May 12


The Future Past of Media Art

Throughout the last decades, the more or less indefinite category of ‘media art’ has been used to term broadly the intersections between art and technological media. The emergence of digital technologies has even led to the creation of a new category – known as ‘new media art’ – , mostly based on operative differences brought about by computational media.

Is it possible to go on considering media art as an operative category for delimiting certain artistic practices? Is the difference between old and new media still relevant in a context where the media past and future seem to coexist on a same level?

As a matter of fact, by imposing a self-closing logic which prevents direct conflict with the territory of contemporary art, the category of media art, with or without the prefix ‘new’ has been showing its limits. The presence of different types of technological devices is now a fundamental aspect for practice art cartography, and so claiming specificity based on a mere technological difference seems to make little sense or no sense at all. Otherwise maybe we will have to start considering, once and for all, that today contemporary art and media art are a single reality in which notions such as obsolescence and inoperativeness coexist easily with the future of the media and the prospective meaning of art.


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