Critical Journal -Ch. 3&4

Space, materiality and time- three very important terms to be aware of when curating, and making art. It is more difficult than one would think to define these terms because they are continuously in flux depending on a multitude of situations. The three terms take on a different meaning when paired with new media art. In my response to chapter three and four I would like to unpack each of these.

Space is important to an artist especially when creating something sculptural or physically interactive. It can transform a viewer’s relationship to the work. In terms of work shown in a gallery, space is something that can be physically experienced. This differs when the work has the ability to live beyond the physical world. As the text states “Art has long been concerned not just with geographic space, but with abstract space- its creation and exhibition- and by extension with the question of materiality. For new media art, these concerns go even farther into the realms of the virtual”1 . The text also refers to space as the place in which the work is shown, providing the minimalist movement as an example of disruption in space because many of the works  were creating to be viewed outside of gallery walls. Which rings true with new media, although not as intentional.

Materiality is another important factor within art. Many works are centered around the material that is being explored, therefore the materiality is a big factor when communicating with the audience. Work can deal with the materiality and/or the immateriality of a form. New Media does not root in either of these spaces because many new media pieces are interested in the process over the outcome. The collective, Noxious, created a work titled Remote Viewing which is rooted in exploring a concept through material, as oppose to the final product. As they state “ Focusing on the technology of the drones as agents of remote vision and interaction, we propose a meditation—part visual, part conceptual—on the status of vision, bodies and technology in the 21st century”2. The work is  comprised of three floating heads that lived in the gallery and live streamed the events of the gallery  which could be viewed anywhere that has internet connection. You can find the site here, but is unfortunately not connected as the work is not currently on display



Time is another important factor when it comes to art and can live in many different forms. Primarily, time holds importance within video and performance art, and has transformed throughout the histories of these practices. Many early video art pieces have a duration that is based on real time recordings which were unedited. Within performance and video there is a a duration, a fairly obvious end for the most part. With new media art, the end is undefined. Because there are many works that are based on data collection, they are continuously changing, and at what point is the work considered finished? This is a question that curators have in their minds when including these  works in shows. There are curators working within different spaces in order to facilitate new media works and provide the viewer with a ‘time stamp’. An example highlighted in the text would be Medialounge, the Media Centre which is a gallery that was set up in zones around the basis of the viewer spending an appropriate amount of time with the work.
Representing time, space and materiality in a new media context proves to be difficult within the constraints of a white wall or black box. Many curators and artists speak about this issues and how to work with it. In many ways you can curate within these provided space but  there are many alternate places that are being explored in order to properly epitomize new media art. Because space can be virtual, time can be perceived as never ending, and material can focus on process, it is hard to curate new media without the understanding of its characteristics and a designated space where it can best be showcased. 


1Graham, Beryl, and Sarah Cook. “1.” Rethinking Curating: Art after New Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2010. 51. Print.
2″Remote Viewing.” Canadian Art. Canadian Art, n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2016.


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