to compare a typical music video from 1985 and a typical music video from 1995: within ten
years, visual aesthetics of photomontage undergone a fundamental change.
Finally, thinking about new media as speeding up of algorithms which previously
were executed by hand foregrounds the use of computers for fast algorithm execution, but
ignores its two other essential uses: real-time network communication and real-time
control. The abilities to interact with or control remotely located data in real-time, to
communicate with other human beings in real-time, and control various technologies
(sensors, motors, other computers) in real time constitute the very foundation of our
information society -- phone communications, Internet, financial networking, industrial
control, the use of micro-controllers in numerous modern machines and devices, and so on.
They also make possible many forms of new media art and culture: interactive net art,
interactive computer installations, interactive multimedia, computer games, real-time
While non-real time media generation and manipulation via digital computers can
be thought of as speeding up of previously existing artistic techniques, real-time
networking and control seem to constitute qualitatively new phenomena. When we use
Photoshop to quickly combine photographs together, or when we compose a text using a
Microsoft Word, we simply do much faster what before we were doing either completely
manually or assisted by some technologies (such as a typewriter). However, in the cases
when a computer interprets or synthesize human speech in real time, monitors sensors and
modify program’s based on their input in real-time, or controls other devices, again in real-
time, this is something which simply could not be done before. So while it is important to
remember that, on one level, a modern digital computer is just a faster calculator, we
should not ignore its other identity: that of a cybernetic control device. To put this in
different way, while new media theory should pay tributes to Alan Turing, it should not
forget about its other conceptual father – Norbert Weiner.
New Media as the Encoding of Modernist Avant-Garde; New Media as Metamedia.