Art and Electronic Media

Special Preview – if you think it’s pretty on the outside…

with 6 comments


I’ve created a Special Preview (1,6MB .pdf) including the full Survey essay, so you can see more of what’s inside the book. While this preview does not do justice to Phaidon Press’s superbly printed color images on quality stock, the text is crisp and will give you a sense of the overall structure and content.

– Table of Contents
– Preface
– Survey introduction
– Selections from thematic streams in Works
– First pages of Documents section

If you like what you see, I hope you’ll consider purchasing the book by clicking through on my website. Better yet, support your local bookstore!

In any case, I look forward to your comments. Below, I’ve copied the text for the preface, which explains the overall aim and scope of the volume.

Preface to Art and Electronic Media

Artists have always used the most advanced materials and techniques to create their work. When their visions required media and methods that did not exist, they invented what was needed to realize their dreams. Sometimes, as with oil paint in the 1400s and with photography five centuries later, a new technology became so widely adopted that it gained acceptance as a conventional artistic medium. In our own time, electronic technologies have become so pervasive that it is hard to imagine contemporary contemporary music produced without electric instruments or to imagine an author writing or an architect designing without the aid of a computer. Yet, with few exceptions, electronic art has remained under-recognized in mainstream art discourses. This is true despite the deeply entwined histories of technology and art, and the impressive accomplishments of contemporary artists whose practices have both embraced and contributed to the development of emerging technologies. That lack of recognition has begun to change.

Art and Electronic Media aspires to demonstrate the formidable albeit short history of artistic uses of electronic art media, a history that parallels the growing pervasiveness of technology in all facets of life. Over two hundred artists and institutions from more than thirty countries are represented. Seven thematic streams organize nearly a century of extraordinarily diverse material, de-emphasizing technological apparatus and foregrounding continuities across periods, genres and media. The centrality of artists as theorists, critics and historians is reflected in the focus on artists’ writings in the Documents section. The goal is to enable the rich genealogy of art and electronic media in the twentieth century to be understood and seen – literally and figuratively – as central to the histories of art and visual culture.

– Edward A. Shanken

Written by Edward Shanken

March 15, 2009 at 5:32 pm

6 Responses

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  1. I was just looking at the special preview of your book, I can’t wait to get my hands on the one I ordered. In the mean time, I hope you don’t mind me posting a review of the book on our website

    Andres Salgado

    March 22, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    • Thanks! I look forward to the review and will post a link in the Reviews and Blogs section. ES


      March 24, 2009 at 12:15 pm

  2. Perpetual Art Machine will also be giving a shout out for you as well. From what I can see it is going to be a must read for anyone involved in new media. Will go pick up a copy next week. Cheers, Lee


    March 22, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    • Thanks Lee! I look forward to your review. ES


      March 25, 2009 at 2:29 am

  3. very impressive and interesting to read. Thank you for the special preview!

    Yu Sisi

    September 29, 2009 at 4:35 pm

  4. […] Art and Electronic Media (Phaidon Press, 2009). Second printing now available!!! Reviews / Special Preview […]

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