In a culture like ours, long accustomed to splitting and dividing all things as a means of control, it is sometimes a bit of a shock to be reminded that, in operational and practical fact, the medium is the message. This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium-that is, of any extension of ourselves-result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology. Thus, with automation, for example, the new patterns of human association tend to eliminate jobs, it is true. That is the negative result. Positively, automation creates roles for people, which is to say depth of involvement in their work and human association that our preceding mechanical technology had destroyed. Many people would be disposed to say that it was not the machine, but what one did with the machine, that was its meaning or message.
~ Marshall McLuhan, Educator, Philosopher, Scholar – Excerpt from Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man
This can be taken so many ways but I’m wondering what people do with the machine? If they can even begin to define their interactions with technology and where the meaning lies. Interesting question considering people automatically look at their mobile devices when they enter an elevator, or feel compelled to talk or text while driving, or feel lost when the power goes out. Again, is your interaction with the machine/technology the meaning or the message?
It was a wonderful weekend connecting with great minds, seeing new art, and meeting artists at the Keeping an Eye on Surveillance opening over the weekend. I took some pictures and will be posting very soon. For now, take a look at one of the artists from the show – Jim Campbell. Highly intelligent and well executed concept. More to come!
Volunteering at GAFFTA has been an amazing experience thus far. Learning how art and technology converge and intersect has really got me excited about the future of art. At the same time, I’m venturing back into the philosophy and critical theory I read in college as well as exploring new text.
With the latest UpgradeSF meeting and attending GAFFTA exhibitions and artists talks (some of the most amazing minds gather at these events, by the way), I’m excited to be in the midst of re-defining new media arts and witnessing creativity and innovation amongst scientists, engineers, interactive designers, programmers, and coders. Art has always been used as a way to educate people and reflect what is current in society and culture.
Yes, people, a drawing on an iPad, an imagined landscape that requires participants in an alternate reality or virtual world, or a logographic system of language can all be artwork (the artist of course dictates what is produced and whether or not it is artwork BUT this is a whole different discussion).
So, tell me, what is your definition of New Media art?