New Media Art is the genre of art that has emerged from the interaction between artists and new media technology. It encompasses many types of art such as Computer Art, Digital Art, Video art, Multimedia Art and Interactive Art amongst many others.
Artists have always embraced the new technologies of their times. From the 16thcentury with Renaissance artist Albrecht Durer’s use of woodcuts and the printing press, through to the Victorian era’s Magic Lantern Zoetrope. From the 1960s experimental film art through to the present day where current artists’ use digital media, the internet and the World Wide Web as a means through which to express their creativity. The key element of New Media Art is its use of media technology. This includes media such as software and web browsers. Some of the artworks are intended for viewing only via the internet. Others comprise more of ‘in-the-moment’ art which can involve interaction, participation and communication with its audience.
Art and technology
New media art is a rather complex field coming together at the three main areas of; the art system; technological and scientific innovation and also political and cultural media activism. Technological and scientific based artists tend to use this expertise to influence their artistic production. Examples include the sub-genres of Robotic art, software art and Genomic art. In contrast, other artists are more likely to explore themes which are political and use them as a means of communicating social activism, whilst seeking to exploit the social, cultural and aesthetic aspects of innovative technologies.
Many new media artists thrive in collaborative groups or partnerships particularly when projects require a wide range of artistic and technological skills. Thus we find various collective and group names appearing on the growing list of the names new media artists. Another tendency amongst artists in this genre is approbation where artists enjoy sampling the work of other artists which they incorporate into their own projects. This appears to be an accepted practice and follows parallel trends in the music industry. And indeed when we look back through the history of art, we find that artists have consistently imitated and influenced each other.
Art and health
The use of art and the arts in general in improving people’s health has been recognised and practiced for many years by a broad range of health care practitioners. Art therapy, which is a discipline of psychotherapy, is now widely used and its successes in improving people’s mental and emotional health and wellbeing are well documented. It has also been used in conjunction with other therapies such as hypnotherapy to positive effect in the treatment of health problems such as depression, phobias and compulsive behaviour disorder.
New media art, because of its technology association and range of use, is particularly suited in many ways to art therapy and the use of arts in healthcare.
The future of new media art
The genre of New Media Art is continuously evolving along with the technology on which it exists. This in itself presents the dilemma of how to preserve artworks when the base technology becomes obsolete. Another issue questions the longevity of the genre as a separate entity. As with a number of previous new genres of their times, New Media art is susceptible to being absorbed by mainstream art as the boundaries currently separating genres become less distinct.
A New Days Work
At A New Days Work, we are interested in all types of New Media Art. Our aim is to actively encourage, promote and support new media artists and their work. We’ll be talking about who and what is current on the scene.
We also focus on the use of art in health and actively encourage and support not only the continued use of art for health improvement but also the application of technology based research for further development in this field of medical care.
Art in the snow
Snow art takes on a number of formats and includes creations like snow sculptures, pattern making in the snow (which can range from highly intricate and detailed to simple and random creations), snowflake and crystal art along with the more traditional snowscape art.
A real showcase for the art is the Harbin Ice Festival which takes place in January every year in Harbin, China which has been mesmerising people for the best part of thirty years now. Sights include the Ice and Snow World extravaganza, the Ice Lantern Garden Party and the Sun Island scenic area.
Much less publicised and promoted is the art of pattern making in the snow. This can be as simple as what can be random patterns created by a range of different methods including the use of animal footprints, dispersing of snow de-icers such as rock salt, and the scattering of natural objects such as fruit to create unusual interactions of shape and surrounds.
The more structured and incredibly detailed snow pattern art is wonderfully demonstrated by Simon Beck who can walk up to forty kilometres and spend a whole day creating his visually stunning shapes and patterns in the snow. The incredible thing is that it is all done in the knowledge that his creation may only last a day before being covered by a new snowfall.
Education and New Media Art
New Media Art continues to become more mainstream and the more switched on colleges and universities are incorporating it into their course structures. UCA (University for the Creative Arts) in Kent run a BA (Hons) Graphic Design: New Media course which is described as a cutting edge course exploring the impact of digital culture on graphic design.
The course focuses on the creative opportunities presented by emerging technologies and the new areas for evocative media rich communication including interface and interaction design.
Health and New Media Art
There are many health benefits to be gained from the arts in general and New Media Art because of its versatility and technology base has an even greater potential to improve people's health and wellbeing.
Looking after your health throughout life is an important aspect of being able to enjoy life to the full. Unfortunately most people take their health for granted and only react when there is a problem.
Prevention is always better than cure and making this philosophy part of your lifestyle and utilising the many health information programmes and services available throughout the UK is a fundamental part of staying healthy.
Health Matters Glasgow take an holistic approach to health and wellbeing and provide a wide range of professional health services and complementary therapies. You can find them at www.healthmattersglasgow.co.uk
New Media Artist
Jen Lewin is a new media interactive artist from Colorado whose art is designed to encourage interaction, play and discovery.
She is a qualified architect and draws on this experience to create experiences and environments that are devised to be part of and also integrated into a physical space. She specialises in large scale pieces that focus on light and sound. Her preferred medium is LED lights, advanced lighting technology and computer software.
We love how her work surprises, enchants and engages people.
New media and debt issues
Information across new media channels and the internet in general is capacious, but like everything else you must be careful about which information you use and what you base your decisions on.
This is particularly relevant to debt advice and the various options that are available to people with debt problems. There has been a wide range of instances reported in the media about the financial difficulties artists and art related businesses have experienced over the years with many resulting in serious debt problems, business closures and bankruptcy.
The reasons for the difficulties are wide and varied but the best advice from experienced debt advisors is to seek help at the earliest possible opportunity. We would extend this advice to anyone who thinks they may have a debt problem.
Debt solutions include options such as debt management plans, entering into a trust deed or if the debt problems are significant then a formal personal insolvency solution such as sequestration may be required.
The key aspect is to seek professional advice and take action as the problem is only likely to get worse if left unattended.
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