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New Media

Two projections of people playing guitars

Caroline Smith, 'Cory21', projection, 2006.

Courtesy of artist and Film and Video Umbrella

Film still of cigarette but in fried egg.

Rose Hendry, 'Egg & Fag', film still. Image © the artist.

Courtesy of Royal Scottish Academy, New Contemporaries 2012.

New Media is an art form which came about in the 1960s, as artists started to experiment with developing technology in their art-making. New Media work is often created by using digital and electronic technologies to make sound pieces, to capture moving images (e.g. animation/film) and to create interactive work and computer-based art. Traditional art practices such as print-making can also integrate digital technologies. For example, an image can be manipulated in Photoshop before going to print through a press.

Dating back to the early 1970s, Time-based Media is akin to New Media and refers to art works which are dependent on technology and have a time specific dimension. Often Time-based works used sound and image and the artist is very particular about the way their work is presented. Special display equipment can be used, because of a particular quality of sound or image it creates, or because it is integral to the meaning of the work. 

As technology continues to rapidly develop, it has become necessary, in some instances, to upgrade the mode/format an artwork is created in.  For example, an artwork recorded on a VHS may be reformatted to a DVD. This process is called 'Migration'. When a piece is migrated the artists has often decided that preserving the content or information of an artwork, is more important than the original look and feel of the artwork.

I am fascinated by film, but I am even more interested in breaking it apart...I want to expand the realm of perception.

Doug Aitken, artist. Owning Art: The Contemporary Art Collector's Handbook by Louisa Buck and Judith Greer, Cultureshock Media, 2006


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