Technology/Media-Engaged Art: From New-Materialist Philosophies

A special issue of Arts (ISSN 2076-0752).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2023) | Viewed by 7954

Special Issue Editor

Department of Arts, Northumbria University, Newcastle NE1 8ST, UK
Interests: art and technology; computer simulation; media materiality; environment; data centers

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As our lives and planet continue to be shaped by complex technological materials, systems and processes, the practices of technology and media-engaged artists are vital to understanding what lies behind the ‘front end’ of our contemporary digital condition.

Although diverse in scope, new materialist philosophies share a common approach to flat ontologies that invite thinking across human, nonhuman, virtual and material actors connected via networks of agency, affect, power and desire. These terms provide a powerful way to counter the immaterial malaise as well as the disconnect between our planet and technological existence.

This Special Issue aims to develop new insight into the relationship between technology/media-engaged art practices and new materialist philosophy, which may illuminate existing work in this area, with the potential to develop new ontologies, epistemologies, ethics and aesthetics. The addressed lines of enquiry may include but are not limited to the following:

  • What connections exist between NMP and technology/media-engaged art practices?
  • How do artists working in this space engage with notions of the material and the virtual?
  • What are the limits and critiques of NMP in relation to technology/media-engaged practices?
  • How are NMP and technology/media-engaged art practices being used to explore climate change?
  • How are these ideas and practices being used in non-Western contexts and perspectives?
  • Using NMP to understand artist’s engagement with new and emerging technologies such as synthetic data, cloud computing, machine learning, computer simulation, mixed reality, blockchain, biotech and so on.

Dr. Paul Dolan
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Arts is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • new materialist philosophy
  • media
  • technology
  • art
  • materiality
  • practice

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 14485 KiB  
Article
Elliptical Forms: Abstract Algorithmic Objects
by Paul Goodfellow
Arts 2023, 12(4), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12040172 - 10 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1258
Abstract
Contemporary systems painting directly engages with the material of contemporary culture, not necessarily the technological substrates of computation, social media, the Internet, and artificial intelligence, but the concept of the algorithm and the circulation and patterning of information at the limit of human [...] Read more.
Contemporary systems painting directly engages with the material of contemporary culture, not necessarily the technological substrates of computation, social media, the Internet, and artificial intelligence, but the concept of the algorithm and the circulation and patterning of information at the limit of human apprehension. Systems painting emerged as part of the wider category of systems art in the 1960s—a heterogenous collection of artists who were focused on the exploration of social, ecological, and technological systems, and the processes that underpin them. These systemic fields increasingly define and shape our lifeworld in the 21st century, producing an excess of algorithmically generated information. It is, therefore, appropriate to consider the role system painting plays in addressing the conceptual, aesthetic, and affective aspects of information derived from computational, algorithmic, and rule-based processes. This paper discusses the practice of the contemporary systems painter James Hugonin and his series of paintings Fluctuations in Elliptical Form (2015–2021). Karl Popper’s theory of three worlds is introduced, and the concepts of ‘concrete’ and ‘abstract’ objects are described and applied to Hugonin’s painting as a way of understanding the role externalised rules and internal intuitive decisions play in the construction of these complex and visually mesmerising paintings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology/Media-Engaged Art: From New-Materialist Philosophies)
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18 pages, 2553 KiB  
Article
Video between Architecture and Telepathy
by Nicolas Holt
Arts 2023, 12(4), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12040133 - 29 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1360
Abstract
On 6 January 1973, Chilean media artist Juan Downey exhibited Plato Now at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York. A hybrid multichannel video installation and performance, this was Downey’s restaging of Plato’s Parable of the Cave—the “Now” registering [...] Read more.
On 6 January 1973, Chilean media artist Juan Downey exhibited Plato Now at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York. A hybrid multichannel video installation and performance, this was Downey’s restaging of Plato’s Parable of the Cave—the “Now” registering what the myth might look like from the vantage of his own historical moment. And whereas Plato’s original operated through an inflexible division between the space of the mind and a derivative sensual reality, Plato Now explicitly sought to blur those philosophical lines by assembling a relay of invisible energies, brain waves, video signals, and telepathic communications, such that the space of mind and sensual reality became speculatively entangled. This article clarifies just how Plato Now did this, and situates its philosophical vision as a significant, if relatively unremarked, aesthetic prefiguration of the new materialist tendencies towards relationality, hybrid assemblages, and vibrant conceptions of energy and matter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology/Media-Engaged Art: From New-Materialist Philosophies)
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12 pages, 1206 KiB  
Article
Montage after Navigation
by Andy Broadey
Arts 2023, 12(3), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030101 - 12 May 2023
Viewed by 1655
Abstract
The concept of navigation, introduced by Harun Farocki in his lecture Computer Animation Rules, explains the digital/algorithmic choreography of consumer behaviour through media platforms. This article contends navigational connectivity is a cybernetic operating structure for capital, which mediates the techno-geographic milieu of the [...] Read more.
The concept of navigation, introduced by Harun Farocki in his lecture Computer Animation Rules, explains the digital/algorithmic choreography of consumer behaviour through media platforms. This article contends navigational connectivity is a cybernetic operating structure for capital, which mediates the techno-geographic milieu of the capitalocene and is a key factor in the present destabilization of earth systems. There is, therefore, an urgent need to formulate ways of disarticulating navigational processes to fragment global capitalism and re-establish a diversification of local cultures. We undertake this task in tandem with the critical project of cosmotechnics developed by Yuk Hui and examine how an ontological disagreement between Gilles Deleuze and Quentin Meillassoux shapes Hui’s analysis of cybernetics. Contra Meillassoux’s correlationist reading, we argue Deleuze foregrounds machinic becoming through a primal contact with the virtual and claim practices of montage are machines of analysis that dismantle navigational connections and establish alternate patterns of feedback estranged from the capitalist process. To this end, we examine models of montage developed by Jacques Rancière, Farocki and Deleuze, and consider the potential of such models to function as machines of navigational disarticulation and cultural pluralization. This approach reframes user engagement as modulative becoming in a manner that introduces new techno-cultural-geographic conjunctions appropriate to cosmotechnics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology/Media-Engaged Art: From New-Materialist Philosophies)
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16 pages, 2746 KiB  
Article
The Question Concerning Technology in Ireland?: Art, Decoloniality and Speculations of an Irish Cosmotechnics
by EL Putnam
Arts 2023, 12(3), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030092 - 04 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2442
Abstract
In this article, the process of speculating an Irish cosmotechnics is instigated by taking a decolonial approach to technics and technology in Ireland with a focus on three artworks: Assembly by Shane Finan, Interlooping by EL Putnam, and Entanglement by Annex. Each work [...] Read more.
In this article, the process of speculating an Irish cosmotechnics is instigated by taking a decolonial approach to technics and technology in Ireland with a focus on three artworks: Assembly by Shane Finan, Interlooping by EL Putnam, and Entanglement by Annex. Each work relates to a different aspect of Irish technological history, from its national beginnings to its current role in global cloud computing networks, engaging with the materialities of technologies with a focus on technologies of communication, agriculture, and digital infrastructures. Countering a colonial narrative of modernist progression, where the implementation of technologies through the cultivation of land and society is put in the service of economic “development”, these three artworks treat technologies with ambivalence, placing emphasis on their material qualities and impacts. This ambivalence, where it is implemented critically yet also functions as the means of producing artistic works, enables what Catherine Walsh refers to as decolonial cracks, introducing a means of working and thinking otherwise with technology in ways that diverge from current practices of coloniality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology/Media-Engaged Art: From New-Materialist Philosophies)
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