Binary Code

The Future of Criticism

Does multimedia bring art down from the sublime to the cool?

A new distinction between highbrow and lowbrow seems to be in the making. While the 'true devotees' of culture apply themselves to books, opera and painting, the grey, uncivilised classes are to be kept busy with primitive and juvenile 'new' media. The lonely crowds are lured into a state of permanent numbness, resulting in dazed and confused packs of couch potatoes sitting it out in ever lasting zapping-, clicking-, chatting- and surfing-sessions. Digitisation takes command: electronic solitude creates a Cybernetic Waste Land. Included here is a new aristocracy harbouring a deep hatred towards the on-line masses.
Portrait of the virtual intellectual
On the design of the public cybersphere
By Geert Lovink
Lecture at 100 days program of Documenta X Kassel, July 13, 1997

Geert Lovink's sites:

What is missing from the digital artwork is the involvement of the body, a texture, the weight of things, the natural life in which they bathe and with all these, the quality of attention necessary for a text or an image to be seized and then transformed by the imagination."
Jacques Delaruelle in Periphery, 1996
Read a response to this opinion by digital artist Paul Brown

I never read, I just look at pictures
Andy Warhol

Just as the movie camera made the stage box seem too confining, so may the computer mouse make the director's camera seem too confining.
Janet Murray Hamlet on the Holodeck 1997

new media: like the house-dog munching peacefully on the meat while the house is looted.
Neil Postman Technopoly 1993