Glad to see that the taxonomy of New Media is raising good questions.
In general, I see the idea of New Media as a contextual mnemonic that relates
to current explorations of technological media of various types. Of course,
there is a shelf life for this definition, as was noted with the video genres.
Also, the broad/indistinct scope of this term tries to encompass an incredibly
broad field, and almost fails to aptly describe anything about the gernes
immediately after its utterance, thus my reasoning for branding the concept as
a mnemonic, and little else. It's just easier than trying to delineate between
robotics, video, CD_ROM, generative, lasers, net art, ad infinitum.
Why must it be defined? Because the human mind likes to iconify. Curators
need to tell the patrons that "this" is the hot new thing. People like to be
able to hear that what they are seeing is "this", and not "that". Reduction
for comprehension and accessibility, simple as that, just like soundbites on
I ask what would be an alternative way of describing technological art? Would
we not define anything, and continue on a piece-by-piece fashion, eliminating
schools, movements, etc? I am not asking this on a confrontational level; I'm
more interested in perceptions of classification at the curatorial and artist
level as well as pondering what would be the methodological shifts necessary at
the instituional level that could change these practices.
Personally, I'm not sure about feasibility, etc.