What Is New Media Art? | Collections On QueenNoble
What is New Media Art?
New media art pertains to all forms of contemporary art made, edited or altered, or transformed using new methods of media technology. This includes digital art, interactive art, internet art, and virtual art, as well as works of art made of 3D printings, manipulated photographs, including video games, biotechnology, robotics and computer animation and many more ways to create an artwork by using technology.
The origins of new media art can be traced to the moving image inventions of the 19th century such as the phenakistiscope (1833), the praxinoscope (1877) and Eadweard Muybridge's zoopraxiscope (1879). From the 1900s through the 1960s, various forms of kinetic and light art, from Thomas Wilfred's 'Lumia' (1919) and 'Clavilux' light organs to Jean Tinguely's self-destructing sculpture Homage to New York (1960) can be seen as progenitors of new media art.
Steve Dixon in his book Digital Performance: New Technologies in Theatre, Dance and Performance Art argues that the early twentieth century avant-garde art movement Futurism was the birthplace of the merging of technology and performance art. Some early examples of performance artists who experimented with then state-of-the-art lighting, film, and projection include dancers Loïe Fuller and Valentine de Saint-Point. Cartoonist Winsor McCay performed in sync with an animated Gertie the Dinosaur on tour in 1914. By the 1920s many Cabaret acts began incorporating film projection into performances.
Robert Rauschenberg's piece Broadcast (1959), composed of three interactive re-tunable radios and a painting, is considered one of the first examples of interactive art. German artist Wolf Vostell experimented with television sets in his (1958) installation TV De-collages. Vostell's work influenced Nam June Paik, who created sculptural installations featuring hundreds of television sets that displayed distorted and abstract footage.
Beginning in Chicago during the 1970s, there was a surge of artists experimenting with video art and combining recent computer technology with their traditional mediums, including sculpture, photography, and graphic design. Many of the artists involved were grad students at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, including Kate Horsfield and Lyn Blumenthal, who co-founded the Video Data Bank in 1976. Another artists involved was Donna Cox, she collaborated with mathematician George Francis and computer scientist Ray Idaszak on the project Venus in Time which depicted mathematical data as 3D digital sculptures named for their similarities to paleolithic Venus statues. In 1982 artist Ellen Sandor and her team called (art)n Laboratory created the medium called PHSCologram, which stands for photography, holography, sculpture, and computer graphics. Her visualization of the AIDS virus was depicted on the cover of IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications in November 1988. At the University of Illinois in 1989, members of the Electronic Visualization Laboratory Carolina Cruz-Neira, Thomas DeFanti, and Daniel J. Sandin collaborated to create what is known as CAVE or Cave Automatic Virtual Environment an early virtual reality immersion using rear projection.
In 1983, Roy Ascott introduced the concept of "distributed authorship" in his worldwide telematic project La Plissure du Texte for Frank Popper's "Electra" at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. The development of computer graphics at the end of the 1980s and real time technologies in the 1990s combined with the spreading of the Web and the Internet favored the emergence of new and various forms of interactive art by Ken Feingold, Lynn Hershman Leeson, David Rokeby, Ken Rinaldo, Perry Hoberman, Tamas Waliczky; telematic art by Roy Ascott, Paul Sermon, Michael Bielický; Internet art by Vuk Ćosić, Jodi; virtual and immersive art by Jeffrey Shaw, Maurice Benayoun, Monika Fleischmann, and large scale urban installation by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. In Geneva, the Centre pour l'Image Contemporaine or CIC coproduced with Centre Georges Pompidou from Paris and the Museum Ludwig in Cologne the first internet video archive of new media art.
Influences on new media art have been the theories developed around interaction, hypertext, databases, and networks. Important thinkers in this regard have been Vannevar Bush and Theodor Nelson, whereas comparable ideas can be found in the literary works of Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, and Julio Cortázar ( Credit/Source: Wikipedia).
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