New Media Art

Robert King

The rapid democratization of technology has led to a new wave of immersive storytelling that spills off screens into the real world and back again. These works defy traditional constraints as they shift away from a one-to-many to a many-to-many paradigm, transforming those formerly known as the audience from passive viewers into storytellers in their own right. New opportunities and limitations offered by emergent technologies are augmenting the grammar of storytelling, as creators wrestle with an ever-shifting digital landscape. New Media Art pulls back the curtain on transmedial works of fiction, non-fiction, and emergent forms that defy definition. Throughout the semester well explore projects that utilize Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and the Internet of Things, alongside a heavy-hitting selection of new media thinkers, theorists, and critics. The course will be co-taught as a dialogue between artistic practice and new media theory. Lance Weiler, a new media artist and founder of Columbia’s Digital Storytelling Lab, selected the media artworks; Rob King, a film and media historian, selected the scholarly readings. It is in the interaction between these two perspectives that the course will explore the parameters of emerging frontiers in media art and the challenges these pose for existing critical vocabularies.