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Conditions of Mediation

Phenomenological Perspectives on Media

Tim Markham and Scott Rodgers

Phenomenology has become one of the most important philosophical traditions underpinning recent theory and research on new media, whether or not the word is used explicitly. Conditions of Mediation brings together, for the first time in a single publication, the diversity of phenomenological media research—from social platforms and wearable media to diasporic identity formation and the ethics of consumer technologies.

The new orthodoxy in media studies emphasizes the experience of media—whether as forms, texts, technics or protocols—marking a departure from traditional approaches preoccupied with media content or its structural contexts. But phenomenologically informed approaches go beyond merely asking what people do with media. They ask a more profound question: what constitutes the conditions of mediated experience in the first place?

Beginning with an accessible introduction, this book invites readers to explore a wide range of phenomenological perspectives on media via two critical dialogues involving key thinkers alongside a series of theoretically sophisticated and empirically grounded chapters. In so doing, interdisciplinary media studies is brought into conversation with the work of philosophers such as Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, as well as phenomenologically-inspired thinkers such as Erving Goffman, Pierre Bourdieu, Tim Ingold, Henri Lefebvre, Friedrich Kittler, Marshall McLuhan and Bernard Stiegler.

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Digital Orientations: Movement, Dwelling, and Media Use (Shaun Moores)

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Digital Orientations

Movement, Dwelling, and Media Use

Shaun Moores

I’ll begin with a description of one of the things that I do routinely most mornings—opening my laptop computer to check my email inbox. Gently applying pressure to the base of the machine with the thumb of my right hand, my left-hand thumb lifts the lid. My right-hand index finger then slides from right to left across the touch-pad, moving the cursor until it’s located over an area in the center of the screen marked “Locked.” Here I tap the left side of the touch-pad to reveal my desktop display or the document that I was last working on. The same finger then slides downwards on the touch-pad until the cursor lies over the Internet search symbol that appears on the bar across the bottom of my screen, before tapping again to open my search page. Next, the right-hand index finger slides upwards to position the cursor over a “Bookmark” link to the web app for my university’s email system. Tapping here brings up another page with a link that reads “Login to Staff Email.” Now I slide and tap a further time on the touch-pad to bring up the page on which I’m required to give my user name and password. These are then typed in at the appropriate on-screen locations—at one point, with a rapid sliding and tapping of the right-hand index finger to shift between those locations,...

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