Stepping back, we can see that Mechanisms is an important book, but not only for the obvious reasons. Yes, it offers the conclusive evidence, the smoking gun (guns since there are three of them), that we have need for talking about the materiality of digital texts. Yes, the book contributes to the growing body of scholarship on platform studies and introduces the study of forensics to digital media. But most importantly, it offers the philosophical and methodological framework needed to grow the field, for it helps to move the humanities toward a renaissance of close reading and textual study, revitalizing it and providing it a strong central practice. Mechanisms is a must read for all of us working in digital media who wonder where it is headed and where it needs to go.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Dene Grigar has a generous and very well done review of Mechanisms out in Hyperrhiz, as part of a special issue on New Media Subversions: