(edited by) Oliver Grau and Inge Hinterwaldner – Retracing Political Dimensions, Strategies in Contemporary New Media Art


De Gruyter, ISBN: 978-3110670943, English, 304 pages, 2020, Germany

In Retracing Political Dimensions, theorists take a close look at various forms of media art. What almost all contributions seem to have in common is a distinct perspective on what we might call the “ecology of machine-produced images” and their impact on our knowledge and perception. Mathias Fuchs, among others, discusses standardised gestures and movements that transcend the boundaries of video games and enter broader social ecologies. Randall Packer, on the other hand, reconstructs the countercultural network use of video, performance and print in the 1960s and 70s through “social broadcasting” attitudes. The area Inge Hinterwaldner examines is the sky and outer space, conceived both as a carrier of the ether and as a medial space in itself, linking various 20th century artworks. Then there is the historical ‘behavioural biometrics’ translated into art and technology by Chris Salter, the media archaeology of Andrés Burbano, who traces the connection between the 1950s MONIAC computer and the current sculptures of Michael Stevenson, and finally the seminal work of Teresa Burga in the 1960s on the quantification and identification of her own body, detailed by Elisa Arca and José-Carlos Mariateguí. Clearly informed by the Media Art Histories conference series, this collection of texts offers valuable discoveries and original framings of media artworks.