1. A museum of new media art should allow visitors to engage and critically think.
  2. A museum of new media art should be open to new and innovative ideas.
  3. A museum of new media art should acknowledge technology’s part in the piece.
  4. A museum of new media art should be open to all types of interpretation.
  5. A museum of new media art should also be in online form. 
  6. A museum of new media art should be interactive for visitors to experience and/or contribute to.
  7. A museum of new media art should include digital archive.
  8. A museum of new media art should be consisted of individual rooms to ensure that the artwork is displayed at it’s finest, without interruption of it’s interaction.
  9. A museum of new media art should not include information about the art pieces, until the end so that people can try to figure out what it is through interaction, which is the purpose of new media art.
  10. A museum of new media art should be an inspiration for new media artists.


de_dust is a public installation by Aram Bartholl: installed in 2004, located in Germany.

Aram Bartholl was inspired by popular video game, CounterStrike, and through this artwork, he was able to express his belief that the rapid growth of virtual space has begun to emerge in our daily lives. Like Dead Drops, this project is also a physical symbol for the unfolding process of Internet in real life. The de_dust installation is a real life imitation of the cluster of crates as seen in CounterStrike. The texture is also the same, in that it looks very pixellated. Basically, the crates are ‘used as design elements to complicate space’, and the game ‘design transforms the wooden crate into a generic duplicatable and locationless object. Drawing back to Lev Manovich’s manifesto, “cultural objects use digital computer technology for exhibition”. Video games and technology are popular in most people’s lives, and with de_dust, Aram Bartholl is again able to blur the boundaries between the physical environment and digital worlds.

Dead Drops

The first 5 Dead Drops were installed by Aram Bartholl in NYC, Oct. 2010

87 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY (Makerbot)
Empire Fulton Ferry Park, Brooklyn, NY (Dumbo)
235 Bowery, NY (New Museum)
Union Square, NY (Subway Station 14th St)
540 West 21st Street, NY (Eyebeam)

Aram Bartholl attempts to push the boundaries between the physical world and digital world with his project, ‘Dead Drops’. ‘‘Dead Drops’ is an anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space’. Basically, Bartholl installed USB drives into the walls of buildings in public space. He describes Dead Drops as a reminder for ‘independent networks and open source technologies’. Dead Drops creates a very free, uncontrolled, independent environment in that anyone is able to upload any file to the Dead Drop, once they do, anyone has access to that file, upon connection to the Dead Drops. Bartholl also recognizes that most people center their lives around technological devices, and by incorporating technology within the inner city, he created and revolutionized a new medium for people with technology to engage in. Thinking back to Lev Manovich’s propositions, one of his proposals states that ’computer technology can be used as a distribution platform’. It also refers to the ‘cultural objects which use digital computer technology for distribution and exhibition’.  In this case, Dead Drops serves as a physical representation of how digital technology can be used for distribution. Dead Drops is a distribution platform, in that anyone and everyone has access to drop or find files. Bartholl suggests that in the future, ‘ports like the USB plug will be extinct’, and with that said, Dead Drops could also serve as an exhibition in the future.  With Dead Drops, Aram Bartholl developed a new ream of digital media sharing, and is successful in blurring the lines between the physical and digital worlds.


Broken iPhone

Doug Aitken’s “The Broken iPhone” at the Art Basil Miami, 2012

This is a ‘thoughtful piece on Apple’s aesthetics, told through the lens of a shattered screen’. The Broken iPhone allows viewers to engage and critically relate the piece to technologies role in their lives. This piece is a ‘representation of technology during the post-modern era’. One of Lev Manovich’s eight proposition proposes that new media is parallel to the similar ideas in post WWII art and modern computing. Technology is no longer used for government purposes, and exclusive with the military, but it has become the ‘master’ of our lives. It ‘represents the fragility of the capitalist production to innovate its own destruction from within’. Joanne McNeil writes in her Rhizome article that “the spiderweb crack had no impact on the iPhone’s haptic sensitivity; it looked ruined but worked just” fine. However, it brought ‘about many random conversations with strangers’ that revolve around the issue of why is the screen still cracked? This parallels with Manovich’s fifth proposal, which suggests that instead of trying to identify the unique functions of a media, we instead look for certain aesthetics that accompany the telecommunication technology. It is not acceptable in the society to not have a technological device, and even more not acceptable when that piece of technological device is ‘cracked’ despite the fact that the important functions are not affected.Doug Aitken’s Broken iPhone brings to mind the fact that society nowadays is not only consumed with technology, but also the aesthetics that the technology represents.

