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A Companion to Digital Art by Christiane Paul

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Introduction: From Digital to Post‐Digital—Evolutions of an Art Form

Christiane Paul

Compiling a companion to the vast territory of digital art is both an interesting challenge and an impossibility. It is inconceivable to cover all the histories, expressions, and implications of digital art in one volume, and almost all of the articles assembled here could each be expanded into a book of its own. Accepting its own impossibilities, this anthology strives to give a survey of the histories of digital art practice; the aesthetics of the art; the politics of digital media and network cultures and artistic activism; as well as the issues that digital art raises for the institution in terms of its presentation, collection, and preservation.

The challenge of creating a companion to digital art begins with defining the art form and delineating its territory. The terminology for technological art forms has always been extremely fluid and what is now known as digital art has undergone several name changes since it first emerged. Originally referred to as computer art, then multimedia art and cyberarts (1960s–1990s), art forms using digital technologies became digital art or so-called new media art at the end of the 20th century. The term “new media art” co-opted the label that, at the time, was used mostly for film/video, sound art, and various hybrid forms, and had been used throughout the 20th century for media that were emerging at any given time. The problematic qualifier of the ...

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