Desktop computer technology and the Internet have opened up new possibilities for artistic creation, distribution, and appreciation. But in addition to projects that might conventionally be described as new-media art, there is now a wide spectrum of work—unclassified until this book—by practitioners not normally thought of as “artists.” Engineers, software programmers, biologists, and architects, among others, are producing work on the Internet that can only be described as “art.” Or can it?
As rapid technological and scientific advances raise new cultural, ethical, and moral issues, while the white walls of the conventional museum or gallery seem to be straitjacketing cultural development, Joline Blais and Jon Ippolito confront our definition of art. The book explores six strands of creation: Code as Muse: new artistic possibilities opened up by computer programming; Deep Play: new narrative forms and aesthetics of computer games; Autobotography: the rise of Webcam-based performance art; Designing Politics: seemingly real Web sites, used to subvert commercial and political enterprise;Preserving Artificial Life: a new biology established via human-engineered viruses and other digital life-forms; and Reweaving Community: the emergence of an online art world whose fugitive existence resists definition.
Joline Blais teaches digital narrative and indigenous media at the University of Maine, where she co-directs the Still Water program with fellow New Media professor Jon Ippolito.
Jon Ippolito is a former Associate Curator of Media Arts at the Guggenheim Museum, where he curated the first museum exhibition of virtual reality and founded the Variable Media Network for preserving digital culture.