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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., Paul, C., & Vesna, V., eds. (2011). Introduction. In _Context Providers: Conditions of Meaning in Media Arts_, M. Lovejoy, C. Paul, and V. Vesna, eds. Bristol and Chicago: intellect.

Context Providers explores the ways in which media art and culture — specifically digital and art/science collaborations–are challenging and changing the creative process and our ways of constructing meaning” (7).

Margot Lovejoy is Professor Emerita of Visual Arts at the State University of New York, Purchase, and author of Digital Currents: Art in the Electronic Age (2004). She’s received a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Arts International Grant in India, multiple NYSCA grants, NYFA’s Gregory Millard Fellowship, and the 2007 CAA Award for Distinguished Teaching of Art.

Christiane Paul is the Director of Media Studies Graduate Programs and Associate Professor of Media Studies at The New School, NY, and Adjunct Curator of New Media Arts at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She writes widely on new media arts and lectures internationally on art and technology.

Victoria Vesna is a media artist and Professor at the UCLA Department of Design | Media Arts and Director of the Art|Sci center at the School of the Arts and California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI).  As of 2011, she was Visiting Professor and Director of Research at Parsons, Media + Technology, the New School for Design in New York, and a senior researcher at IMéRA – Institut Méditerranéen de Recherches Avancées in Marseille and Artist in Residence at the Insitute of Advanced Studies, University of Bristol.

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