“The Unbearable Thinness of Flatness”
As a computer scientist and a musician, Jaron Lanier starts off his paper with the discontentment of the “flat global structure” in which the generation nowadays is experiencing as people are satisfied with “tiny little programs” instead of large, creative kinds (Lanier, 2). Lanier’s idea of a “flat global structure” defines a world where every new program or software will be based off a past creation. Flatness here refers not to the voluptuous amount of a physical object, but to the “blandness and meaninglessness” where creativity and originality remain under surface (Lanier, 2). Lanier says that when dealing with any kind of art “if you don’t specify the weight… it is just less then weightless” and has no value to the observer (Lanier, p.11). Lanier states that the importance of keeping and continue inventing “better fundamental types of expression” instead of recreating and producing old ideas, or the flatness. Lanier disregards that new technology adopters are outside the US and Europe making his study very mono-cultural. Although he is preoccupied with his expectations rather than reality, Lanier makes valid observations about our world as a whole today.
“The Emancipated Spectator”
In “The Emanicipated Spectator”, author Jacques Rancière argues about the passivity of spectatorship within the theater, reflecting his point of view on although “looking is a bad thing” (Rancière, 272), “spectatorship is not a passivity that must be turned into activity” (Rancière, 279). Ranciere looks for activity in spectators. One way of achieving that involves action in the theater, where live performers and spectators present an active spectacle. However, Ranciere does not require spectators of turning into actors or performers. Instead, he declares that “every spectator is already an actor in his own story.” Ranciere’s point of view is liberating in the sense that viewers are not restricted to and limited by what the directors choose to show their audiences. He portrays this idea as “there is something on one side, in one mind or one body – a knowledge, a capacity, an energy – that must be transferred to the other side, into the other’s mind or body” (Rancière, 277), in which he attempts to show the audience they can replace the old thoughts on spectatorship, so that people have a better understanding of the world they live in.
In Michel Foucault’s “Panopticism”, he introduces the concept of Bentham’s Panopticon (Foucault, 3), which creating an articulated and subdivided space under a disciplined society while only requires the surveillance and control from one individual (Foucault, 2). A panopticon is simpler terms is a description of a structure and the kind of society it will engender. He explains how this design is beneficial because it gives an individual the ability to have full accountability by constantly being able to see and view everything going on. Foucault writes, “[the prisoner] is seen, but he does not see; he is the object of information, never a subject in communication (Foucault, 4).” He linked this idea of Panopticon to a governing principle regarding the perfection of the sovereign’s power. Foucault concludes that it is a great way to use integrate this political machine into different functions to strengthen the society under the power of regulations (Foucault, 8).
1. A Museum of New Media Art should be easy to access and view to all free of charge.
2. A Museum of New Media Art should include interactive pieces where the audience can experience and take on an essential role of the art piece.This entails creating art that not only utilizes technology and media but also creates a dialogue and engages the person who views it.
3. A Museum of New Media Art should not be confined to a physical space. The pieces defined as New Media Art cannot be limited. Hence, a museum can essentially be physical and virtual.
4. A Museum of New Media Art should effectively organize and archive artworks via the Internet as to ensure proper storing of every piece of art.
5. A Museum of New Media Art should stay true to its title by continuously updating its pieces according to new technologies and innovating new pieces that are up to the world’s media standards.
6. A Museum of New Media Art, although consisting of “new” art should be able to incorporate the past, the present, and the future. The past should be honored and remembered while the present needs to be embraced.
7. A Museum of New Media Art should not tell its audience how to interpret an artist’s artwork. Each viewer is entitled to his/her own interpretation.
8. A Museum of New Media Art should welcome both professionals and novices creating a non-discriminating, inspiring space for all artists.
9. A Museum of New Media Art should not only provide a place of education but also incorporate history and art into new media art in general.
10. A Museum of New Media Art’s guidelines and board should be set by our current and contemporary generation as they are the most knowledgeable of the uprising of New Media Art.
Artist: Nigel Tomm
Title of work: New Media Art Self Portrait
Location: Self Portrait
Date of creation: June 2, 2011
Description: Although there is no explanation by the painter himself, this is a self-portrait created with an edgy/new age perspective giving a psychotherapeutic feeling of the new media artwork that is eye grabbing.
