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Re: <nettime> Political Work in the Aftermath of the New Media Arts Cris
Rama Hoetzlein on Sun, 17 May 2009 21:33:21 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Political Work in the Aftermath of the New Media Arts Crisis


i agree.. i'm new to nettime, but following it silently until now, and 
have been doing research in this area.
here are a few earlier notes i've made on this topic:
   http://www.rchoetzlein.com/theory/

in my view, the problem is that new media theory - the theory side 
anyway (not the art) - is largely defined by what we read from new media 
theorists, such as lev manovich and baudrillard. yet these philosophers 
do their primary work in "media theory" itself, that is the 
anthropological study of how media influences culture. thus, their 
central message is that media has meaning, and meaning changes culture:

"True, art is on the periphery for me. I don't really identify with it. 
I would even say that I have the same negative prejudice towards art 
that I do toward culture in general. My point of view is 
anthropological. From this perspective, art no longer seems to have a 
vital function; it is afflicted by the same fate that extinguishes 
value, by the same loss of transcendence."  - Jean Baudrillard

i do not deny their contributions to media theory of course, but despite 
the fact that they may be open about their field of study (as this quote 
shows), the new media arts has not moved to define itself as an "art 
form", but rather defines itself in terms of media. of course, as an 
artist, i disagree about defining media art in such post-modernist terms 
(that is, purely as an outgrowth of culture). contrast the view of art 
above with this one:

"The activity of art is based on the fact that one, receiving through 
his or her sense of hearing or sight another's expression of feeling, is 
capable of experiencing the emotion which moved the one who expressed 
it." - Leo Tolstoy

New media art should be defined from an art-philosophical perspective. 
In this view, meaning is present in all works, to varying degrees, 
regardless of how they might be appropriated by culture. At what time is 
history was art not appropriated by culture? None the less, people 
continued to create art. The process of art-making is one of creating 
meaning, and this relation between the artist and the work is not 
changed despite how the object is ultimately appreciated, used, or 
abused by culture.

-rama hoetzlein


carlos katastrofsky wrote:
 
> what i am always wondering about is why the media arts field is so
> concerned with its media. is dealing with "new media" or "old media"
> an excuse for making good or bad art? IMO defining art by its media
> is on the same level as defining art by its subject. not getting over
> these definitions will result in a ghetto-situation sooner or later.
> the problem -IMHO- is not that media art is not recognized by the fine
> art world but that the fine art world is dealing with other subjects.
> when was the last big exhibition dealing solely with "painting" or
> "sculpture" you've seen? ars electronica and the others are doing that
> every year: "new media art" with changing subtitles.
 <...>


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