media cannot go without one another and they definitely do not need to be divided. As the author says, we are like compasses which “find an orientation between the past and the present”. Some aspects from the past can be put aside for some time but it will definitely be rediscovered if not by us then by another generation.
*Acland, Charles. Residual Media, 2007. pp. xiii-xxiii
*Brabazon, Tara. “Dead media: Obsolescence and redundancy in media,” in First Monday, Volume 18, Number 7, July 2013