Cultural Studies Homepage

Subject - CSG / CSV (Cultural Studies)

Courses: Diploma of Graphic Design (CUV50311), Diploma of Visual Art (CUV50111)

VUIT Digital Arts

Teacher Name: Lisa Cianci - email:
Education Manager: Adam Hutterer - email:

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Class 15 - Lecture Notes

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Lecture Notes - New Media in Art & Design: using digital media, object, space, performance, interaction and participation

New Media Art came out of a range of contemporary art movements such as conceptual art, performance art, Fluxus, video art, computer art etc.

One might define New Media Art as art that uses all or any of the three following elements:

interactivity (artists/users/audience/participants engaging actively with the work)

connectivity (use of networks such as the Internet to distribute the work & create connections between artists and audience)

computability (computational and based on algorithms)

Many people understand new media art to involve digital technologies and emerging technologies in conjunction with social/political/cultural implications. Conceptual Art & Fluxus have been a major influence in new media art because of the use of intermedia, and the importance of interaction/participation and the breakdown of the artist/author as privileged over the audience/reader/participant.

Because of the use of the Internet as a site for location, proliferation, communication and presentation of a lot of new media art, it is considered to be a worldwide movement without geospatial barriers, although issues such as censorship and ownership of the Internet are important factors that prevent complete freedom of expression online for many artists. Some new media artists work with concepts of ownership and censorship in the same way that Fluxus artists fought against certain socio/political issues from the early days of Fluxus.

This online introduction to the book "New Media Art" by Mark Tribe is an excellent brief history of new media with a list of significant artists that are considered to be proponents of new media art.

This article on is also a great place to start. is an organisation that was established in the late 1990s in New York and has become a portal or hub for new media arts and for artists to communicate and participate in an online space. They also host an archive of new media artworks that is unique and valuable as these types of works are ephemeral and "variable" by nature and very hard to preserve given the software/hardware/network technologies that are required to support them.

Here are just a few significant artists that may be considered "New Media Artists". Their work is diverse and covers many forms and styles, but you should consider whether each of these artists fits with the three elements defined above...


Stelarc (Australia)

performance art using robotic prostheses <>


Stelarc, Multiple Hand 1998


Cory Arcangel (USA)

Super Mario Clouds - hacked gameboy catridges


Mary Flanagan (USA)


Mary Flanagan, Phage, 2000 (mod of the Unreal Tournament game engine)


Francesca Da Rimini (& VNS Matrix) (Australia)

“Dollspace”, <>

da rimini



Francesca Da Rimini, Dollspace, 1997 (HTML interactive website)


Olia Lialina (Russia/USA)

My boyfriend came back from the war <>


Olia Lialina, My Boyfriend Came Back from the War, original HTML interactive website, 1996


Lev Manovich (Russia/USA)

software studies initiative <>


Lev Manovich, Mondrian+Rothko.X_brightnessMean.Y_saturationMean.images, 2011 ("Big Data" software analysis of artworks)


Melinda Rackham (Australia)

Empyre <>

Empyrean (3D space) <>



Bill Viola (USA)


Bill Viola, Emergence, 2002 Video & Installation



Mark Tribe (USA)


Mark Tribe, Dystopia Files feat. Frédéric D. Oberland at Cinéma des Cinéastes, Paris, 2010, Video



Selavy Oh (Second Life)
(the name of this artist's avatar is a play on Duchamp’s female alter-ego Rrose Sélavy)

selavy oh 1    selavy oh 3

These images capture from Second Life performance by Selavy Oh, images stored on Selavy Oh’s Flickr Photostream

Oh, Selavy 2009, “Erasing the Spiral”, <>

Oh, Selavy 2011, "Into the Past", <>

Oh Selavy 2012, "The Next Day", <>


Oculart (Geoff Lillemon) (Netherlands)


Oculart 2006, Flash animation


Oculart 2006, Flash animation


Martine Neddam (Netherlands)

Mouchette <>


Martine Neddam, Mouchette (HTML interactive artwork), 1996


Eduardo Navas (USA)

Remix Theory <>

Three Case Studies on Youtube Video Mashups:



Eduardo Navas, Radiohead Lotus Flower remix, 2011 (software analysis of youtube remixes of Radiohead Lotus Flower video)


Mark Amerika (USA)

Remix the Book <>


Mark Amerika, Remix the Book, website, publication and remix project


Glitch Art (a sub-genre of new media art)

Rosa Menkman (Netherlands)


Rosa Menkman, Collapse of PAL, image from an A/V performance, 2010


Mixed Reality Art

Mixed Reality (MR) describes a range of environments on a continuum from the "real world" through to a totally virtual environment.

This encompasses terms like:

Augmented reality (AR): a real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. Examples include Junaio, QR codes etc.

Augmented virtuality (AV): predominantly virtual spaces, where physical elements, e.g. physical objects or people, are dynamically integrated into, and can interact with the virtual world in real-time. This integration is achieved with the use of various techniques. Often streaming video from physical spaces, e.g. via webcam, or using 3-dimensional digitalisation of physical objects. Examples include certain computer games such as Wii.

Virtual reality (VR): a computer-simulated environment that can simulate physical presence in places in the real world or imagined worlds. Most current virtual reality environments are primarily visual experiences, displayed either on a computer screen or through special stereoscopic displays, but some simulations include additional sensory information, such as sound through speakers or headphones. Some advanced, haptic systems now include tactile information, generally known as force feedback, in medical and gaming applications. Examples include military training simulators and immersive art installations.

Mediated reality: (Computer mediated reality): the ability to add to, subtract information from, or otherwise manipulate one's perception of reality through the use of a wearable computer or hand-held device such as a smart phone. Typically, it is the user's visual perception of the environment that is mediated. This is done through the use of some kind of electronic device, such as a smart phone, which can act as a visual filter between the real world and what the user perceives.

Simulated reality:  the concept that reality could be simulated—for example by computer simulation—to a degree indistinguishable from "true" reality, and may in fact be such a simulation. It could contain conscious minds which may or may not be fully aware that they are living inside a simulation. An example of this would be in the film The Matrix.


Alison Bennett (Australia)

Augmented Reality artworks - Shifting Skin -

Alison Bennett





Questions to consider:

  1. Who are some of the artists mentioned today that might be called "new media artists"?

  2. What are the specific elements of an artwork that could be considered "new media"?

  3. Find two or three new media artists that interest you and explore further






Online Discussion & Participation

This is the last lecture today. Make sure you have a minimum of 7 posts in VU Collaborate. There are 11 topics in total so if you missed one or two classes, you can still pass this assessment task



You need to continue working on your project with your group


  • Group 1: Despina, Sarah, James, David
  • Group 2: Brinsley, Jacob, Tori, Erik
  • Group 3: Anthony, Liam, Richard