It is as though stars, in their everyday lives … are condemned to ape their cinema life.Edgar Morin1It seems doubtful that there was ever a time when users of analogue technology were passive. In any case, such an approach to audiences is made obsolete by new technology, users of which are now encouraged to be contributors in an inclusive discourse: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube demand participation. Their conceptual embrace of digital affordance is intensified by the portability of increasingly pervasive media devices that inscribe themselves into human and non-human networks by wire-lessly networking with hubs and information systems. Furthermore, the transition from analogue to digital culture has been accompanied by a normative shift from determinism to constructivism, as textual structures have articulated: in the twilight of analogue culture, narratives of unstoppable machines (i.e. The Terminator, 1984) gave way to reassuring myths of mechanical saviours, programmed to privilege human agency (i.e. Terminator 2, 1991). Such texts point to a perennial feature of technological change, in which producer–consumer relations become embedded in the assemblage.
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