<< 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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>> USCO, Gerd Stern

"Mekas and Durkee agreed that many people were turned off by strobes, that some even felt them to be “evil,” that others feared “something incoming.” This sense of menace was mentioned by the reviewer for Harper’s, to whom USCO “seem fully aware of the potential threat that lies in the sophisticated manipulation of ‘total environment’ ideas.”[15] But if they had recognized that forging such a “digital trip” might harbor a dark underside, this ceding of the self to its environmental machinations was repeatedly cast as a mode of escape from congealed forms of representation and extant forms of power. In Mekas’s words, strobe had the effect of “dissolving all the points of hard resistance, both of matter and mind[.] So that every reality that is here like a rock is being atomized.” Reiterating the transformative effect, he argued: “To me evil is, in art or life, only what keeps us rotating in one place like a record that gets stuck in the same groove. But the intermedia shows, the strobe opens us.”[16]"


"from USCO through Intermedia, 1962-1979" at Thorpe Intermedia Gallery, which opened on September 9, 1979, assembled by Michael Callahan, Gerd Stern, Zalman Stern, Lind Von Helwig (Sparkill, New York)

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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.