New Media

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Nov 14, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

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NEW MEDIA








MANDY WARDROPE BAD 2


TUTOR: PAUL THOMPSON
















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INTRODUCTION



The

objective of this report is to provide

a
n

outline of
what is
known as
‘New Media’. In the report I will
offer a general
description of

the varying practices which
fall within and are
accepted as part of
a
‘new media’

categorisation
.

Each
chapter will also

include examples
of how these new media
tools are commonly

applied and utilised.

The chapters
include;

Multimedia, Digital Art, New Media itself, Net Ar
t,
the term ‘Digital as Medium’;

a
chapter relating to themes in
digital art and

new media and finally;

Future Trends

which
concludes on these findings.

















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1.
MULTI
MEDIA



The term multimedia is an umbrella term applied to a



of device
s
primarily capable of combining audio and visual
information f
or the

purpose of communication. The
capabilit
ies of multimedia devices

can and most often do
extend into text, speech and video.

‘Multimedia’ as a term is
most

often
applied
to comput
er technology

but

also

encompasses

such

items as
Digital Video Recorders, games
consoles
and
interactive television
.

I
n recent years the term
has been
used

to describe almost any

hardware or software
technology which p
roduces

a combination of

sound
and
images.



M
ultimedia devices are
now
widely
utilised
within the
realms of

entertainment, advertising,

artistic practice

a
nd education.

A recent example of art created using
multimedia is currently being exhibited at the Baltic
Centre for Contemporary Art. South African artist
C
a
ndice Breitz has created a cultural study based work
which examines the relationship between moder
n day
icons and their fans. The artist enlisted the help of 40
dedicated John Lennon fans to sing their way through
the Plastic Ono Band album
whilst the artist recorded
them.
Breitz
selected 25 recordings which were then
projected from 42inch plasma scree
ns placed spiralling
upwards on the stairwell of the Baltic centre.
[1]
Commentators from the fans who took part have

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expressed an almost religious quality to the finished
piece which projects all 25 individual fans in unison.

























Candice Breitz at work and one of the participating fans [above]


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2.
DIGITAL ART



Technically speaking, Digital Art is art which has been
created

in digital form
at

using
one or more of many
techniques available through computer technology
.

This
may include
vector drawing programmes which create a
hard edged graphic
style of work using shapes and outlines
which can be filled with colour or fractal art
,

again created
entirely within the computer

using mathematical
manipulations.



M
any artists working in the digital art field
combine
photographic images or images crea
ted through the use of
traditional media, painting and sculpture for instance, which
they then manipulate via computer technology. For this
reason
a degree of debate exist
s

around the issue of what
constitutes digital art.
Some argue that images which have

been created using
traditional
forms of

media and simply
scanned into a computer
or images which have
been subject
to slight

modifi
cation

using
similar c
omputer technology are
not true
digital art.

[2]




To the right

[3],

is an example of ‘digital
art’

creating using both trad
i
tion
a
l
a
nd
digital techniques. The Italian artist,
Daniel Cascone
, combines

traditional

acr
ylics

painting and ink pens with


Daniel Cascone, The Day Dreamer


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digital

photography

and computer software programmes

to
create her artwork.
For the artist, arguably, the

ability to mix
mediums in this way,
adds a new dimension through which
traditional
mediums such as painting can be explored

and
expanded.

Some might also argue that
artist
ic individuality
is not lost
whilst using computer technology

by
combining
both tech
niques.
























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3.
NEW MEDIA


‘New M
edia’ is
the
term
which
describe
s varying methods of
communication
,
Webs
i
tes for example,
w
hich are
electronically enabled via comp
uter technology.

The term
denotes the contrast with
traditional
‘old media’
methods of
communication such as

the

printed
newspaper
. N
ew media
is considered to
hold

the
advantage
over ‘old media’
in
allow
ing

a level of interaction between
creator and viewer
in
the form of a two
-
way dialogue
.



There are
several
vehicles
of
electronic communication
fall
ing

within the
new media

category including;

Webs
ites,
Blogs
,

[
this

name derives from the original
name
Web Log],
E
-
Mail
,

Virtual Reality
, CD and DVD devices
, interactive
games

and

mobile telephone
s

capable of gathering and
sending information via ‘Bluetooth’
.

