I like 'computational' very much, sure some would argue that 'generative'
is more appropriate but there is a difference. Perhaps one could argue that
computational has a stronger association with the vectors of developing
artificial and augmented intelligence via programming, as opposed to
'generative's closely related but different focus on the processing and
automation capabilities of digital technology?
I still call myself a virtual artist when it matters (but that has more to
do with accomplishment than media) :-)
Indeed these are great threads to keep an eye on, Thank you guys!
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Rinehart" <firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Wednesday, July 26, 2006 11:07 PM
Subject: Re: RHIZOME_RAW: Re: what are we calling ourselves?
> hi again,
> I do enjoy the back and forth on this (why else join this list in the
> RAW?). Of course I also buy the arguments that there are dangers in
> classifying a practice like art or even life, and especially in over- or
> unnecessarily classifying; that's a given. But if you take that argument
> to its logical end, it yields few practical results. For instance, I don't
> wake up in the morning thinking I'm a "new media artist"; it's true - I
> just am. But then again, I also don't wake up thinking I'm an artist. Why
> classify that realm of human activity apart from others? I don't wake up
> thinking I'm human or even me most days, so why classify my species or
> personal identity apart from all life? I just am. It's so true on a deeply
> philosophical level (grunt, groan, sigh, chirp), but then again, there are
> so many necessary reasons for classifying. It's all about finding the
> right levels to classify and then the right parameters with which to
> classify (many purely practical, thus my focus on what real-world
> organizations are indeed calling themselves or their programs).
> So, after finishing my research, I found that "new media" "digital media"
> and "digital art" were the three most used terms. I agree again with the
> dangers of over-reifying an artistic practice in terms of a medium (or
> media), but within a realm of practice it may make sense. For instance,
> it's true you would not call boat-building or construction "woodworking",
> but it is common practice within those fields to define the "wood"
> tradition (see the magazine "wooden boats" or the term "wood frame
> construction"). So the medium is a useful qualifier to the larger area of
> practice that is boat-building or house-building. Similarly, I think video
> art or digital art simply uses a medium to clarify and specify an area of
> artistic practice. Of course it should not be presumed that any given
> artist who works in digital media works exclusively in those media. It's
> all about context; when applying to certain grant agencies it makes sense
> to declare one's self a "digital artist", but in another context perhaps
> one is just an "artist" or a citizen or person.
> I think it's important to be able to clarify that because, for instance,
> when we describe what was happening in the late 20th century with art,
> there was something a little new and different going on - what was it? I
> think there's a there there. It's also useful because these terms loosely
> describe communities as much as simply media. For instance, "new media"
> artists are often those who post on Rhizome and nettime, publish in
> Leonardo or Intelligent Agent, and attend the Refresh conference or Ars
> Electronica. Now those artists may also overlap with those in the larger
> art world who publish in ArtNews and attend the Biennial and Biennale, but
> despite the fact that all communities overlap, it is possible to say that
> there's an identity there - however loose. Not a pure, static, or
> ontological identity, but an perceptable one.
> Now as to the term, I think that Computational Media Art would be the most
> precise. Computation defines what is new about this technology in question
> in distinction to other preceding technologies (including video, etc). But
> Computation is not used that much in this sense; it's too arcane. "New
> media" seems so loose as to lose all definitive power altogether. After
> all, isn't polymer acrylic painting a new medium? I would offer that the
> more used "Digital Media Art" is a useful term - it lies between
> computation and new, and means the most precise thing to the most people.
> It's not useful to always call digital art "digital", but it's also not
> fair to dismiss the media as entirely incidental (the way the mainstream
> marketers of Brokeback mountain claimed it was "just a love story between
> two people") because the media allow the artists to go in directions that
> they simply could not with other media. If art is an interplay of artist
> with medium, then the medium helps define the artwork in a way that does
> not commit the "intentional fallacy" of defining it entirely in terms of
> artist intent or concept.
> Well, that's already more words from me than post people are likely to
> read, but I'm glad for the chance to discuss with you all. Thanks,
> Richard Rinehart
> Director of Digital Media
> Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
> University of California, Berkeley
> 2625 Durant Ave.
> Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
>>I think that it's rather a
>>fruitless attempt, outside of solving pragmatic matters like making it
>>a train wreck for people doing searches for information on the subject.
>>tell ya, it's hell trying to just find a damn program to apply to if
>>of them calls themselves something different. That said, it turns out
>>all take an -extremely- different approach, so shunting them all off in a
>>together doesn't end up being nearly as useful as it might appear at first
>>Pragmatism aside, I think trying to pin down the topic rather misses its
>>point. The general idea is to use something which is electrically powered
>>something (and even then, that's not -always- true...take bio-art).
>>pretty frigging broad. You wouldn't call all things done using wood
>>"cabinetry," or even "woodworking." You can do a million things with
>>including shipbuilding and house building, neither of which remotely
>>under the seemingly encompassing "woodworking." So why do we continue to
>>presume we should, or even can, devise a single name for something that
>>even as limiting as using 1 medium (wood)? Seems rather like trying to
>>collect the ocean in a bucket. Just as easy. Just as useful.
>>To date, the rather generic term "new media" is probably the best(?)
>>so far, in that it makes no assumption about the media other than that it
>>traditional and relies (somehow) on modern technological innovation, nor
>>make an assumption about the point, message, medium, or technique, as does
>>of the other nomenclature. To me, "new media" encompasses more specific
>>flavors like "digital art," "bio art," "net.art," "hacktivism,"
>>art," etc. We keep getting confused because we continue, sloppily,
>>about and using them interchangeably, and we get our panties in a wad
>>time someone comes along with a new one that we haven't thought of yet, as
>>though they're being bad or something by not just lumping it in to an
>>if inappropriate, genre. They are not interchangeable, technology has
>>not stopped progressing, and people have not stopped devising new things
>>with existing tools.
>>On Sat, 22 Jul 2006, Jerry King Musser wrote:
>>::Date: Sat, 22 Jul 2006 06:07:26 -0700
>>::From: Jerry King Musser <email@example.com
>>::Subject: RHIZOME_RAW: Re: what are we calling ourselves?
>>::I've been hearing 'integrated media' lately.
>>::But, a word about the responses of some others...
>>::I think the gentleman was asking a serious question and I believe we
>>should show enough respect for his intention by simply answering honestly
>>or not at all.
>>::-> post: firstname.lastname@example.org
>>::-> questions: email@example.com
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>>::-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
>>::Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
>>::Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
>>-> post: firstname.lastname@example.org
>>-> questions: email@example.com
>>-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
>>-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
>>Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
>>Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
> -> post: firstname.lastname@example.org
> -> questions: email@example.com
> -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
> Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php