Session Title:

  • From New Media to Old Utopias: ‘Red’ Art in Late Capitalism?

Presentation Title:

  • Untitled




  • Chair Per­son: Bill Bal­askas
    Pre­sen­ters: Christina Vat­sella, Beryl Gra­ham, Philip Glahn, Melanie Lenz & Athana­sia Daphne Drag­ona

    From the early stages of its de­vel­op­ment, New Media Art read­ily adopted a va­ri­ety of means of artis­tic en­gage­ment and ex­pres­sion that aim at serv­ing modes of utopian so­cial being: from multi-modal col­lab­o­ra­tion to mass par­tic­i­pa­tion and from open soft­ware to hack­tivism, the germs of left­ist utopian thought seem to abound in the art of the Dig­i­tal Age. It ap­pears that New Media Art in­creas­ingly em­ploys new tech­nolo­gies in order to pen­e­trate all as­pects of global so­cial liv­ing and prop­a­gate such prac­tices as cat­a­lysts for change. It has grad­u­ally be­come part of an ide­ol­ogy whose ob­jec­tives al­lude to utopian the­o­ries of so­cial or­ga­ni­za­tion lying closer to cer­tain vi­sions of com­mu­nism, than to the re­al­i­ties of late cap­i­tal­ism within which new media op­er­ate.

    This panel ses­sion in­tends to in­ves­ti­gate the rel­e­vance of com­mu­nist utopi­anism to New Media Art’s ide­o­log­i­cal dis­po­si­tions, as a start­ing point from which wider po­lit­i­cal, so­cial and cul­tural im­pli­ca­tions of New Media Art could be ex­plored. In this con­text, areas of in­ter­est ad­dressed by the panel’s con­trib­u­tors will, amongst oth­ers, in­clude: Marx­ist the­ory and the dig­i­tal art ob­ject, de­moc­ra­ti­za­tion of art through au­di­ence par­tic­i­pa­tion, lit­eral and metaphor­i­cal rev­o­lu­tion in the realm of new media, eco­nomic ac­tors and net­works shap­ing the char­ac­ter of New Media Art, in­sti­tu­tion­al­iza­tion of New Media Art and re­lated cul­tural poli­cies. Through the syn­the­sis of such di­verse points of view, the ses­sion will at­tempt to de­mys­tify whether and to what ex­tent the art of the Dig­i­tal Age is, or could be, the re­sult of the seem­ingly para­dox com­bi­na­tion of cap­i­tal­ism’s prod­ucts and com­mu­nism’s vi­sions.