[4
]



The Blog
,

or Web Log
,

is a tool which
functions as an on
-
line
journal or diary
,

often u
sed as a means of commentary
on

the participating viewers’ personal interests
.

Typically a
Blog
will be

made up

of text and photographs or images
and
may contain links to other Blogs, Web pages and
other
related subjects.
A Blog

clearly illustrate
s the con
cept of
interaction via

new media
as it allows comments from

other
users to be ‘posted’ and
a
ccessed easily. Again,

a
Blog can be
utilised by the artist to promote examples of their work.
Overleaf
is an image taken from a

typical Blog
.



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I
mage from:
www.wordpress.com
. [ Mandys’ Blog]







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4
. NET ART



Net Art is, as the name suggests, art which is created o
n the
internet. It has been defined by
Steve Deitz, former curator
of the Walker Arts Centre

in Minneapolis, as “
art projects for
which

the Net is both a sufficient and necessary condition of
viewing/expressing/participating.” [5]




Artistic web pa
ges and online
video and audio broadcast

can
both be described as
Net Art, and
a
lthough it is not a
lways
the case, Net Art is often interactive

and requires
participation on the part of the viewer
.
Some of

the
advantages of
Net Art
is
in providing
a vehicle through
which the individual can share and communicate their art to
a potentially vast audience

a
nd in the ability to be ‘in touch’
with an online community of like
-
minded people.


A more negative view is held by some critics who suggest
that

the number of people who can access the technological
tools

used to create net art, artists and non
-
artists al
ike,
demean

its
status
as

technological ‘entertainment’ rather
than a true art form
.

[6]



Overleaf
is printed an image taken from an interactive net
art piece
, ‘The Dumpster’, 2006,

commissioned by the TATE

O
nline

Gallery in
collaboration with the Whitne
y Museum

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of American Art


by Golan Lavin, Kamal Nigam and
Jonathan Feinberg. The work is an ‘information
visualisation’
based on
the personal lives of American
Teenagers derived from extracts

collated
from Web Logs,
[Blogs]
.





















Image from TATE ONLINE, NET ART









Page from ‘The Dumpster’


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5. DIGITAL AS MEDIUM



The term ‘Digital as Medium’ infers

the use of
digital
media
alone

for the purpose of

cr
eating

art

by utilising and
explo
ring the medium
’s capabilities
. Generally
digital
medium is characterised by being
interactive

or
participatory.


Predominantly

computers and a

host of software
programmes

form the basis of most digital art works but
there are many other devices which can

also be employed,
including digital cameras, so
und devices and
video
equipment.

Generally speaking digital art works can fall into
one of several categories: Installation; Film, Video and
Animation; Internet and Software Art; Virtual Reality
and
Musical E
nvironments, although there can be a degree of
overlap between any of these sub
-
categories.

[7
]



‘Virtual Reality’ defined as “
A technology that is computer
generated and allows the user to interact with data that
gives the appearance of a three
-
dimensio
nal environment.
The user can "enter" and "navigate" the "3
-
D world"
portrayed as graphic images and change viewpoint and
interact with object in that world as if "inside" that world.

[8
]

,

can

also

be

utilized for artistic purposes.

The politically
motiv
ated

work

Beyond Manzanar


by Tamiko Thiel and
Zara Houshmand,
[

2000
]
, all
ows the viewer to enter a

3D

‘world’ of virtual landscapes juxtaposed between paradise

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and wasteland, which references the historical plight of two
groups of American immigrants.

[
This particular example is
of a Virtual Reality environment which is not fully
‘immersive’.]











Images from Beyond Manzanar Virtual Reality Installation,
http://mission
-
base.com/anzanar/911html









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6. THEMES IN DIGITAL ART
/
NEW MEDIA



Theme
s in digital art tend to be
predominantly
medium
-
specific
,

encompass
ing such areas
as
telerobotics and telepresence; Artificial Intelligence
[
or AI
]
; database aesthetics
, data visualisation

and
,
themes linked to ‘body and identity’.

