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Materializing New Media: Embodiment in Information Aesthetics

Materializing New Media: Embodiment in Information Aesthetics

 In Materializing New Media, Associate Professor Anna Munster offers an alternative aesthetic genealogy for digital culture. Eschewing the prevailing Cartesian aesthetic that aligns the digital with the disembodied, the formless, and the placeless, Munster seeks to ‘materialize’ digital culture by demonstrating that its aesthetics have reconfigured bodily experience and reconceived materiality.

Topics range from artistic experiments in body-computer interfaces to the impact that corporeal interaction and geopolitical circumstances have on producing new media art and culture. Munster argues that new media, materiality, perception, and artistic practices now mutually constitute ‘information aesthetics’. Information aesthetics is concerned with new modes of sensory engagement in which distributed spaces and temporal variation play crucial roles. In analyzing the experiments that new media art performs with the materiality of space and time, Munster demonstrates how new media has likewise changed our bodies and those of others in global information culture. Technology is now seen as, rather than surpassing the human body, continually reconfiguring it and constitutive of it.  

“A leading voice in a global, web-weaned generation, Anna Munster’s eagerly anticipated storm of information aesthetics and dirty pixels will pass hand to hand in the digital arts movement.” Sean Cubitt, University of Waikato, New Zealand

“Anna Munster’s Materializing New Media is as daring, as erudite and as precise as such an ambitious book needs to be . . . It moves through a dazzling series of accounts of contemporary new media art works, and towards a sensitive analysis of the contemporary political effects of global information technologies. The result is a rich understanding of the new relation of digitality and matter . . . it is the first book to provide a framework—a refreshingly open framework—from which to understand the work of material work of new media from within.” Andrew Murphie, University of New South Wales, Sydney 

“Munster emphasizes . . . connections between the organic and artificial, senses and thought, and arts and sciences rather than linearity, hierarchical arrangements, and binaries.” Feminist Studies  



Dartmouth College Press

Published date

January, 2006