NEW MEDIA, NEW MESSAGES – 2020 PRINT EDITION
“New media, like the computer technology on which it relies, races simultaneously towards the future and the past, towards what we might call the bleeding edge of obsolescence. Indeed, rather than asking, What is new media? we might want to ask what seem to be the more important questions: what was new media? and what will it be?…why and how is it that the ephemeral endures? And what does the constant repetition and regeneration of information effect? What loops and what instabilities does it introduce into the logic of programmability?”
-Wendy H.K. Chun, “The Enduring Ephemeral, or the Future Is a Memory.”
Twenty years after the inception of Web 2.0, digital media has installed itself in our everyday lives—yet it continues to generate new questions about the changing role of creative production. How has art practice shifted, especially in the last two decades, to reflect the conditions of an increasingly technologically-mediated world? For our fifth print edition, the Journal of Art Criticism seeks essays and original artworks that interrogate New Media’s status in the changing world of contemporary art. Some questions that might guide this exploration include—but are certainly not limited to—the following:
Is the 21st-century media ecosystem a space of freedom and open-source liberatory potential, or an oligopoly of Big Tech stacks and sinister surveillance? How have contemporary artists answered this question?
What new possibilities are afforded by Net Art as a medium? What direction has digital-based art production taken over the last two decades? How might it continue to move forward?
As the capacity to circulate images grows to a previously unimaginable size and speed, how might the art world’s traditional model of valuing artworks come into question? What new models of circulation and valuation does New Media afford?
Distraction. Hypertext. Decentralization. How do these New Media paradigms interact with print media? For this edition, we are especially eager to publish submissions that critically reflect on the status of physical media and print publication in the contemporary creative ecosystem.