New media

As technologies of all sorts have evolved over time, so have innovative means of creating, displaying and interacting with imagery that involve those technologies; and they are devised at an ever-increasing pace. Just as these advanced forms of media appear, artists explore their potential by producing works employing them.

"New media" refers to interdisciplinary works utilizing recently developed electronic media. It includes works that take advantage of what is possible with recent developments in software, and with the hardware devices -- monitors, projections, print-outs, three-dimensional fabrications, etc. -- that employ that software. As Douglas Davis (contemporary American artist, educator and author) has said, "'New media' is the perfect term to envelop the edgy results of interdisciplinary art in the new century, which leaves the Bauhaus tools buried under their revered dust."

Among the "old media" would be

  • drawings and paintings made by using the old analog techniques: dragging pigments across receptive surfaces
  • sculptures made by using other the old analog techniques -- carving, modeling, or constructing by hand
  • prints made by conventional methods
  • such printed mass media matter as books, periodicals; radio
  • cinema (although digital aspects of it might be considered new media)

The term "new media" refers to the latest electronic media, as well as works now possible with them. As used for the last several years, it includes:

  • online art -- made to be experienced while on the Internet -- mostly Web pages, and, increasingly, works dependent upon the latest Internet languages, plugins, etc., many interactive, with motion, sound, and touch components, and sometimes involving telephones, cameras, and all sorts of other peripheral devices.
  • sculptures that are fabricated entirely by machines controlled by computer technology
  • television / video might seem to be getting old, but is commonly considered new media.
  • video and computer games
  • mini-computers are either hand-held or worn, or embedded in other devices
  • CD-ROMs, DVDs, and other memory-holding devices
  • gallery and museum installations that change before one's eyes
  • robots, and devices related to them, often computer controlled, and involving mutiple motors, etc.
  • the next big and small things

Whether or not the term "new media" comes to stand for an ongoing genre of works or for an art movement of the 1990s and 2000s remains to be seen.  (

Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning