Mstation Book Reviews
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Sat, 02 Sep 2006

New Media Art

Mark Tribe, Reena Jana, 
New Media Art, Taschen

One has to beware slightly of the utterings of arts writers. It's a field where bucketloads of bullshit aren't unknown and where a critical voice is raised it can be met by patronising reactions. It can all be a bit Emperor's Clothesish... like its sister, the world of fashion (of which it is largely part).

This particular book is quite interesting and highlights a few of the things that have been happening over the last few years, particularly on the web. And there is also a rub - the fandom for Open Source ideas, which is admittedly not too overdone. The basic idea here is that people might share intellectual resources in their projects which might be software, music, or art, but could be almost anything. This idea has been extended by some to mean that no-one should be able to own these things which makes for a philosophical backing for pirate downloading of music or film for example. This also has made for reactions on the other side, by Big Business mostly, that are equally annoying.

Anyway, there are quite a few projects to browse through in this book. Each has some pictures as well as a generous writeup and it is in one of Taschen's cheaper ranges and could serve as inspiration, or at the least, inspiration for a reasonable web browsing session as most projects have website URLs given.

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