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:

Class Website -

Class 14 - Lecture Notes

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Lecture Notes - New Media in Art & Design: using video, objects, performance, interaction and participation

New Media Art came out of a range of contemporary art and design 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 wiki version of 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 <>



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 (glitch artist) (Netherlands)


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






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



Flexible Delivery - Viewing: Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present

I have asked that you view this documentary which I have the video file for (you may copy it from MMSHARE or the lecturer's computer desktop). It is about 107 minutes long, and is a compelling documentary about a significant performance artist's most ambitious performance and retrospective at MoMA in New York: and the work, resources and logistics involved in staging this work. It also highlights the importance of Performance Art as a form of contemporary art and how the audience can become a powerful part of a creative work.

More information about Marina Abramović can be found at these links, although the documentary does give a good brief history of her work and reoccurring themes such as limits of endurance and what the body (mentally and physically) can endure using the medium of performance.


MoMA exhibition:

About Marina Abramovic:

The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic - video clip:s

Trailer for The Artist is Present:

I previously discussed the work of Joseph Beuys in relation to Conceptual Art & Fluxus. There is an interesting story about Beuys' estate and the litigious nature of rights holders of artworks, Abramović did perform a work created by Beuys in a series titled Seven Easy Pieces where she re-enacted five seminal performance works by her peers, dating from the 1960s and 70s, and two of her own, interpreting them as one would a musical score. She re-enacted Beuys' work "Explaining Pictures to a Dead Hare" and did so with the permission of Joseph Beuys' wife Eva Beuys. More information can be found here:


Questions to respond to on VU Collaborate

    1. Did you have a particular response to this film? Was it an emotional reaction? What did it make you think about?

    2. Consider the logistics of such a large scale exhibition - the performance itself and the performance retrospective. What impressed you the most about the staging of this at MoMA?

    3. How does this major "tour de force" performance work relate to the continuum of creative practice we have been exploring throughout the semester? Where does Abramović's work fit in relation to the work of others discussed in recent weeks?

    4. There was a bit of celebrity spotting in the audience of this event - mainly of high-profile actors. One could see why they would want to experience a performance like this. Would you agree that Performance Art can perhaps go further than other types of performance such as traditional theatre or film/television production in pushing boundaries and involving participants because there are less constraints?



Personal Manifesto

You should be working on your manifestos in your own time and in the workshop - they are due next week!



You need to continue working on your project with your group


Graphic Design

  • Group 1: Pranish, Arden, Josh V, Kristy, Sayf, Josh Z
  • Group 2: Ch'an, Ben, Madison, Mitsuko, Doria
  • Group 3: Hayden, Jake, Lachlan, Keegan, Thomas
  • Group 4: Claudia, Gemma, Nat, Roslyn, Paige
  • Group 5: Zach, Alan, Bridget, Oakleigh, Belen


Visual Art

  • Group 1: Rachel, Ryan, Hope, Sam
  • Group 2: Liam, Yannica, Jessica
  • Group 3: Prayer, Angela, Faith, Shaun
  • Group 4: Belinda, Ekaterini, Luke, Dana, Weng Wei
  • Group 5: Verity, Craig, Valerio, Bianca
  • Group 6: Ellena, Ruby, Kimberley


Fluxkits will be submitted and presented in the L17 gallery on Tuesday June 23 from 10am - 1pm