Lev Manovich has come up with five principles to define the somewhat nebulous term “new media”. Numerical representation, modularity, automation, variability, and transcoding are the principles Manovich says comprise new media. His first principle, numerical representation, simply means that all new media is made up of data that can be expressed in the form of numbers. This qualifies any and all digital media as “new media”, since all digital and electronic media is numerical data that is converted by machines into the lights and sounds we ultimately perceive. Modularity means that the different elements of new media are independent of each other. This is true in that the elements are separable, i.e.; video can be separated from sound, but these elements are not necessarily “independent” per-say. The sound of a film can alter the meaning entirely, so while sound can be modularly swapped out and replaced within the same film, it is the combination that give them meaning. On the issue of automation, the idea that new media can be generated automatically, I have to somewhat (though not completely) disagree with Manovich. He is right in that new media can be generated and modified automatically, but this overlooks the fact that the automated process would still need to be created manually. Even if the automated process generated automated processes to generate an automated process to generate new media, somewhere at the beginning of that chain, the automation would need to be started manually. With the seemingly omnipotent and nebulous nature of the internet it’s often easy to forget that it had to have been invented by human hands and a network arduously established, especially for the new generation for whom the internet has always existed. That being said, a certain level of automation is a big part of new media creation and modification. Sometimes interesting new media can be created by generating random images from nothing. Variability is a big part of new media in my opinion, and it ties back into numerical representation and modularity. By changing the numbers or swapping out these modules we can create different iterations of new media. Some are subtle and often merely created in the process of getting to a final result, like rough cuts of a film, which are never meant to be published and are often deleted or changed entirely. Other times the variability is very deliberate, and it may be barely recognizable as the thing it originally was. The final principle Manovich mentions is transcoding, the way the computer affects how we express ourselves. Thanks to computers, the process of generating media has changed. Creativity is fundamentally the same process, but the way we go about finding inspiration for it and the way we go about expressing it now has several different avenues thanks to computing technology. Even old media can be affected by this; a visual artist or film maker or musician now has access to a practically unlimited archive of media at their disposal. Even if they don’t use the computer for the generation of their media, it can still be used for the consumption and distribution of it. Furthermore, transcoding can turn old media into new media through various means of recording. When we take a digital photo of a painting, it becomes numbers. It is altered in other ways too, depending of the lighting the photograph was taken in, the size, shape, and color tint of the display it is being showed on, etc. There are many pictures of the Mona Lisa online, and it’s sheer fame often leads to the misconception that it is larger than it really is.