<< preface

this blog is nina wenhart's collection of resources on the various histories of new media art. it consists mainly of non or very little edited material i found flaneuring on the net, sometimes with my own annotations and comments, sometimes it's also textparts i retyped from books that are out of print.

it is also meant to be an additional resource of information and recommended reading for my students of the prehystories of new media class that i teach at the school of the art institute of chicago in fall 2008.

the focus is on the time period from the beginning of the 20th century up to today.

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>> exhibition: The Machine as Seen at the end of the Mechanical Age, MoMa, 1968

curated by K.G. Pontus Hultén, November 1968 - February 9, 1969

put these in correct posts: Cybernetic Serendipity (ICA, curated by Jasia Reichardt, 1968); The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age (MOMA, curated by K.G. Pontus Hulten, 1968); Software, Information Technology: Its Meaning for Art (Jewish Museum, New York, curated by Jack Burnham, 1970); Information (MOMA, curated by Kynaston McShine, 1970); and Art and Technology (LACMA, curated by Maurice Tuchman, 1970).

"Hulten remarks: "technology
today is undergoing a critical transition. . . . the mechanical
machine - which can most easily be defined as an imitation of our
muscles - is losing its dominating position among the tools of
mankind; while electronic and chemical devices - which imitate
the processes of the brain and the nervous system - are becoming increasingly important" (page 3).

[...] His (Hultén's) preferences include, in my opinion, the Dadaists, the Constructivists,
Charlie Chaplin and Jean Tinguely. This somewhat disparate collection of artists appears to be united - in Hulten's view - by their desire to dominate the mechanical world, to establish
better relations with machines so that a greater measure of humor, harmony and humanity might reign in our irrevocable marriage with technology.

[...] "The decisions that will shape our society in the future will have to be arrived at, developed, and carried out through technology. But they must be based on the same criteria of respect and appreciation for human capacities, freedom, and responsibility that prevail in art" (page I3).
"In planning for such a world, and in helping to bring it into being, artists are more important than politicians, and even than technicians" (page i).

[...] Nonetheless, he (Hultén) uses these symbols, and the application of "car" to Bugatti's La Royale (page I42), Fuller's Dymaxion Car (page I43) and Farhner's Boot Hill Express (page I8o) implies a simple distinction between "art" and "machine."

(from: William A. Camfield, The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age by K. G. Pontus Hultén (review), The Art Bulletin, Vol. 53, No. 2, (Jun., 1971), pp. 275-277
Published by: College Art Association, Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3048856)

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... is a Media Art historian and independent researcher. She is currently writing on "speculative archiving && experimental preservation of Media Art" and graduated from Prof. Oliver Grau's Media Art Histories program at the Danube University in Krems, Austria with a Master Thesis on Descriptive Metadata for Media Arts. For many years, she has been working in the field of archiving/documenting Media Art, recently at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Media.Art.Research and before as the head of the Ars Electronica Futurelab's videostudio, where she created their archives and primarily worked with the archival material. She was teaching the Prehystories of New Media Class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and in the Media Art Histories program at the Danube University Krems.