Clockwork Forest

Andrew Shoben, the founder of art collective GreyWorld opened this instalation in Grizedale, England on October 7, 2011

Most fairytales include the forest as one of their settings, and ‘the forest is often the mysterious location of secret stories, of distant sounds from hidden camp fires, of secret meetings, and unexplained sounds’, and with The Clockwork Forest, visitors can turn “the key, and the mechanical soundtrack” will accompany visitors’ journey to their own fairy tale. Thinking back to the manifesto assignment, ‘new media is basically technology, and is also often interactive’. The Clockwork Forest is is a work of new media, and as the turnkeys is wound-up, music begins to play, creating an interactive setting ‘as if the user has brought to life an additional layer of sound organically existing in the natural environment’. This project enhances the level of interaction the visitor has with the natural surroundings in the forest. 


Spectator, Flatness, and Panopticism

Rancière: Spectator

Jaques Rancière considers spectatorship and looking a bad thing, “being a spectator means looking at a spectacle” (Rancière, 3). He argues that “looking is deemed the Opposite of knowing”, and acting (Rancière, 4). Rancière suggests that “being a spectator means being passive” (Rancière, 4). One cannot identify the history or state of the spectacle, and one “lacks power of intervention” by simply looking at a spectacle. Rancière also uses Plato’s conclusion about the idea of the theater for his argument. “The theater is the place where ignorant people are invited to see suffering people” (Rancière, 4). He firmly believes that spectatorship, having spectators participating, could blur the lines between the active and passive. 

Lanier: Flatness

Lanier believes that “flatness, as applied to human affairs, leads to blandness and meaninglessness” (Lanier, 2). He also suggests that a “flat global structure suggests a happy world” to those in new media. He senses a ‘staleness’ with internet culture, and uses Wikipedia to emphasize his point. Lanier suggests that Wikipedia is one that lacks creativity in lieu of the fact that it is a representation of a source that already exists, an encyclopedia. With that in mind, he makes a point about how creativity is lost in the world, through the idea of a “distinction between first-order expression and derivative expression”, which is lost. A first-order expression is something innovative; “a work that integrates its own worldview and aesthetic.. something genuinely new in the world”. A second-order expression is something that is adapted by something original, and with that said, the encyclopedia would fall in the category of first-order expression, and wikipedia as second-order expression. This analogy applies directly to his views on new media. He believes that people should be creative with technology, rather than digitizing something that already has existence. For instance, there is a lot of original music out there, but people tend to sample those tracks with different beats, and call it their own. People should be creating their own music, not experiment with music that someone else created. There should be more first-order expressions than second-order expressions, for the second-order expression “distracts the potential for learning how to bring it into conversation in new ways” (Lanier, 21).

Foucault: Panopticism

Foucault’s idea of panopticism is based on Bentham’s Panopticon principle, which is “the architectural figure.. based at the periphery, an annular building” (Foucault, 4). Basically, the Panopticon exists “to induce in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power” (Foucault, 5). Foucault’s main focus is his creation that allows for a sense of watching/being watched at all times. His creation could be used in places that require surveillance systems, which he mentions places such as public places, hospitals, schools, or even psychiatric institutions. His fool-proof surveillance system “aims to strengthen the social forces - to increase production, to develop the economy, spread education, raise the level of public morality; to increase and multiply” (Foucault, 9). 

Manifesto for New Media Curators

       Art is defined as ‘the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in visual form’; art began with the work of mankind. New media was introduced in the latter 20th century, and refers to the ‘on-demand access to content at any time, anywhere, and on any digital device’; new media is basically technology, and is also often interactive. What happens when you use technology to express art? The 9 Evenings Theatre and Engineering in 1966 was the first public introduction in blurring the distinction between new media and art. As Lev Manovich states in his article, ‘The New Media Reader’, “new media is re-defined as parallel tendencies in modern art and computing technology after the World War II.” Technology is what made it possible to connect art with new media. One of Manovich’s eight propositions states that “new media.. as computer technology used as a distribution platform”. The online database is the best platform for distributing information, therefore, technology is the best way to organize, display, and archive new media art.

