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Entanglements among Art Practices: New Media Art and New Media in Art

Faten Trabelsi*

Ministry of Higher Education, College of Applied Sciences, Ibri, Sultanate of Oman

*Corresponding Author:
Trabelsi F Lecturer
Ministry of Higher Education
College of Applied Sciences
Ibri, Sultanate of Oman
Tel: (00968) 98170416
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: March 07, 2017; Accepted Date: April 10, 2017; Published Date: April 20, 2017

Citation: Trabelsi F (2017) Entanglements among Art Practices: New Media Art and New Media in Art. Intel Prop Rights. 5: 187. doi: 10.4172/2375-4516.1000187

Copyright: © 2017 Trabelsi F. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Abstract

The artist’s works of art continued to be the mirror of society. In which theoretical and technological innovations have always been a source of inspiration to them. In this context, the innovated media forms have represented a major driving force for the artist’s creations going beyond the mere limits of time and space within which the artist’s first inspirations took shape. Thus in order to create his art works, the artist has executed several artistic practices based on which the artist used the different materials at his disposition in an appropriate way for the purpose of adapting his skills to the materials. Such new practices gave rise to some fundamental functional and structural changes in the artist’s works of art namely, changes in the way art are expressed and the forms thereby created. Subsequently, the complementarity between technology and art has enabled new media art in contemporary society to firmly establish the harmonious association of different tools. This paper will address the entanglements among art practices through the analysis of the thematic content and conceptual strategies of some art works of the some famous new media artists.

Keywords

Innovations; Fundamental; Time and space; Technological development

Methodology of the Research

For the development of my research, I opted to analyze some art works of the following artists: Cory Arcangel, Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, Mary Flanagan Andrew Gerngross, Ken Goldberg, Sanjay Krishnan, Fernanda Viegas, and Martin Wattenberg and John F Simon Jr. and Mark Tribe. Those artists are from different countries and ages (Tables 1, 2 and Figure 1).

intellectual-property-rights-materials

Figure 1: Mediums and materials used by the artists.

Artist name Art work title Materials Photo
Cory Arcangel Photoshop Gradient Demonstrations ComputerPhotoshopPrinter image
Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries Samsung, 2006 ComputerInternet SoundText image
Mary Flanagan,Andrew Gerngross Ineffable, 2001 Computercomputer applicationInternet SoundTextVideo image
Mary Flanagan Game board Pc laptopHeadphonesCorporate objects image
Ken Goldberg, Sanjay Krishnan, Fernanda Viegas, and Martin Wattenberg Bloom, 2013 SeismometerComputerSoftwareInternet image
John F. Simon Jr Crown, 2007, Software, LCD Screen, Formica, acrylic plastic,  gouache on paper lacquered wood image
Mark Tribe Mojave, 2014 ComputerSoftware Printer image

Table 1: Mediums used by the artists.

Artist name Art work title Mediums and Materials
Computer Internet computer applicationand Soft ware Sound Video Text LCD screen Others
Cory Arcangel Photoshop Gradient Demonstrations, 2011  √                    √
Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries Samsung, 2006      
Mary Flanagan,Andrew Gerngross Ineffable, 2001    
Mary Flanagan Game board        
Ken Goldberg, Sanjay Krishnan, Fernanda Viegas, and Martin Wattenberg                  
Bloom, 2013           
John F. Simon Jr Crown, 2007    
Mark Tribe Mojave, 2014            
Total 7 3 6 3 2 3 1 3

Table 2: Materials used by the artists.

New media art is an art form that involves art work created by some applications of new media and the accompanying technology for the expression of artistic ideas. Prominent instances of such new media forms are the following: digital art, animation, Internet art, interactive art, and video. To fully appreciate the import of the practice of art as influenced by materials provided as a result of the technological development of societies, it is adamant to understand the radical shift of perspective that has been brought about by the advent of computer technology in contemporary societies. The direct consequence of such a shift of perspective has been the evolvement of new media forms and the imminent revolution in art provided by the range of new tools and effective procedures and approaches. Artists and scholars have become interested in the design of innovative structures for the expression and representation of art [1].

Thus, in parallel with the major developments in the application of technology in the interest of art, contemporary societies have witnessed a similar major change in the artist’s creative expression of the work of art. Artists have become aware of new challenges in the use of new tools and new digital media and the way to confront them using the very techniques and approaches that have newly become at hand. The whole process of the development of the new techniques and approaches has gone hand in hand with the process of the creative ideas expressed by artists as a major source of inspiration for them. Therefore, we realize that the ever-evolving relationship between art, as an expression of the artist’s new ideology, and technology, as the ever-changing medium for that expression, in contemporary societies has become the focus of the complementary role played by both art and technology in the expression of new ideas and the creation of new worlds [2].