With the
development of

the first digital computer, ENIAC,
[The Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer]
the American mathematician Norbert We
iner coined
the phrase ‘cybernetics’ for the study of comparative
systems of communication and control, i.e. the
computer and the hu
man brain. This theme has
continued to be a central element in the work of
digital artists today.
Weiners ideas were furthered by
J.C.R. Licklider in his
1960
paper
,

‘Man
-
Computer
Sybiosis’. This
‘symbiosis’
according to Licklider
should
enable
the
compute
r to
implement

formulative

thinking
and assist man in complex

decision making. [9]



To a degree, this
idea of formulative thinking
is
ope
rative in ‘data visualisations’, wherein, it is

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possible to experiment with a wide range of visual
models whether it
be in the field of science, statistics
or digital art.
With the use of digital technology such
r
epresentation
s can

now take
on a

dynamic and
memorable

form
.
Below is
an example of a

data
visualisati
on image produced by ‘Starlight
Visual
Information Technol
ogies’ which depicts the top

100
ranked
pages of
web
sites containing the phrase
‘information visualisations’.

















Image from: http://starlight.pnl.gov/




The Starlight Information Visualization System graphically depicts information, dramat
ically



accelerating and improving human ability to derive meaningful knowledge from increasingly



large and complex information resources.





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7.

FUTURE TRENDS


In historical terms digital/new media art is still in its
infancy, so much so th
at new terminol
ogies to
describe and categorise

it are still appearing. Just as
we have come to accept Mareys’
experiment
ations

with cinematographic technology

and

Marcel
Duchamps’ conceptual ideas as part of the
past that has
influenced
our world, we mus
t cont
inue
to adapt with the

digital technologies that are ‘new’ to
us now.

As we begin to accept the experience of
user
interfaces connecting us through

the World Wide
Web as
a commonplace method

of communication
and learning
,

or
virtual reality installat
ions as ‘art’ our
whole perception and definition of what art is may
also change.
It already appears clear that digital
technology is the ‘norm’ for younger generations who
assume that everyone should have a PC, a mobile
phone and an MP3 player. The very l
anguage that
this younger generation use to communicate via
digital devices is almost indiscernible to many people
over 40.

As impressive as these technologies are, in
terms of art can a virtual environment experience or a

3D sculpture which exist only in

a virtual
environment ever take the
place of the canvas, the

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pencil or the sculptors tools?
Reading through ‘An
Incomplete Manifesto For Growth’ by Bruce Mau, I
came across a statement which I have recalled many
times
[
whilst hanging over a stubborn compu
ter
]

that
states: “Think with your mind. Forget technology.
Creativity is not device dependent.”

From a personal
viewpoint this statement rings true for you cannot
always rely on technology. I believe that the nature of
man is inherently creative but he al
so requires the
materiality of traditional artistic

expression
.

That
being said, it is impossible to deny that digital
technology has added another dimension, which
holds yet undiscovered possibilities. Perhaps it will
be many more years before the virtual

realm of
creativity can be fully accepted in our psyche as true
art?














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WEB:


[1
]


Baltic Centre for Contemporary

Arts,


http://www.balticmill.com/whatsOn/present/ExhibitionDetail.php?


[2]

Wikipedia contributers,

Digital Art,

October 2006
,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_art



[3]
http://www.shadowmechanics.com/?s=links


[4]
http://en.wikipedia.org/i/New_media


[5]

Wikipedi
a Contributers, Net Art, October2006.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_art#History_and_cont


[8]
www.cybernet1.com/hcs/glossary.htm[9
]




[10] An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth, [1998], Bruce Mau,


http//www.brcemaudesign.com/manifesto.html


BOOKS


[6
]
Rush,

M
.

[
1999], New Media in

Late 20
th

Century Art.


2nd Edition,
London:

Th
a
mes and Hudson


[7]
Christiane, P. [2003], Digital Art. 1
st

Edition, London: Thames


and Hudson


[9]
Christiane,P [2003], Digital art. 1
st

Edition, London: Thames


and Hudson


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