Reflection on the readings of Manovich & Gere

In both of the readings, I found that the hyperlinks were helpful in keeping me in context as I read, allowing for me to stop momentarily in order to receive an in-depth perspective on particular subjects briefly touched upon throughout the papers.  In his paper, “New Media From Borges to HTML,” Lev Manovich provides much information on the history of the field of new media in the hopes that it would aid in the reader’s understanding of what new media actually is.  I realized that I already knew a large portion of the material covered since I took Arts 11 last quarter, but I was able to gain new ideas about art thanks to the information provided via the hyperlinks. For example, at the end of the 1990s new institutions devoted to the production and support for new media art were founded in Europe, which include the ZKM in Karlsruhe (1989), New Media Institute in Frankfurt (1990) and ISEA (Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts) in the Netherlands (1990).  Then as I read on the Intercommunication Center in Tokyo, an innovative cultural facility in Tokyo Opera City Tower in Nishi-Shinjuku, Tokyo, caught my eye.  The ICC developed in the 1990s as well, established on April 19, 1997, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of telephone service in Japan (1990).  ICC encourages the dialogue between technology and the arts with a core theme of “communication,” allowing them to build a prosperous society for the future.  Through such dialogue, it also aims to become a network that links artists and scientists worldwide, as well as a center for information exchange that has existed even until this day.  It was the creation of institutions like this that allowed for the worldwide spreading of new media and the concepts/ideas that came along with it.  In Charlie Gere’s, “New Media Art and the Gallery in the Digital Age,” he starts by stating he is concerned particularly with the representation in art galleries and museums of work created by using new technologies such as computers.  The first hyperlink provided is about “systems art,” which gives the reader much insight into the topics he will cover further on in his paper.  Systems art is art influenced by cybernetics, and systems theory, which reflects on natural systems, social systems and social signs of the art world itself.  It emerged as part of the first wave of the conceptual art movement extended in the 1960s and 1970s.  Perhaps the most significant information I gained from this link is that systems art has many closely related and overlapping terms, such as anti-form movement, cybernetic art, generative systems, process art, systems aesthetic, systemic art, systemic painting and systems sculptures.  This took me by surprise since I began to grasp how expansive the field of new media actually was.  Another piece of information I found interesting was the development of the Arpanet, predecessor of the Internet, which helped produce an increased interest in using such technologies for art.  The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network  was the world’s first operational packet switching network and the core network of a set that came to compose the global Internet, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the United States Department of Defense.  The Arpanet relates to one of Manovich’s “Eight Propositions”, specifically number eight: new media as parallel articulation of similar ideas in post WWII art and modern computing.  This proposition maintains that art is always evolving, technology just happens to be here now.  The Internet occurred due to the evolution of the Arpanet, fueled by the development of new technologies in that specific time period that made the Internet possible.  In conclusion, given the ease of navigation afforded by hyperlinking I definitely agree with Gere’s assertion that "the gallery has an important role to play in making this art visible, not just now but also in the future, when such work will be part of art history." Galleries and museums can engage with our increasingly technologized society, in particular the ubiquity of new media and new technologies such as the Internet.  This paper is evidence for such a concept since hyperlinks originate from the Internet and can be successfully integrated into the reading in order to improve the way art and information about art is received and understood.