I worked on this a couple of years ago, but it’s finally out in printed and digital form. Edited by Valerio Terraroli and published by Bompiani / Skira, It’s an art history book meant for the high schools and universities, from cave paintings to… net art. I made research for the second half of the Vol. 5, on contemporary art from the Fifties to the XXI century, and I was able to add some issues that are not usually featured in high school art history manuals.
This is my response to Claire Bishop‘s essay “Digital Divide“, published in Artforum in September 2012 (also posted in the comments section of the article):
Reading this article was a pleasure, and a pain. Some of the points made here are really good, and I also felt a lot of empathy for many of the examples raised, such as the use of obsolete or dead media, or the “archival impulse”, which have been the polar stars of my curatorial and critical work so far.
The problem is that Bishop fails in formulating the main question, that is: contemporary art should respond to the digital age – why it doesn’t? In my opinion, this question should be reformulated this way: “why the mainstream art world, the small niche I belong to and I’m talking to hereby, doesn’t respond to the digital age?”
Paddy Johnson, “Is New Media Accepted in the Art World? Domenico Quaranta’s Media, New Media, PostMedia”, in Art Fag City, August 30, 2011.
Do institutions and galleries have a growing interest in New Media? Two weeks ago, I identified the art “internet bubble” at The L Magazine, a trend that’s currently giving new media the spot light. Not everyone sees new media the same way though. Domenico Quaranta, an Italian writer and curator previously best known to this blog for “Holy Fire“, a dubiously themed new media exhibition in Brussels that included only “collectible” work, being one such example. Quaranta’s followed up the 2008 exhibition by writing a whole book on the subject of New Media — “Media, New Media, PostMedia” — one core theme being that the field isn’t accepted in the contemporary art world. ”New Media Art is more or less absent in the contemporary art market, as well as in mainstream art magazines,” he writes in his abstract, ”and recent accounts on contemporary art history completely forgot it.” Go on reading…
“[…] both within the computer based art world and the non-computer based art forces are working against an integration of the two worlds that actually both would benefit from.”
Inke Arns & Jacob Lillemose, “It’s contemporary art, stupid”. Curating computer based art out of the ghetto, 2005