Publication details [#15022]

Zhang, Gehao. 2020. Page Metaphor and the Gesture of Using Hypertext. Chinese Journal of Journalism & Communication 42 (11) : 25–38. 14 pp.
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Article in journal
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Digital media are embedded into our daily life in various ways. While the dynamics of ubiquitous computation is unknown to most of us, the user-friendly interfaces make us take them for granted. The material metaphor as web page has affected human's cognition and embodiment. This black-box mechanism renders the invisible software technology and algorithm logic presented in the form of application functions. Remote non-instant file transfer is named electronic"mail", while document reading under hypertext transfer protocol is viewed as"page". These kinds of material metaphors and the digital materiality formation with their participation have subtly influenced human’s cognition and embodied behavior. Current discussions on the materiality of digital media encompass multiple approaches from political economy of communication, material culture and media archaeology, with both dialectical materialism and other different theories such as new materialism. But they are of respective emphases in the two dimensions of subject and object, and hardware and software, constituting the material turn in communication research. This paper explores how the metaphor of the West's text from the pre-digital age has influenced our understanding of hypertext documents at the beginning of the formation of the world wide web so as to apply material object analysis to the web page metaphor to exam the interaction between material metaphor and the gesture. It also discusses potencies of alternative approaches of Internet innovation with the daily technical practices from China.