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New Media Art

It’s been a relatively relaxing new year’s weekend but as I prepare for the week, I’m pondering what I’m hoping to achieve, art and writing wise, this year. As the subject line states, New Media Art, has definitely piqued my interest. I love traditional art (for me, traditional art includes drawing, painting, and sculpture, pretty much all things ocular) but one of the many things I love about art is the nature to evolve into something different that pushes the viewer’s understanding and perceptions. One of the magazines I picked up last year, Elephant, actually delves into how the commercial artist use their skills to create works, by art world standards, considered to be fine arts. New media artists face a challenge. Being part of a technologically driven world, how does a such an artist define themselves? How does one create work that both engages but can elevate the viewer to a higher level of thought? In any case, I’m definitely hoping to explore these topics and answer them along the way. What’s your idea of new media art? I’d certainly like to know what it is!

By Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos (b. 1978) is a Filipina American writer, artist, and educator whose academic and research interests include feminist media histories, critical medical anthropology, technology, race, and ethics. She is a Ph.D. student in Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz as a Eugene V. Cota-Robles fellow. She received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts and holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco. Her work as been exhibited at Ars Electronica, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the GLBT Historical Society.

Her writing appears in art21, Art in America, Ars Technica, Hyperallergic, Rhizome, Vice Motherboard, and SF MOMA’s Open Space. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” was published in The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture. She is a co-founder of REFRESH, a politically-engaged art and curatorial collective and serves as the Executive Director for the Processing Foundation.

2 replies on “New Media Art”

How interesting! I’m just as intrigued by this unexpected transformation. New media artists face an extremely challenging but surmountable task. Not only must the artist conquer the definition of “fine art” by producing something digitally equal, but also the traditional mentality of those viewing his/her art. I wonder why museums don’t feature commercial art alongside orthodox art forms. Thanks for opening my eyes to such an interesting prospect. I fully support new media art, and believe the upcoming generation will more openly welcome ‘dissident’ talent. Power to you Dorothy!

Thanks so much for reading, zG! It is very much appreciated. You mentioned ‘commercial art alongside orthodox art forms’, which is a great point. There are a couple of places that come to mind, such as the Oakland Museum of California (OMC) and the San Jose Art Museum (SJAM). The OMC showcases natural science, history, and art while the SJAM exhibits both traditional art forms with conceptual pieces as well. I attended a discussion last month (specifically regarding new media art and how it fits into contemporary art history) where one of the participants brought up a really great about re-defining art and the need for a new ‘taxonomy’. As I’ve mentioned, this is one of the many reasons why I love art, it is constantly evolving. Thanks again for reading! 🙂

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