“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.

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Submission guidelines:
Please include your name, the title of your work, and your school + expected graduation date in the body of your email. You may submit multiple pieces, but include these details for each work. Specify if you are submitting for online or print; online submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.
All writers and artists must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at the time of their submission.
We request that all submissions are previously unpublished. If you would like to submit your work elsewhere after it is featured in JAC, please acknowledge our editors’ work by noting that JAC was the original place of publication.

All TEXTS should primarily address the work of a living or contemporary artist. Attach your writing as a Word document with Chicago citations. Our review process is anonymous; please do not include your name in the document. For print, we prefer texts of 1000 – 3000 words, though we will consider texts of up to 4000 words.
For online submissions, shorter reviews and interviews of 750-2000 words are preferable.
Please note that this is a peer-reviewed journal; we expect that authors will work with our editors before any writing is published.

Attach your ART as a jpg at 300dpi if it is image-based.
Contact us for specifications for other media.

Email your submission to with the subject line Submission – [Title of Work]. Please email the same address with any questions.
We look forward to hearing from you!