Mark(ing It All)Down

My Thoughts on MarkDown thus far:

After having gone through both the McLuhan and Liu readings, there honestly is no better description of MarkDown that “the medium is the message.” That’s precisely what this program has made me realize: the medium is literally the message.

Not only does MarkDown place me in a more clearly-defined role as a creator, by allowing me the ability to construct my own messages as well as how these messages are presented, but it also elevates the concept of textual technology (i.e. the plain text commands scattered throughout this file) to a more conscious process of decision-making.

Contrary to applications and platforms like Microsoft Word, where the content usually comes first and the presentation/structure are secondary, MarkDown refuses to let its users consider the organization of text to be an afterthought. As a result, the commands and the reflection I’m currently typing exist on a level playing field and now contain a much more balanced distribution of importance.


  1. Evidently, MarkDown allows its users better control and flexibility in the organization and presentation of text
  2. Similarly, it acknowledges the intersection of technology and writing (or, perhaps, some form of personal narrative), thus these two realms are no longer at opposite ends of the spectrum
  3. Additionally, MarkDown emphasizes the significance and value of the creative process; it’s more than just flowery words and eloquent turns-of-phrase
  4. Moreover, it pushes users to consider their dual roles as both artist and audience, and challenges our reliance on pre-determined settings


  1. I guess I’d say the greatest limitation when it comes to using MarkDown would be my own competence; the input-output process comes in equal measure, so my attempts to expand my developing knowledge will only serve to benefit me
  2. Perhaps, some would argue that the merging of both the technical and literary realms would potentially make for a less personal experience, I’m sure there are plenty of people who’d much prefer to stick with applications like MS Word and devote more of their time and concentration to the words they’re typing up instead

Other associations that came to mind:

In response to the following quote by Liu:

Narratives of new media encounter are identity tales in which media at once projects and introjects “otherness.”

  • Marina Abramovič’s The Artist is Present marina

    • Back in 2010, Abramovič performed this at the Museum of Modern Art in New York
    • She sat in silence for 736.5 total hours, as the museum’s patrons took turns sitting across from her and maintaining eye contact
    • The title alone is already a direct reference to the act itself
    • By participating in the staredown session, the observer/witness is made an active role in the creation of Abramovič’s performance piece
    • The audience informs the artist, and vice-versa, and the cycle continues
    • This work, much like Abramovič’s other pieces, challenges preconceived notions of the artistic discipline and the artist-audience relationship (although, of course, performance art had certainly existed long before 2010)
    • In joining Abramovič at the chair opposite her, the guest is not only othering themselves from the observers around them, but they’re also othering Abramovič as an art installation and confronting what that entails
  • John Cage’s 4’33”

    • This piece was composed and first performed in 1952, in which the pianist sits in silence for the entire duration of the three musical movements
    • It still remains controversial to this day, as it continues to challenge our notions of what music is and can be
    • The title is a reference to the premiere performance, during which it took 4 minutes and 33 seconds to complete all three movements; it evolves depending on the length of the performance itself
    • The demonstration of this piece is then, in itself, its creation and its message
    • Like Abramovič’s piece, 4’33” is similarly informed by audience reaction, as their response is part of the performance as well
    • This piece also serves as a question regarding the musician’s role, in which they are building this piece but simultaneously othered by it as well