These questions regarding new media vs mainstream art have been rehearsed many times and have a number of answers. The argument for new media practice to be considered as part of mainstream art is compelling as ghettoisation does nobody favours and such reconciliation would help new media practice escapes its own discursive limitations (this assumes the art world is interested - it might not be, due to its own limitations).
However, the argument for sustaining difference is also compelling. Many new media artists have chosen to work with new media because of their disaffection or distress with how contemporary art is developed, produced, consumed and commodified. For many the constant reinvention and instability that are the characteristics of new media (where the means of making and dissemination are always under review, shifting with changing technical substrates and socio/conceptual frameworks) is the main attraction - and for these artists the discourses of the mainstream artworld are anathema. For some artists this shifting context is the point of their work, whilst for the artworld such a technical focus is of little interest. So, why bother trying to build bridges? Michael Naimark discusses this in depth in his essay 'First Word Art / Last Word Art' ( http://www.naimark.net/writing/firstword.html ) and I also consider it within the larger context of a discussion about the relationship between creative practice and practice based research in 'New Media: The First Word in Art' ( http://www.littlepig.org.uk/texts/practiceresearch.pdf ).
I've spent my life as an artist working with new media and have oscillated between these two positions. I'm no nearer knowing which is the better strategy but perhaps having the capacity to oscillate is the point - even if such a schizoid approach can be exhausting it can also be strangely liberating.
On 14 Jul 2012, at 12:04, Pau Waelder Laso wrote:
> Finally, and following your statement: "I'm pretty sure new media art will never achieve it as a whole, and under this definition", I think that this is quite possible and that we may start to think about getting rid of this label. The question "why do we call it new media art and not just art?" has come up frequently in talks with artists and in my opinion we are kind of trapped in this self-made ghetto that is at the same time quite comfortable because it creates a separate art world in which artists, curators, researchers, etc. can gain recognition quicker (within the boundaries of this particular art world).
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MSc by Research in Interdisciplinary Creative Practices