Approaching a Material for Expression in the Aesthetics of New Media

Geoffrey Alan Rhodes, Caitlin Fisher

In 1972, media theorist Rosalind Krauss described the new material for expression in emerging video art as a narcissistic circuit-- a circuit that includes the performer and their own live mediation. With the current emergence of artistic expression in mixed and augmented reality, a new material for expression is offered that creates a circuit with the digital processor. This new circuit of expression both expands and frustrates the traditional relationship of artist to material: the translation of performance in to code forces the performer into relationship with the black-box of the machine, where the only true analogues occur in total failure: system crashes, noise, and other collapses. The embedding of the performer in the circuit of capture-process-render requires new attitudes for expression in media that can be found in a survey of current new media art practices; the filter as abstract expression, the virtual as the paranormal, and interactivity as identification are among the solutions found.

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