Peter’s article, and our seminar discussion has brought to light the overall issue that surrounds the term “new media”, as well as society’s overall approach towards it. We are guilty of mystifying new technologies, while at the same time denouncing their historic implications. In our class activity, my group was given electricity as media to analyze, and through our discussion we came to the conclusion that electricity is no longer seen for its complex structure, and history. It has become naturalized to disconnect new media from electricity, even though electricity still plays such a vital role in technological production.
In a similar sense, I believe this farce of “new media”, can be applied to my area of interest surrounding the creative industries. The creative industries are often viewed as a hot “new” job market, as economists like Richard Florida, support the development of the creative class, and creative production. This concept of the “creative” is relatively recent, and is credited with the ability to bring together creative individuals who are able to work together towards overall successful cultural production. From an outsider’s perspective, creative industries are very mystified, and at the same time deeply desired. Similar to a 3D printer, no one can really tell you why the creative industries are so coveted, or how the operate, yet more and more individuals are navigating their career in this direction. The reality however is that the creative industries function as a rebranding of the cultural industries, into the realm of economic production. As scholar Lilly Kong points to, this evolution has changed society’s understanding of cultural production, but it has a deep rooted history.
In this week’s reading, Peters points to John Peters’ discussion of the novelty of new media. Here J. Peters discusses the reality that often, “new media” stem from the repurposing of old media within social conventions. Although not a media but an institution, the creative industries have become trivial through the new discourse that has surrounded them. The culture that once fuelled the creative ideology has become muddied and lost, replaced with false promises of undefined “success” fuelled by capitalism.