System for Universal Media Searching  Leonardo da Vinci  Perspective Unit

Understanding New Media: Augmented Knowledge And Culture
Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2006
689 pages.

A recent study claimed that there are 7 million new web pages being created daily, and that the Internet already has some 550 billion pages. There are 70 major languages online and it is predicted that Chinese will soon be the most-used language on the Internet. In 2000, as the so-called bust was about to hit, the Internet had 200 million users. By the end of 2005 there were over 1 billion fixed-line users, and predictions of a further billion within a decade.

The term "new media" is most often associated with the Internet and the phenomenal technological advances that have taken place in the past decades. In Understanding New Media: Augmented Knowledge and Culture, author Kim Veltman looks at these developments and identifies five types of consequences of the networked environment - technological, material, organizational, intellectual, and philosophical. Veltman reviews physical changes (e.g. development of size and speed in computing, wireless communication, agile manufacturing), and argues that the most profound potential changes lie in intellectual and philosophical domains. Unlike technological determinists, Veltman shows that there are differing and sometimes competing goals and visions for new media around the world. He reveals a big picture that is long term and which even the director of Google has claimed it will take at least three centuries to achieve.

Hence, the digital revolution is something fundamentally different from simply the introduction of yet another medium to our culture. Information Communication Technologies (ICT) are becoming Universal Convergent Technologies (UCT). This calls for us to rethink McLuhan's brilliant and provocative suggestion that every new medium simply uses the prior mode as its message. It marks a paradigm shift in our relation to all media, to all our senses, all our expressions. The new media are transforming our definitions of culture and knowledge and transcending barriers in ways that will have lasting implications for generations and centuries to come.

Paperback (May 2006)

Available from: University of Calgary Press
$ 69.95 Canadian (c. 50 Euro)

Available from:
$ 44.07 US (c. 34,6 Euro)

CD ROM Version 1.0 (30 July 2006)
15 Euro (plus shipping charges)

The CD ROM is considerably more than a digital copy of the printed book. It contains three additional versions: Hyper-linked, Hyper-illustrated and Omni-linked as demonstrations of new potentials in electronic publishing. An electronic version of abbreviations, technical terms, and references to basic dictionaries and encyclopedias are provided. In addition to the text, the CD ROM has 510 references to projects; lists 10,890 authors on new media and 9,587 publications. These are accessible via 2,416 subjects. The CD ROM uses SUMS (System for Universal Media Searching) to make these materials accessible through six questions; Who, What Where When, How and Why. 

The CD ROM is designed especially to provide persons without broadband connections to the Internet with basic information on new media developments. Those with fast Internet connections will be able to follow the links to related websites.
Produced by Alexander and Vasiliy Churanov and Associates.

Available From: V&A Associates (

Web Version (

  "SUMS corporation" 1996