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Crafting tools such as paint brushes can be used as data storage equipment. The paint and canvas can be used as data storage media

In terms of New Media, the concept of medium is the material in which content or meaning of different modes are transmitted. According to "Multimodal Discourse", Gunther Kress and Theo Van Leeuwen define Medium (the plural of media) as the materials used to create meaning. This includes both the cultural tools (paper, paint, computers) and the natural (vocal chords).[1]

Cultural Tools Edit

Cultural tools are those resources that are created and understood within the culture as a means of producing content accessible to others. The medium therefore falls into the cultural discourse into which it was created.

Medium are the tools used to create media, but also the material in which the content is encoded. A simple example would be the use of both paper and pen to produce a written document.

Medium are also sensory, and different forms of media are perceived via different senses. A photograph is visual while a statue may be both visual and tactile.[2] Digitized medium, therefore lose certain sensory perceptions as they are encoded and decoded (a painting may lose the aspect of texture from paint on canvas, or a video of a symphony loses its grandeur when reduced to a small video screen).

Storage Devices Edit

A data storage device is a device for recording (storing) information (data.) A device that only holds information is a recording medium. Devices that process information (data storage equipment) may either access a separate portable (removable) recording medium or a permanent component to store and retrieve information.

Recording can be done using virtually any form of energy. Energy in this case can be human, in the case of writing (on paper), speaking (to a transcriber) or electrical as with typing into a computer, or recording moving images with a video camera. A storage device may hold information, process information, or both. Such devices include digital media players, video recorders or cameras.

Digitization of Medium Edit

With digitization the computer becomes a means of displaying information, and as such becomes the medium through which that information is processed. In the case of art, or any other visually specific content, the computer screen would be seen as the medium in which the image is displayed for the viewer, however the computer as a whole has processed the information from digital form to a visual display.

Digitization of different mediums into a computerized digital format is an example of remediation where one type of media has been incorporated into another. Digitization takes the semiotic meaning from one form of media and changes it into an electronic form. The meaning stays the same, but the medium through which it is presented is radically different from it's original production.


  1. Kress, Gunther & Van Leeuwen, Theo, "Multimodal Discourse - The Modes and Media of Contermporary Communication." p. 22
  2. Kress, Gunther & Van Leeuwen, Theo, "Multimodal Discourse - The Modes and Media of Contermporary Communication." p. 66
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