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Murray McKeich, pzombie Murray McKeich, pzombie

From pre-cinema visual entertainments to the first Second Life performance art group, RealTime 77 celebrates media arts, a far-reaching field of not always screen-based and increasingly interactive works that are fast disappearing old meanings of ‘audience’, to create an arts experience that is insistently more immersive and mobile, and arts users who mutate into active participants. The new media arts domain of the Australian media arts field, although still vigorously infecting all forms and practices with its innovations, has been battered in recent years by the ill winds of artform envy, category debates, funding losses, reduction in institutional support and a consequent lessening of visibility. The ‘new’ has been struck off the new media arts label, leaving us with a looser, less troublesome, if often meaningless moniker. And yet, while some new media artists have fallen by the way, overwhelmed by costs, scared off by funding detours or exhausted by the sheer duration of working technology into form, many Australian artists and media arts organisations keep doggedly at it, as this edition of RealTime extensively illustrates. Media arts as a totality looks healthy—the history of alternative cinema is being re-explored and old devices and techniques reactivated and refashioned; video art continues to make the most of its second coming: and multimedia performance is thriving. In general, media arts (if not net art, wearables, mobiles, interactives, sound art) are ever more present in art galleries even if often problematically placed and resourced. While not a survey, our media arts feature is indicative nonetheless of the extent and the continuing inventiveness of media arts, old and new.

image: Murray McKeich, pzombie, see page 26

RealTime issue #77 Feb-March 2007 pg. 1

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