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.

<i>The Poetics of Digital Media</i> explores the poetic work of media in digital culture. Developing an argument through close readings of overlooked or denigrated media objects – screenshots, tagging, selfies and more – the book reveals how media shape the taken-for-granted structures of our lives, and how they disclose our world through sudden moments of visibility and tangibility. Bringing us face to face with the conditions of our existence, it investigates how the ‘given’ world we inhabit is given through media.

This book is important reading for students and scholars of media theory, philosophy of media, visual culture and media aesthetics.

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  • January 2019
  • 224 pages
  • 140 x 219 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $64.95
  • 9780745651316
  • Paperback $24.95
  • 9780745651323
  • Open eBook $19.99
  • 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
  • References
About the Author

Paul Frosh is Professor of Communication at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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The Poetics of Digital Media is a ground-breaking contribution to the study of digital media as a technological, social and symbolic environment. It will be a key point of reference in the study of digital culture for years to come.'
Lilie Chouliaraki, London School of Economics and Political Science

‘When I find myself puzzled by some weird thing in digital visual culture, Paul Frosh is my go-to thinker. This book counters the wide suspicion that poetics is formalist or frivolous and shows how the deepest questions of justice, ethics and the public world are poetic ones. It is a guide for the perplexed in these digital times.’
John Durham Peters, Yale University

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