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Norie Neumark

Norie Neumark is Professor of Media Studies, La Trobe University, Melbourne. She is a sound and media artist (http://www.out-of-sync.com) and the coeditor (with Annemarie Chandler) of At a Distance: Precursors to Art and Activism on the Internet (MIT Press, 2005).

Titles by This Editor

Vocal Aesthetics in Digital Arts and Media

Voice has returned to both theoretical and artistic agendas. In the digital era, techniques and technologies of voice have provoked insistent questioning of the distinction between the human voice and the voice of the machine, between genuine and synthetic affect, between the uniqueness of an individual voice and the social and cultural forces that shape it. This volume offers interdisciplinary perspectives on these topics from history, philosophy, cultural theory, film, dance, poetry, media arts, and computer games. Many chapters demonstrate Lewis Mumford’s idea of the “cultural preparation” that precedes technological innovation--that socially important new technologies are foreshadowed in philosophy, the arts, and everyday pastimes. Chapters cover such technologies as voice mail, podcasting, and digital approximations of the human voice. A number of authors explore the performance, performativity, and authenticity [(or ‘authenticity effect’) of voice in dance, poetry, film, and media arts]; while others examine more immaterial concerns--the voice’s often-invoked magical powers, the ghostliness of disembodied voices, and posthuman vocalization. [The chapters evoke an often paradoxical reassertion of the human in the use of voice in mainstream media including recorded music, films, and computer games.ContributorsMark Amerika, Isabelle Arvers, Giselle Beiguelman, Philip Brophy, Ross Gibson, Brandon LaBelle, Thomas Levin, Helen Macallan, Virginia Madsen, Meredith Morse, Norie Neumark, Andrew Plain, John Potts, Theresa M. Senft,Nermin Saybasili, Amanda Stewart, Axel Stockburger, Michael Taussig, Martin Thomas, Theo van Leeuwen, Mark Wood

Precursors to Art and Activism on the Internet

Networked collaborations of artists did not begin on the Internet. In this multidisciplinary look at the practice of art that takes place across a distance—geographical, temporal, or emotional—theorists and practitioners examine the ways that art, activism, and media fundamentally reconfigured each other in experimental networked projects of the 1970s and 1980s. By providing a context for this work—showing that it was shaped by varying mixes of social relations, cultural strategies, and political and aesthetic concerns—At a Distance effectively refutes the widely accepted idea that networked art is technologically determined. Doing so, it provides the historical grounding needed for a more complete understanding of today's practices of Internet art and activism and suggests the possibilities inherent in networked practice.

At a Distance traces the history and theory of such experimental art projects as Mail Art, sound and radio art, telematic art, assemblings, and Fluxus. Although the projects differed, a conceptual questioning of the "art object," combined with a political undermining of dominant art institutional practices, animated most distance art. After a section that sets this work in historical and critical perspective, the book presents artists and others involved in this art "re-viewing" their work—including experiments in "mini-FM," telerobotics, networked psychoanalysis, and interactive book construction. Finally, the book recasts the history of networks from the perspectives of politics, aesthetics, economics, and cross-cultural analysis.