#34-35 Media Art

Ideo-mapping: A few reference points about media art


The first difficulty when talking about media art is related to the name itself. What kind of discourse or artistic expression does it stand for? What kind of approach and direction does it embody? Is it related to a time period, or to any particular cultural area? What we know for sure is that media art has stayed with us for decades (some trace it as far back as to a hundred years ago), that books are being written and exhibitions are being made in its name, and that there are specializations and departments in universities devoted to it. We also know that under its semantic arch (sometimes in a bulk), numerous endeavours are carried such as: experimental films, video art, multimedia installations, interactive systems, digital image processing, internet art, sound experiments, mobile devices and applications, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, video-mapping, social media, CD-Rom, crowd-sourcing and open source applications, ubiquitous computing, the Internet of Things etc. But who can provide an easy and brief explanation on what media art actually is? In St. Augustine’s words, when being asked how can we define time: “if no one addressed this question to me, then I would know what time is”. That’s how things look like in this case as well. And yet, even if it is difficult to capture it in an easy-to-follow definition, one can infer some defining landmarks of media art, which usually boil down to three aspects: the relationship with the so-called mainstream art (the art of major institutions and exhibitions), the medium specificity (following the pathlines opened by modernism) and the role of the digital (sometimes considered a sine qua non/requisite in the definition of media art).


Horea Avram, Coordinator of the special feature


Cristina Bogdan

Founder and editor-in-chief, between 2014-19, of the online edition of Revista ARTA. Co-founder of East Art Mags, a network of contemporary art magazines from eastern and Central Europe. Runs ODD, a s...