SKETCHES FOR THE THEORY OF NEW MEDIA
Text topic: Context in Arts and Media
Text author: Мишко Шуваковић
The text “Sketches for the theory of new media” suggests open problems for eclectic discussion of new media in the field of contemporary aesthetics and art theory; it indicates the status of new media artwork and the replacement of the concept of artwork by artistic apparatus. More precisely, ‘new media’ denotes different artistic practices that are based on innovative working with artistic or extra-artistic media. ‘New-media artistic practice’ denotes introducing non-standard media into a standardized and customarily closed art discipline. For instance, new media may signify introducing photography, film or video into the respective contexts of painting, sculpture or music. ‘New media’ also denotes experimental investigations of the relations between various traditional and new media within traditionally defined mono-medium practices. Therefore, ‘new media’ likewise denotes all those intermedia and hybrid art practices that emerge in combinations of different kinds of media (the mixed media, multimedia, poly-media, extended media, art and technology, computer art, cyber art, tactical media, etc). Whereas the hybridization of media was important for the 1950s and ’60s neo-avant-garde practices, it was introduced into art education only in the seventies. ‘New media’ denotes precisely those art practices that are based on artwork-programming (computer art, digital art, cyber art). In parallel with ‘new media’, one may also use the term ‘meta-media’, as defined by Lev Manovich. Meta-media is identified with computer multimedia and digital communication networks. The new-media art is no longer interested in observing and presenting the outer world in a new way but in finding new ways to approach and use data previously accumulated in the media. Meta-media art and culture are based on the digital computer as a technology vital for processing, representing or simulating information, which means imitating and positing the sensory effects of all other media.