On the Notion of Media

For my purposes, media is not the plural of medium. Media is integrally plural. It represents a multiplicity and an heterogeneity that cannot be resolved to a determinate set.

As the etymology suggests, media is concerned with the in-between. It suggests a condition that is at once active and passive, associative and disruptive, supplementary and constitutive.

Media is certainly not synonymous with technology. The conventional emphasis on technology – video, photography, computation, etc. – distracts from more fundamental processes of mediation.

Media resists the self-identity of any medium. It undermines conceptions of medium specificity.

Media highlights dimensions of ambivalence, subterfuge and indirection. It suggests the indeterminate relation between being and non-being, communication and estrangement, revelation and veiling.

Media does not take shape as a field, as a species of practice, as a discipline.

Media can sit anywhere and belongs nowhere.

Media cannot allow itself to be media.

Media cannot be itself.

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