Analogue Angels and Digital Diamonds: Tracing the Origins of New Media Art

John Charles Ryan

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This paper explores the key vocabularies, themes, ideas, artistic movements, and technological innovations
contributing to the development of the digital arts over time. As new media theorists have argued, one of the
defining features of the digital arts is the break-down of divisions between art forms, and between art and society
(for example, Manovich 2001, 2005). This paper outlines how digital processes intersect with aesthetic and
conceptual forms. Relevant frameworks, such as materiality, embodiment, hybridity, interactivity, and narrativity,
form the origins of the genre. Digital artworks, like digital media, are interactive, participatory, dynamic, and
customizable, incorporating shifting data flows and real-time user inputs (Paul 2003, 67). The customization of
content and technology, as well as the recontextualization of information, characterize projects of digital art.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430 -448
JournalPhilosophy Study
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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