Intermediated Spaces and Critical Theory: Toward New Aesthetic Paradigms

Prof. Richard K. Merritt
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Much of contemporary new media art takes place in a new 'infoscape' a landscape that is a loosely bounded, highly networked space, fusing the materially 'real' with the 'virtual'. This realm is informed/mediated by a radical fusion of transculturation, global mass media, and new communication technologies. Many contemporary artists make this space their medium, fusing the roles of artist/technologists/scientist and social engineer.The author suggest that the existence of these new 'aesthetic spaces' requires a fundamental change in Art Theory and, in particular, its understanding of the role of the artist.

The author asserts that fundamental to this transformation is addressing the key questions about the new 'intermediated' nature of contemporary new media. In what space whether real, virtual or somewhere in between does the artwork reside? What is the role of technology in the Artist/Viewer/Critic/Historian constellation? How do disciplines such as Philosophy Mathematics, Computer Science, Cultural Anthropology contribute to the understanding these new art works? How can Art Theory create a more viable model that incorporates artist no longer concerned with arbitrary discipline boundaries? Can the practice of art in new 'intermediated spaces' offer a viable bulwark for broader critiques of culture?

'Intermediated spaces' are in constant flux, informed by modifiers as disparate global youth cultures, viral marketing and the commoditization of time. New lattices of connectivity and erosion of discipline boundaries have informed Art Theory, Art History and the practice of the arts to such a degree, a new kind of 'Intermediated Critique' is demanded.

Keywords: New Media Art, Art and Social Engineering, Art and Technology, Art and Communication Technology
Stream: Analysing Artforms
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Prof. Richard K. Merritt

Associate Professor of Art, Art History and Design, Humanities Division, Luther College

Richard Merritt is an Assiociate Professor in the Art Department of Luther College, where he teaches computer art, design, and Art History. His current work is influenced by robotics, computer science, logic, 3D cellular automata, and computational aesthetics . Merritt has published in such diverse periodicals as Leonardo, Imaging and Image Processing, and ToutFait The Journal of Marcel Duchamp Studies, and he is currently revising a recent lecture and conducting research entitled "The Altruism Engine: Genotype, Cellular Automata Self-Replication, Three-dimensional Cellular Topographies, and Event Frames". "The Altrusim Engine" was presented at Encoding Altruism the Art and Science of Interstellar Message Composition sponsored by SETI(Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence), Leonardo the Journal of the MIT Press and the Templeton Foundation and held in Paris in March of 2003. His art has recently been exhibited
at the Ninth New York Digital Salon, held in New York’s Visual Arts Museum, as well as at the IV2001 DART Digital Art Exhibition in the University of London’s Brunei Gallery. Richard Merritt has lectured throughout the United States and Europe

Ref: A06P0020