Through the analysis of the chart (p. 5), we remark that the computer is a common material in almost of the art works as well as software’s and computer applications, the internet, text and sound are also important components in the new media artwork. LCD screen, video and other materials are also essential for some installations.

We can deduce that new media art has employed the greatest possible advantages of the emerging technology for artistic intentions. Hence, it has changed the way people conceive of the internet, computer technology, and software applications by assigning new purposes to them. In this context, the artists M.T and R.J said: “Jodi.org changed the way many people think about internet, demonstrating that it didn’t just provide a new way to publish information, it could also be an art medium like oil painting, photography, or video.”1 Jodi.org is a new media art: web site as an artwork. “JODI Jodi (Joan Heemskerke and Dirk Paesmans, www.jodi.org) is the pioneering Belgian/Dutch duo of Net Art”2 (Table 3 and Figure 2).

Artist name Art work Art disciplines
Painting Photography Video Installation Others
Cory Arcangel imagePhotoshop Gradient Demonstrations, 2011      
Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries imageSamsung, 2006        
Mary Flanagan imageGame board        
Mary Flanagan,Andrew Gerngross image Ineffable, 2001      
Ken Goldberg, Sanjay Krishnan, Fernanda Viegas, and Martin Wattenberg imageBloom, 2013      
John F. Simon Jr imageCrown, 2007      
Mark Tribe image Mendocino, 2014        
Total 7 4 1 1 4 2

Table 3: Jodi.org is a new media art: web site as an artwork.

intellectual-property-rights-disciplines

Figure 2: Features of the classical art disciplines.

According to the chart above and the table on page 6, we can remark that the new media art works selected for this research exploited some features of the classical art disciplines. Moreover, some art works are multidisciplinary:

- Aspects of painting and installation existed in parallel within the media artwork of Cory Arcangel, Mary Flanagan and Andrew Gerngross, John F Simon Jr, Ken Goldberg, Sanjay Krishnan, Fernanda Viegas, and Martin Wattenberg.

- Aspects of photography were in the media artwork of Mark Tribe.

- The video was in the media artwork of Mary Flanagan.

- The new media artwork of Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries exploited the text.

Consequently, the question to be asked is the following: in what manner were these disciplines used within the new media art?

Art Disciplines and New Media Art

Painting and new media art

Aspects of painting existed differently in the new media art works analyzed. The classical materials and mediums of the painting (canvas, brushes, oil painting, watercolor etc.) were substituted in the art work of Cory Arcangel by computer, mouse, program: Photoshop and its tools, and Chromogenic print [3].

Therefore, the challenge of time and proficiency of the techniques of the painting changed with the shift in the techniques of expression. Accordingly, in few hours, the artist can create his artwork and within one click, he can print it. Nevertheless, the artist is now confronted with new problems related to the new technology. Professionalism requires him to be updated with knowledge of any new materials or programs, software tools and computer applications in order to ameliorate his art works and develop his ideology. Nowadays, technical skills are highly required for any professional artist (Figure 3).

intellectual-property-rights-gradient

Figure 3: Series Photoshop Gradient Demonstrations 2011, 84 × 66 inches, Chromogenic print.

-Cory Arcangel presented his “Series Photoshop Gradient Demonstrations 2011, 84 × 66 inches, Chromogenic print”3. This artwork was created with “Photoshop CS: 84 by 66 inches, 300 DPI, RGB, square pixels, default gradient “Blue, Red, Yellow”, mouse down y=6600 x=8600, mouse up y=6900 x=8600”4 (Figure 4).

intellectual-property-rights-infallible

Figure 4: Infallible.

Mary Flanagan and Andrew Gerngross collaborated to create “Infallible”. “Infallible is a computer application which interprets emails between two correspondents and creates audio and visual ‘maps’ of language from the words used”5 (Figure 5).

Ken Goldberg, Sanjay Krishnan, Fernanda Viegas, and Martin Wattenberg created Bloom in 2013. “Bloom is an internet-based Earthwork that transforms seismic data into an exuberant display of color”6.

Computer applications and internet are fundamentals, as well as software in the new media artwork of Mary Flanagan and Andrew Gerngross; and the new media artwork of Ken Goldberg and (Sanjay Krishnan, Fernanda Viegas, Martin Wattenberg, p. 11). The visual outcomes of both art works reflect some features of painting. In the first new media artwork, the visual outcomes are result of an interpretation of email correspondence between two senders. In the second one, visuals are result of the interpretation of seismic data [4].

intellectual-property-rights-transforms

Figure 5: Bloom is an internet-based Earthwork that transforms seismic data into an exuberant display of colour.

These two new media works of art question the materiality and immateriality of the subject matter and the art work itself. In this context, Paul Thomas concluded that “Media artists practicing since the seventies have innately critiqued the human relationship to technologies and the implied immateriality of the technological practice. This fortuitous relationship has maintained an ongoing interest in what constitutes materiality in art.”7

The two previous new media art works were made collaboratively in-group.

Mary Flanagan is an artist scientist and she collaborated with Andrew Gerngross, who is a software engineer and writer. “Ken Goldberg is an artist, inventor, and UC Berkeley Professor who explores Robots and other phenomena that disobey the dichotomies between digital/natural and art/science”.8 He collaborated with Sanjay Krishnan, an “electrical Engineering and Computer Science Ph.D. student”9, Fernanda Viegas, and Martin Wattenberg.

Through these examples, we can deduce that the new media art projects require technical and artistic skills so that different artists can professionally and effectively contribute to the project. “By working collaboratively, new media artists challenge the romantic notion of the artist as a solitary genius”10. The readymade of Marcel Duchamp and the minimalist sculpture of Donald Judd and Dan Favin challenged as well the role of the artist and the finality of the artwork [5].

The installation of John F Simon Jr. Crown, 2007 replaced the canvas with two vertical LCD screens in parallel including scope of moving circles: an animation created by some software designed by the artist himself. This new media art work was exhibited in the solo exhibition:” Digital painting, Louisiana Art and Science Museum, June 30- September 23, 2012”.11 The LCD screens were not used to show achievements but to generate the appearance of original works, with a new mode of existence.

- “John F Simon Jr. Crown, 2007, software, LCD screen, Formica, acrylic plastic, gouache on paper and lacquered wood, 48 × 48 × 14.5 in”12 (Figure 6).

intellectual-property-rights-screen

Figure 6: Software, LCD screen with 48 × 48 × 14.5 in.

Installation and new media art

“Installation is the noun from the verb to install, the functional movement of placing the work of art in the “neutral” void of gallery or museum”13. Installation exists in parallel with the aspects of painting in the media art of Mary Flanagan and Andrew Gerngross, John F Simon Jr. Ken Goldberg, Sanjay Krishnan, Fernanda Viegas, and Martin Wattenberg. In these works, the installation is not used for artistic manner but mostly, it was a result of process and techniques of arrangement of some materials and mediums in order to contribute to a new media artwork [6].

Photography and new media art

The photography of Mark Tribe as a noteworthy illustration of new media art works is not for documentary purposes. He explained the procedure of his creativity on his web site as follows: “these are not traditional photographs shot with lens-based cameras; they are data images produced by software, suggesting that the hovering lenses of unmanned devices produce images that can be as powerfully seductive as they are artificial.”14 Mark Tribe “Mendocino 108 × 96, UV print on Dibond, 2014”15 [7,8] (Figure 7).

intellectual-property-rights-print

Figure 7: Mendocino 108 × 96, UV print on Dibond, 2014.

Video and new media art

The involvement of video in new media art works is exemplified by such works as Mary Flanagan’s and A. Gerngross’s. In this context, the video is used to record the outcomes of artwork. However, for other media artists, (the) video became an essential medium of their artwork. “Nauman is a good example of an artist who turned to video as the only other medium of his artistic practice”16.

Conclusion

At the end of this research, we can deduce that new media art has employed the greatest possible advantages of the emerging technology for artistic intentions. Hence, it has changed the way people conceive of the internet, computer technology, and software applications by assigning new purposes to them. Thus, it questions the art types, the limits between the genre of arts, the definition of the space, the materiality and immateriality of the subject matter and the artwork itself.

1New Media Art, Mark Tribe, Reena Jana, UTA Grosenick (ED), Tashen 2006, p: 6.

2UBERMORGEN.COM, Domenico Quaranta, Inke Arns FPEditions 2009.

3http://www.coryarcangel.com/things-i-made/2011-113-photoshop-cs

4http://www.coryarcangel.com/things-i-made/2011-113-photoshop-cs

5http://maryflanagan.com/work/ineffable/

6http://goldberg.berkeley.edu/art/Bloom/

7Nanoart: The Immateriality of Art, Paul Thomas2013, Intellect Ltd, University of Chicago press, p. 20.

8Donald W. Reynolds, Brochure of Nevada museum 2013. Center of Visual Arts, E.L. Wiegand Gallery, Nevada.

9Donald W. Reynolds, Brochure of Nevada museum 2013. Center of Visual Arts, E.L. Wiegand Gallery, Nevada.

10New Media Art, Mark Tribe, Reena Jana, UTA Grosenick (ED), Tashen 2006, p: 13.

11http://www.numeral.com/LASM/J_Simon_Brochure.pdf

12http://www.numeral.com/LASM/LASM_Exhibit_Desc.pdf

13Space, Site, Intervention: Situating Installation Art, edited by Erika Suderburg, Copyright 2000 by Regents of the University of Minnesota p4.

14http://www.marktribe.net/plein-air/

15http://www.marktribe.net/

16New Media in Art, Michel Rush, New edition, Thames & Hudson world of art 2003, p: 107.

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