While last week I was focused on finding a practice, this week was all about research. And the number one thing I learnt, is that I know next to nothing about new media art.
New media arts is definitely a broad field. It encompasses anything from light art, to hypertext poetry, to digital art. The only uniting factor seems to be the way the art is either a reaction to, or works in relation to, new and developing technology.
The best way for me to research such a broad field was to look at the concepts and inspirations behind some of the artists that exemplified what it is I hope to explore. As well as the two artists I mentioned last week, I found other artists exploring ideas around the way we use the internet to communicate, and how this is effected by context. An artist I found really interesting is An Xiao, and in particular, her project ‘Morse Code Tweets’. The project converted tweets into morse code, in order to explore the ways that instantaneous communication technology has changed, and the way that effects how we use it. The artist herself explains the concept really well in the video below:
This type of approach is typical of new media artists, as it focuses more on the concept and context of a particular piece, with the final result being a reflection of that. This type of thinking became more popular in the 1960s, with the emergence of a movement towards more conceptual art.
While new media arts often follows developments in technology, it is also heavily concerned with what came before. Artists often use new technology to explore old technology (like An Xiao) or use their art to investigate technologies that were never popular.
In terms of my own art, going forward I think I need to do more research into the history of online methods of communication. I have done some research into this already, as well as research into internet linguistics, but in order to understand where my own project sits I need to better understand what came before.