RENEW 2013

The 5th International Conference on the Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology

Riga / October 8 – 11, 2013

"Networked Art" Participants

Brogan BUNT

Walking as Mediation: Experiments in Non-Technological Media Art

Session:Networked Art

Panel:Panel A


Venue:Stockholm School of Economics, Soros Audium

The traditional conception of media relates to technological systems of representation and communication – film, television, radio, the Internet, mobile devices, etc. Within this framework, Media Art appears as the genre of art that critically reflects upon these systems, subjecting them to a work of making strange in which the technological precisely, in all its various motions of intimacy and alienation, becomes visible. But must this always be the case? Must Media Art necessarily involve a reflection upon the technological? Taking a number of walking and socially engaged art projects as examples, this paper considers how a more general conception of mediation is emerging that is less specifically concerned with the technological as such. Instead of literal machines, circuits and code, we find human actors, organic materials and complex social and environmental fields. Mediation here is conceived in more general terms as the systemic dimension of any situation whatsoever – the play of relays, exchanges, distancing and deferral that is characteristic of social interaction generally. This new conception at once draws from the heritage of technological media art and also pushes beyond the latter’s limits, opening up links to wider currents of contemporary art practice. In the process, Media Art takes shape less as a determinable genre – with a standard toolset and iconography – than as a tradition of open creative enquiry and exploration

Renew programme

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