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Art, Technology and Policy in the Twenty-First Century

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Twenty-first century media are integral to the making, dissemination and business of art. They are also the infrastructure of neoliberal globalisation. Artists and cultural activists can no longer ignore the technical workings of network media, nor how they are constructed politically in global and national policy forums. This article analyses the loss of integral governance as a result of the rise of neoliberalism, the increased exclusion of the developing world from decision-making processes and the emergence of technical norms which threaten to constrain creative and social activity aimed at anything other than profit. It argues that we already have models for intervening in these processes at local and global levels, proposing that these are no longer tactical but strategic options for artistic practice. It concludes with a brief consideration of the largest remaining challenge: the social and environmental impact of new media technologies, and recommends artists temper their concern for content with attention to the vehicles of their art.

Keywords: Technology; World Wide Web; electronic arts; environment; grid; media; neoliberalism; network; policy

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2009

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