      Modern art is often technology based, and according to Lev Manovich’s proposition, digital art is related to “computer technology used as a distribution platform”, and that refers to “the cultural objects, which use digital computer technology for distribution and exhibition”. Because new media art and technology are intertwined, digital art blurs the difference between art and technology, in a way, it gives it a new meaning. Our lives are center around technology, that it was only a matter of time before manmade art becomes inspired with technology, creating modern art. Like V2’s mission statement states, digital art “offers a critical perspective on the futuristic promises that the new media technology always seem to carry”. V2 also believes that “art which applies electronic classified as unstable media, and unstable media presents an image of a world that is inconsistent, heterogeneous, complex, and variable”, and that is what the public wants. People like change; it invites creativity, and “a creative force is essential to the continuous re-ordering of the social/cultural, political, and economic relations in the society.” As mentioned earlier, “computer technology is used as a distribution platform”. Technology can not only create an edge to art, but it can also display modern art at its best. Technology is  known for its ability to store and archive a variety, including new media art, therefore, technology is the best way to organize, display, and archive new media.

Arts 12 Paper 1

        In “New Media From Borges to HTML,” Lev Manovich presents Eight Propositions, which are based off of his views on the concepts of new media art.  The second proposition, “New Media as Computer Technology used as a Distribution Platform”, correlates with McLuhan’srear view mirror” which is pre-digital forms remixed as new media. Manovich defines new media art as “cultural objects, which use digital computer technology for distribution and exhibition. The ‘Language of New Media’ is also based on the assumption that all cultural objects rely on digital representation and computer-based delivery”. The hyperlinks presented in his paper physically represent the idea of how new media serves as a distribution platform. Hyperlinks exist to allow people to gain easy access to the source of the information that they want to know more about. Millions of hyperlinks are generated by one simple search on Google. Another way that the hyperlinks serves as a distribution platform is that people can easily download Google content or images, and make copies of them, both digitally and physically. Google images could be seen as a virtual exhibition, of cultural objects. This relates to Charlie Gere’s paper on “New Media Art and the Gallery in the Digital Age”.

        I agree with Charlie Gere’s assertion that “the gallery has an important role to play in making this art visible, not just now but also in the future, when such work will be a part of art history”. Before art and technology had combined to create the idea of ‘new media art’, art galleries and museums were around to preserve artist’s original works. People would physically visit these art galleries and museums to experience and appreciate art. However, technology soon advanced, and new media art became the new trend. People no longer need to go to museums or art galleries, because they can virtually see the artworks they want to see with a simple Google search. The Internet opened a world where people can look up an image of a piece of art, as well as the history that goes along with the art piece or artist. The world of technology and hyperlinks also allowed access to virtual art galleries. Even though the level of experience and appreciation may not be the same in the virtual and physical world, Galleries play an important role in making art visible; it has been since the existence of museums. Even though the level of experience and appreciation may not be the same, galleries will continue to exist, virtually and/or physically, because “we choose to preserve” it for future generations.

Finger gloves & a pinky
Reminiscences of Newport
Original from Harvard University
Digitized September 6, 2006

Finger gloves & a pinky

Reminiscences of Newport

Original from Harvard University

Digitized September 6, 2006


Studio Roosegaarde

Studio Roosegaarde is the “techno-artistic laboratory” of artist Daan Roosegaarde, and his team of designers and engineers. By keeping his motto in mind, “Don’t Copy-Paste, but Copy-Morph”, Roosegaarde is able to explore technological innovations by creating interactive landscapes that are driven by sound and movement. His vision is to integrate human interaction into his work, and thus coined the term “techno-poetry” to describe the connection between ideology and technology.

Studio Roosegaarde’s concept is to explore the boundaries between humans, space, and technology. The interactive art projects are designed to “trigger human sense to create a sensual engagement” with the environment. Sustainable Dance Floor is one of its many projects, created though the idea of generating electricity to power technology from the physical energy created by humans. As people dance to the music, the dance floor becomes a big generator that captures movements and turns it into a club’s main power source. DUNE is another project, situated in Rotterdam, Netherlands, that serves as a “public interactive landscape that brightens” as a reaction to the many sounds and movements of passing visitors. Also known as a ‘walk of light’, this innovative technology is composed of fibers with motions sensors which triggers it to light up as visitors pass by.