Digital Currents: Art in the Electronic Age

By Margot Lovejoy | Go to book overview

1

Vision, Representation, and Invention

The history of every art form shows critical epochs in which a certain art form aspires to effects which could be fully obtained only with a changed technical standard, that is to say, in a new art form.

Walter Benjamin


Seeing is changing

The mind of any age is the eye of that age. Consciousness of the way the world is understood changes at different moments in history relative to the available knowledge of that period. A major shift in consciousness can change the premises about how we should seek to understand the world; what is important to look at and how we should represent it. Technological advances inform powerfully our knowledge base and affect all the premises of life, altering the way we see and think. They affect the content, philosophy, and style of art works. Technological development and artistic endeavor have always been closely related in one way or another, whether in a linear sense or a paradoxical one. Invention of technological tools for representation affects the way the world is seen, how events are interpreted, and the way culture is formed.

Today's avalanche of powerful new representational electronic tools has created a dramatic change in the premises for art, calling into question the way we see, the way we acquire knowledge, and the way we understand it. Contemporary artists face a dilemma unimaginable even at the beginning of the twentieth century when photography and cinematography created a crisis in existing traditions of representation. Electronic tools and media have shattered the very paradigm of cognition and representation we have been operating under since the Renaissance.

-13-

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Digital Currents: Art in the Electronic Age
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Illustrations vi
  • Foreword xiii
  • Preface xv
  • Acknowledgments xvi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part One - Sources 11
  • 1 - Vision, Representation, and Invention 13
  • 2 - The Machine Age and Modernism 36
  • 3 - The Electronic Era and Postmodernism 62
  • Part Two - Media 91
  • 4 - Video as Time, Space, Motion 93
  • 5 - Art in the Age of Digital Simulation 152
  • 6 - Art as Interactive Communications: Networking Global Culture 220
  • 7 - Transaesthetics 270
  • Glossary 316
  • Select Bibliography 323
  • Index 333
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