Volume 1, 2008
Aesthetics and Philosophy of Arts
Media art can be conceived as laboratory, at the edges of art. These technological experiments give priority to innovation and exploration by means of new media. In metaphorical terms, we could say that the emphasis is on creating new languages that allow us, in a later phase, to write prose or poetry with it.
In my paper, I discuss why the common view on media art falls short. Media art is not just about mixing media but rather about mixing art. Several different challenges are at stake that beget a hybrid post-medium condition. (1) The artistic practice of media art often concerns exercises in remediation (i.e. resonating visual narratives of old media in new media). Here, we encounter a repetition of historical themes and re-makes or re-enactments of classical art pieces. These experiments thus mix the history of art. (2) Media art is often also about immersion (i.e. interactively enclosing the spectactor in a audiovisual or virtual realm). In experiments with CAVE-installations or 3D-cinema using digital goggles, for instance, we notice a combination of an artistic interest with a phenomenological
and a scientific one (cf. so-called postfenomenology, robotics, experimental psychology). Hence, these experiments mix art with science. (3) Media art is not just a friction between art an technoscience. It takes place at a junction between art, creative industry, design, sociology and politics. Concerning the latter, I will
discuss the culture-critical potential of i.e. hacktivism, marx 2.0 and bio-performances like Stelarc and Orlan. (4) Media art is not simply a genre that aims for recognition as a part of or a completion of fine art. While democratizing new media technology, it actually blurs the idea of genre, altering and opening up the very canon of fine art, music art, live art, performance art, video art and cinema.