Media Taxonomy

This taxonomy begins with different medias as they are filtered through the five human
senses. Each media, though different methods, reaches the individual in different ways.
Different methods are aimed at different ways in which we are able to perceive
information. Very rarely, however, did this system remain “pure”: often a media entered
into the taxonomy of another media, and seldom did a medium engage only one of the

Within each subdivision of mode of communication come further possible divisions of genres, purpose (ie, to inform, to persuade, to entertain), society’s perception of quality (ie, low art versus high art), as well as influence of technology (certain mediums are just not possible without certain technology advances: we would not have printed word without a Guttenburg’s printing press, the internet without computers, et al.).

The media that did not seem to be as easily categorized and dissected was memory. As "the master media" it seemed that memory colored our perception of the other mediums,
filtering what is being communicated to us through our own history and experiences.

Deborah Wolfson
Winter 2003