[NetBehaviour] "new media meltdown"

dymond at idirect.ca dymond at idirect.ca
Fri Jan 12 05:58:36 CET 2007

Why is New Media Art so insignificant?
I have been going over the last 12 years of New Media
works trying to find a significant work of art and I
have come up empty. Not lost however, and that is a positive thing. This
failure isn't true of Painting, Photography,
Installation Art. Those media have all produced
memorable works.
Film and Video have flourished as well ( I think that
helps explain the flood of videos by new media
artists), but the use of new media for visual
expression is sadly on the last bench of the stadium.
Even the so-called success of electronic literature
pales when compared with the interesting work created
in the printed media.
It doesn't make sense at first.
Opening the doors to self publishing and networked
visual expression should have produced great images and
text by now, but it hasn't.
Whats wrong?
I think there is a strange attractor act work here.
Works that go through the pain and prejudice of the
existing mandated mechanisms actually come out the better for it.
There is rigor and self-criticism that is sorely
lacking in networked publishing and visual expression in *communities*.
For me to acknowledge this is blasphemy in many ways.
I was an early proponent of the creative commons (see
Leonardo, Vol. 31, No. 4 (1998), pp. 297-298).
Is a culture important when it concerns
itself with determining what works contain quality and depth and operate 
as a necessary filter to keep out those works that deserve to fail? Well,
no more lazy art. No More easy graphics.
If New Media wants to grow up, then it has to set some
rigorous standards and demand that the work ACTUALLY be
culturally significant on a broad scale. Self indulgence is fun, but it's
lazy and middling, and stupid.
My avatar died last month, send condolences to Dymes Mulberry on Second
Life. Eric

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