Reading Response 10 on Paul’s “Presenting and Preserving New Media”


Paul seeks to list all of the challenges that arise along with new media as opposed to the traditional art media. Paul also discusses how new media projects use multiple creators as opposed to just one creator of more traditional art. Paul also discusses how new media needs to be presented and preserve differently than traditional art media.

Important Points:

  1. “The standards for presenting, collecting, and preserving art have been tailored to objects for the longest time and few of them are applicable to new media works, which constitute a shift from object to process and differ substantially from previous process-oriented or dematerialized art forms.” Pg. 251

This quote is important because Paul says that new media form is completely different from older media forms and needs to have its own unique wat of being used by people instead of trying to interact with it the way that we interact with older media. Without knowing how to properly interact with new media, we cannot explore it and develop up it to its full potential.

  1. “Immateriality is not a fiction but an important element of new media that has profound effects on artistic practice, cultural production, and reception, as well as the curatorial process.” Pg. 252

This quote addresses the immateriality of new media. We cannot see new media as something that is not real because we cannot touch it the way we can touch a book, sculpture, or painting, but that does not mean that the new media does not exist unlike tangible, material media forms.

  1. “Current vocabularies and tools for describing and documenting art work hardly accommodate the various mutations that new media art undergoes.” Pg. 270.

Paul here is saying that the ways that we interact with materialized art work are not effective for interacting with new media. Most new media are immaterial and are not getting the respect they deserve because they are held to standards that they cannot possibly adhere to. By looking at new media the way we look at old media, we are setting new media up to fail from the get go.

Confusing Points:

  1. “Bits and bites are ultimately more stable than paint or video.” Pg. 252.

I was confused because I do not see how immaterial new media are more stable than material media. I think it is just as easy to lose files on a computer or have them corrupted as it is for a painting to be ruined or film to be destroyed.

  1. “While new media art festivals tend to draw a more specialized audience that is largely knowledgeable in ‘interface culture,’ one cannot presume that the broader museum audience consists of new media experts.” Pg. 254.

I do not see why one must be an expert on new media in order to enjoy it. One does not have to be an expert on sculpture to enjoy one, so I don’t see why Paul included this in the argument.

Discussion Question: By looking at new media through the lens of old media in a negative context, how is this similar to Plato’s opinions of writing being bad for people?