The Poetics of Digital Media
The Poetics of Digital Media

Media are poetic forces. They produce and reveal worlds, representing them to our senses and connecting them to our lives. While the poetic powers of media are perceptual, symbolic, social and technical, they are also profoundly moral and existential. They matter for how we reflect upon and act in a shared, everyday world of finite human existence.


The Poetics of Digital Media explores the poetic work of media in digital culture. Developing an argument through close readings of overlooked or denigrated media objects and practices – screenshots, tagging on social media, selfies, and more – the book reveals how media act as poetic infrastructures, continually populating the world with beings and scenarios to be encountered, while also creating poetic performances, making the world available for apprehension, recognition and reflection. Paul Frosh analyses how media shape the experiential structures of our lives, and enable their revelation through (sometimes shocking) moments of visibility and tangibility. Bringing us face to face with the conditions of our existence, he investigates how the 'given' world we inhabit is given through media.

The Poetics of Digital Media is important reading for students and scholars of media theory, philosophy of media, visual culture and media aesthetics.

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  • November 2018 (pb)
    November 2018 (hb)
  • 248 pages
  • 138 x 216 mm / 5 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $64.95
  • 9780745651316
  • Paperback $24.95
  • 9780745651323
  • Open eBook $24.95
  • 9781509532681
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments and Author's Note on the Cover Image  


Prologue: Monster's Inc. as a Poetic Manifesto


1. Introduction: Media Poetics


2. Composite: The Morality of Inattention in Pre-digital Media


3.  Screenshot: The 'Photographic' Witnessing of Digital Worlds


4. Tag: Naming Bodies and Incarnating Selves in Social Media


5. Selfie: The Digital Image as Gesture and Performance


6. Interface: Remediated Witnessing and Embodied Response


7. Conclusion: To Infinity and Beyond



About the Author

Paul Frosh is Professor of Communications and Journalism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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