Tag Archives: authorship-abdication

Paul, C. (2007). The Myth of Immateriality: Presenting and Preserving New Media. In _Media Art Histories_, O. Grau, ed. Cambridge and London: The MIT Press.

New media art has increased and improved the conventions and possibilities for exchange, collaboration, and presentation. While many call it “immaterial,” it isn’t necessarily so. Yes, algorithms constitute, but hardware contains those algorithms. New media art encompasses several aspects: process, time (sometimes real-time), dynamism, participation, collaboration, performance. In addition, it is “modular, variable, generative, and customizable” (253).

Those are good things. Here are some challenges (that make as much sense in planning terms as they do in Paul’s museum-specific context). New media art takes time, so visitors rarely see the full work and rarely come in at the beginning, so the narrative, assuming there is one, is non-linear. In addition, museum struggle with new media art’s prescribed interactivity.

To make it work, artists, curators, and audiences share deep involvement from the project’s initiation. The artist (planner) becomes the curator, establishing parameters, a creative context, for audience agency and sometimes “public curation.” New media art can be in the gallery, locative, online, and “has the potential to broaden our understanding of artistic practice” (272).


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Filed under Annotated Bibliographies, Media Arts, Minor Field, Research Fields

Lovejoy, M. (2011). Defining Conditions for Digital Arts: Social Function, Authorship, and Audience. In _Context Providers_, M. Lovejoy, C. Paul, and V. Vesna, eds. Bristol and Chicago: intellect. Bristol and Chicago: intellect.

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.

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Filed under Annotated Bibliographies, Media Arts, Minor Field, Research Fields