"Inside the System: Ray Johnson as New Media Artist"

Art=Text=Art: Works by Contemporary Artists


Online Exhibition Catalog

In Coordination with the University of Richmond's Joel & Lila Harnett Museum of Art

and the Sally and Wynn Kramarsky Collection

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"Conventional definitions of digital media posit the ever-expanding interconnectivity between people as the crowning achievement of technology.1 These same definitions often celebrate the Internet as the place where anyone—at any time—can communicate with everyone else. Not only does the Internet enable access to the world in real time, but it also facilitates and improves participation and communication among users. Many of the outspoken theorists who have been instrumental in defining the field of new media make a clear distinction between digital and traditional media—separating the world along technological lines. According to this line of thought, new media began with the development of computers and with the appearance of code, database structures, and online user collaboration.2 This argument suggests that new media is defined fundamentally by interconnectivity and access–to information and to other users. Yet I counter not only that the term “new media” should encompass works created before the computer, but also that the mail art project devised by the artist Ray Johnson should be recognized as a primary example of new media art..."

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