New Media at Risk

Or When the Future Ain’t What it Used To Be

Authored by: Timothy Murray

The Routledge Companion to Media and Risk

Print publication date:  March  2020
Online publication date:  February  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138638938
eBook ISBN: 9781315637501
Adobe ISBN:


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What are the artistic and cultural challenges posed by the development of new media in a global culture of risk? Juxtaposing ontological and epistemological approaches to risk, we discuss the digital network as a conflictually configured system of global, capital sovereignty but also as an affirmative, evolving event that loosens institutional constraints for artistic creation, exhibition, and critique. Fundamental is consideration of the shifts that occur when the archival meets the fictional, when the singularity of the archival object blends into the plurality of the exhibition network, and when artistic practice and humanistic research respond to the urgent, interdisciplinary imperatives of digital culture, biopolitics, and the Anthropocene. These imperatives will be discussed as potentially affirmational in contrast to merely skeptical understandings of the allure of electronic art and new media as reflecting only the threatening taint of digital neoliberal capital. In an effort to reflect on the shifting knowledge structures of international media practices within the biopolitical framework, we will discuss conjoined philosophical and artistic projects that foreground the philosophy of technology and the prominence of risk in the biopolitical context of new media art, with close attention to projects by David Blair, Suzanne Treister, and Hito Steyerl.

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