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media art, I’m not sure if there really is a gap in language

speculative scenarios

or taxonomies. I think new media art has been approached from the same perspectives and criteria as traditional art. For example, Lev Manovich has analysed and talked about the 3D image in terms of traditional theories of perspective and constructing space within painting; in particular,

6 Lev Manovich (2003) New Media from Borges to HTML. In The New Media Reader, edited by Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. manovich_new_media.doc. Lev Manovich (1999) Avant-Garde as Software. In Ostranenie, edited by Stephen Kovats. Frankfurt and New York: Campus Verlag. http://www. software.doc.

7 See also the discussion related to the print article on, Talkback, talkback/id=70724.

he has applied constructivist techniques and the notion of montage to new media.6 New media art looks at many of the same themes and issues that have been discussed in art for centuries; to name a few: the construction of identity, representation, abstraction, realism, etc. All these issues are discussed in digital media and other arts, and there definitely is a continuation of the dialogue. I don’t think new media theorists or practitioners are particularly guilty of not creating bridges, but I see obstacles when it comes to having these considerations enter into contemporary art discourse. Claire Bishop’s article titled ‘The Digital Divide’ in Artforum (September 2012) is a good example of this rift.7 We are also facing the challenge that it becomes increasingly difficult to write about many older new media works, because they are vanishing. So it is important to document their history and, in order to do this, we need more momentum and funding, which in turns requires acceptance within the art world at large.

A response that is often heard and also surfaced during the discussions is that digital artists, although wanting to be included are at the same time cynical towards the museum as an organisation. Or, that digital artists are unwilling to make curatorial decisions such as naming the best digital artist or specifying important periods, events or people. Do you recognise this as well? Yes and no. I don’t think that artists using the digital medium are generally unwilling to write their own history in terms of outstanding events, works or people. They are definitely torn between a desire for integration into art world systems and a suspicion of these systems’ structures, which do not accommodate their work. Some time ago I wrote about new media being a form of institutional critique in

Speculative Scenarios — Edited by Annet Dekker  

There is a growing understanding of the use of technological tools for dissemination or mediation in the museum, but artistic experiences th...

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