The issue of how we create media and for what purposes seems to be one of the central questions that Faden tackles. Faden’s work is extremely provocative, and when he says, “Thus, this is the last essay I’ll ever write,” I am struck by his faith in media that seems to have an almost evangelical tone to it.
Yet, rather than being completely skeptical, I am pulled in by his conviction, especially after having remembered one of the questions in class during our image projects and over the weeks on whether or not digital and emergent media is inherently liberative. Whether it is the media stylo or critical media (why use these terms interchangeably, is it possible for them to have different registers?), the form of work that he describes is one where, “Citical media moves forward.” It is as though the media deployed has an almost a priori subversiveness. It seems to want to fight against traditional modes of scholarship. For Faden, media does seem to have this sort of effect, but he also calls attention to the importance of critical practice.
It is this critical practice that seems to limit off and balance the optimism of critical media and media stylos. This point in the essay was also comforting to me in that it deemphasized technical skills making them seem easier to learn and less insurmountable. Although Faden’s work does seem to reinforce a hierarchical model of creative over technical skills, the emphasis on the practice of technical skills alongside creative critical intervention is essential.
Critical practice in these media stylos seem to also open up potential spaces of presentation and shift the ways in which we can imagine and disseminate knowledge. With this new form we can move away from the essay that focuses on linear modes of thinking and towards mapped or networked knowledge.
At the same time, we must also think about the rhetoric system of these media stylos or critical media. Faden explains, “Thus, the successful media stylo creator must consider formal issues in addition to content” or what types of rhetorical techniques do we use to express or communicate information and what effects do these rhetorical strategies have?