The term New Media encompasses a broad range of subject matter that can include anything and everything digital or computer-based that has an aspect of interactivity or information-sharing, whether it be textual, pictorial, or otherwise.
Examples of New Media include technological mediums such as web sites, streaming audio and video, chat rooms, e-mail, virtual reality, etc, and the interaction between them and a user or users. It is distinct from static, non-digital Old Media (printed newspapers and magazines) because it creates an experience wherein the viewer of the work is now not only the viewer, but the artist— the viewer now can manipulate the work itself, ushering in an era of ‘digital globalization’ where anyone can take part and get noticed… such trends have already begun to surface in the forms of social networking sites like facebook or youtube, where a ‘big brother’ mentality is embraced, and the lives and emotions of people are put up on display, their every fear or joy spread across web pages like pinned butterflies on exhibit at a museum.
As an art form, artist Anne-Marie Schleiner equates the age of digital globalization to something that blurs the lines between reality and a simulated reality, saying that, “Reality is up for grabs. The real needs to be remade by us [the new media artists].” In her mind, New Media seems to be any tool or medium that can be used to change people’s realities or perceptions.
The term New Media, however, is constantly changing and is in a constant state of flux. New York-based artist and curator Mark Tribe asserts that over the next few years or decades, new technological and creative breakthroughs will soon make all present technologies obsolete, thus redefining what New Media is altogether.
Tribe, Mark. New Media Art. Los Angeles: Taschen, 2006.
Breakenridge, Deirdre. PR 2.0: New Media, New Tools, New Audiences. New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc, 2008.
Manovich, Lev. The Language of New Media. Cambridge: MIT Press/Leonardo Books, 2001.