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Art and Electronic Media (Themes and movements) [Hardcover]

Edward A. Shanken

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Book Description

3 Feb 2009 Themes and movements
A timely survey that addresses the relationship between art and electronic technology, including mechanics, light, graphics, robots, virtual reality and the web

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'... goes further than just offering a survey view. Edward Shanken unpacks with is now often called new media art into fathomable themes ... As well as his thought-provoking essay, there are images from seminal yet disregarded figures in electronic media'
Art World

About the Author

Edward A Shanken is an art historian focusing on 20th-century experimental art. Editor of Telematic Embrace: Visionary Theories of Art, Technology, and Consciousness by Roy Ascott (2001), he serves on the Media Art History faculty at Donau University, Krems, Austria, and is Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam.

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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the Posthistorical to the Future 24 Mar 2009
By Jokie X Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What stands out most for me about this book is how, even though it is a review of twentieth-century art, it is the best book I have read to date that offers an exciting perspective on where art can go from there. The book was almost published a few years ago and again a year or so ago. I started to wonder if it would ever get published. The delay appears to be a desire to contextualize up through 2008, to show what the concepts in the twentieth century led to. This is likely because art in 2008, especially electronic media, was being conceived of from the early twentieth century and has, in some cases, only fully manifested itself now. People imagined communicating the way we do now in 2009 long before we had the technology to build an Internet, post home videos, and make use of virtual reality, a term coined in the early twentieth century.

The common thread with the art covered in this book is that it all makes use of electricity in some form. It covers computers, robotics, biotechnology, even body and performance art. Much of it, although not all of it, deals with communication processes. Of course, all of it deals with communication, as that is what art is about.

Another thing that stands out for me is how the written material in this book covers the end of the twentieth century. Much as I have found Art in Theory 1900 - 2000: An Anthology of Changing Ideas to be an amazing book, the essays at the very end not only do not cover the material in this book, they are among the weakest in that book. So, I recommend this book for its superior coverage of the turn of the 20th/21st century. Posthistorical theory may have merit, but it can have an implied fatalism that this book correctly circumvents, offering instead an inspiring, optimistic view of the still uncharted possibilities for art.

No competent contemporary art history program will be complete without this sort of material. Traditional mediums will continue to be used, but the period where it was cool to be snobbish towards television and other electronic mediums is now dated and irrelevant. All of the books in the Themes and Movements series are fantastic. But this is the best one to date to pull you into the future and not merely fetish the past.

For current developments, Leonardo is suggested by the book. The journal covers issues related to the development of the arts and sciences and how these two disciplines relate to one another. I would recommend reading this book first and then deciding if a subscription is in order as the journal does not lend itself to mere passive reading.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading 16 Sep 2013
By camy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I haven't finished reading the book, the contents of the previous chapters in great detail. Picture is very interesting.Worth reading!
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Resources 11 Jan 2014
By Meagan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Some of the essays annoy me. But the resources of old and new artists is a valuable asset. Nonetheless, as a text for class, it is heavy, expensive, and often very annoying.
2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good condition, pretty fast 11 Dec 2009
By Shreya A. Sethi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I needed this book for a class. it came in pretty fast and in very good condition. It had a thin layer of plastic protecting it. It is a really good book if you are interested in the history of Electronic Art. Really beautiful images and pretty concise descriptions that help you start further research on the artist. Wish there were more Asian Artist
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