Data is now infinitely manipulable and limitless. “Interactivity,” then, just as “interdisciplinary” are practically meaningless terms since digital technologies actually change the mode of interactivity altogether. The open system implies agency; following Duchamp, the production of work extends beyond formalism into “larger political, social, and spiritual values” (22).
However, there are constraints. The digital divide applies in terms of access, language, and cultural contexts, the last intersecting/reflecting with technological pace, commercial interests and affecting how an artists finds her voice. Institutionally, “media artists regard their art as a form of knowledge” (26) — and I daresay Castells (1989) would agree — and their hybrid, collaborative nature questions larger institutions and their practices.
In new media technologies, there are three narrative modes: (1) transcriptive (multiple layering for loops and reassembling of paths), recombinary (algorithm-controlled permutation strategies that shape the meaning of artistic works), and distributed (enabled by telematics). Also three are the number of groups of cultural producers using digital media: those using it to create traditional work, those using/producing/distributing in full, and those collaborating with other modes (e.g. video, performance) to make interdisciplinary works.