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New Art Practices: Editorial

Editorial: New Art Practices

Today, a general definition of new media art would encompass an umbrella term which generically describes artwork that incorporates an element of new media technology. It is a rather broad term that includes, on the one hand, a new media art which is very much in service to industry and which demands the skills and aesthetics required by commerce, still incorporating 1990's techno optimism, and on the other hand, a new media art which is not only focused on technology, but also on conceptual strategies and their social and cultural context. New media art is often trapped in a vicious circle of fetishization of the individual's relation to the machine and over-aesthetization of the interface. Orchestration of software and electronic devices development and "information super-highway" mantra applied to the Internet often leads to a commodified corporate advertising euphoria of artist practices.

Context-based art practice often includes processes such ascollaborative work and free sharing and addresses a wide spectrum of political themes tackling technology today, such are privacy, public domain, free access, identity, (dis)embodiment, locality, commercialization, etc. It usually employs technical expertise which treats the social, cultural and political context as a channel for reflection, resulting in inscription and grounding of new media art practices historically and socially.

There is a belief that new media art and its criticism could preserve the public dimension of the Internet. If the Internet is seen as today's leading agent of modernization with all possible inequalities that it could produce, then certainly there is an urge for art which would discuss this problematics through experimental and critical practices, continuously migrating to unknown terrains of criticism. These practices employ strategies of interruption of authorized cannons of creativity and aesthetics, striving to realize their political potential.

Art based projects of Public Netbase employ two important notions of new art practices: collaboration and change of perspective in understanding the critical potential of art today. The intertwining of critical collaboration and performative actions undertaken in public micro-social spaces while bringing changes in behaviour, perception and understanding of art, is what gives Public Netbase art practices a political potential and deep understanding of contextualization of art itself.

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