Link to Artist Web Page: http://nigeltomm.wordpress.com/
Artist: Amandeep Singh (Inkquisitive Illustrations)
Title of work: “Humble P”
Location: Humble P
Date of creation: July 5, 2011
Description: Amandeep illustrates a beautiful picture of Humble the poet and writes one of his famous quotes “We proving that the pen, is mightier than swords”. Sikhs are a minority in India (2% of the population). Along with other minority groups, Sikhs in India have been fighting for their basic human right and have faced cultural genocide and mass murder since the 1970s. The government controlled the media so succinctly during anti-Sikh killings that India’s own population could only hear biased reports. Hence, he made this to send a powerful message to the Sikh community letting them know fighting back with sword isn’t the answer.
Link to Artists Web Page: www.inkquisitive.com
Images are one of the most powerful tools of communication. There are things we cannot describe in words that images can illustrate. The power images have also mystifies viewers because the artist is really the only one who knows exactly what was going on when the painting was made, viewers could only interpret. The mystery intrigues viewers to want more.
In the past, paintings were valued because they were the only way to capture a moment in time and possess it forever. This changed due to the invention of the camera and other means of art reproduction that have manipulated the way we look at art today. Art can now be reproduced and many people can view it rather than an elite few. It also has the ability to change the entire meaning of a painting by placing it with certain texts or other paintings. With the reproduction, the value of art has been placed visually and financially on a different level then ever before.
In “New Media Art and the Gallery in the Digital Age,” Charlie Gere stated that the gallery adds and enhances the artwork to make it exactly how the artist wanted. While I agree that new media art should be organized in digital art galleries and museums because it will allow the authenticity of art and enforce the standard in quality of art to be maintained, I believe that as a curator part of today’s generation art should be archived and displayed on all types of mediums including the internet. “Manovich’s Eight Propositions” clearly state that new media is used as a distribution platform in order for all viewers to access media art. If we were still in the 19th century I would fully support art being in the galleries and museums for the sake of legitimacy and quality. However, our society is a dynamic social process not a static social product. It is our responsibility to ensure that today’s public is able to view new media art through any means and learn to appreciate it. Since art is so widely accessible, famous works are being quoted or appropriated for other works of art, advertisements, and merchandise and that gives incentive to the artists to produce better art and be more creative. For the purpose of educating our future generation, it is crucial to spread and advertise art in as many places as possible in order to educate and promote today’s new media art.
The internet is a complex compilation of a plethora of sources and elements. Hyperlinks helps internet users all over the world to assist them in directly taking them to the webpage of their desire. The documents “New Media from Borges to HTML” and “New Media Art and the Gallery in the Digital Age” both contain several hyperlinks providing the reader with a deeper insight to references talked about in the essays. For example, when one clicks the hyperlink of the photographer Henry Peach Robinson, they are taken to a short YouTube video about the artist and his style of work. Every hyperlinked subject enables the reader to gain more knowledge about the topic while also keeping the contents of the document concise and easy to follow. Without hyperlinks, internet users would be forced to use various search engines to manually find more information on a certain topic.
Hyperlinks are a perfect representation of Manovich’s “Eight Propositions”. One of his “Eight Propositions” is that “New Media as Computer Technology used as a Distribution Platform.” In this proposition, Charlie Gere explains how new media is distributed through various mediums such as, “Internet, Web sites, computer multimedia, computer games, CD-ROMs and DVD, Virtual Reality, and computer-generated special effects.” Hyperlinks act as a shortcut in accessing all these forms of new media so that people can immediately view and share the respective topics they were looking for. Another proposition hyperlinks ties into is Manovich’s proposition saying, “New Media as Faster Execution of Algorithms Previously Executed Manually or Through Other Technologies”. Hyperlinks are an essential part of the algorithm of web users today, enabling them to directly make connections between the topic to the source.
I agree with 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 part of art history”. With such advanced technology, the virtual world has created every piece of artwork to be readily available on the web. Physical galleries will hardly be necessary in the future and will solely play a significant role in art history.