Art After New Media: Exploring Black Boxes, Tactics, and Archaeologies

The Incantor, a modified, or “circuit-bent” Speak & Spell, Reed Ghazala, First developed in 1978.

LEA Volume 17 Issue 2
Senior Editors for this volume: Lanfranco Aceti and Simon Penny

ISBN: 978-1906897-16-1
ISSN: 1071-4391

Reference: Garnet Hertz, “Art After New Media: Exploring Black Boxes, Tactics and Archaeologies,” eds. Lanfranco Aceti and Simon Penny, Leonardo Electronic Almanac (DAC09: After Media: Embodiment and Context) 17, no. 2 (2012): 172-183

Art After New Media: Exploring Black Boxes, Tactics, and Archaeologies
by Garnet Hertz

This paper discusses three methodological themes employed by contemporary media artists who reuse obsolete information technology hardware in their work. Methodologies include the exploration of the hidden “blackboxed” layer of technology by circuit bending artists like Reed Ghazala, the tactical use of technologies to bring social change by artists like Natalie Jeremijenko, and the archaeological use of outdated technologies to intervene in history by artists like Tom Jennings. These themes are presented as useful tools to construct a language of reuse which serves a valuablefunction in a culture increasingly confronted by electronic waste and assists in critiquing assumptions of obsolescence, technological progress and understanding digital culture primarily within the framework of “new media.”

Full article is available for download as a pdf here.

Vol 17 Issue 2 of Leonardo Electronic Almanac (LEA) is published on line as a free PDF but will also be rolled out as Amazon Print on Demand and will be available on iTunes, iPad, Kindle and other e-publishing outlets.