This research investigates media art through practice based and theoretic research. At the centre of this investigation are seminal exhibitions in the history of media art as well as my own curatorial practice. The thesis proposes that paradigm shifts in media art and society are closely linked and that studying those paradigm shifts through the chosen exhibitions provides insights into the interlocking dynamics of art, technology and social change.
At the beginning of the 1990s, the proclaimed crisis of the city marked a general crisis of governance: the discussion about the supposed “decline of cities” was characterised by a controversial debate about a possible loss of control. Paradoxically, all hopes have been pinned on those technologies that were held accountable for the dissolution of the urban space. That’s because, as in similar techno-utopias before, cyberspace was considered to be constructable and, therefore, controllable.
This diagram is rendered by graphviz using the dot language. It tries to reflect key elements of the dominant paradigms in the 20th century regarding accumulation regimes, developmental models, political constellations, scientific breakthroughs, artistic movements and social movements. The current version is still experimental and not very strict in its interpretation of the model, which means that the diagram is imperfect on one hand anyway, but also has deliberately avoided becoming too linear, i.e. certain new terms are brought in while others get dropped.
This text is a methodological outline linking categories of the Technopolitics research project with the PhD research project on "Moves in Media Art - Paradigm changes in art and technology". While mainly sketching out a work program for the coming months, the notion of "creative norms" is proposed here for the first time in an English text. It therefore would be nice to get some feedback on this.