Stephen Jones: A Systems Structure for Understanding New Media Practice.

The production of new media artworks involves a complex network of artists, technical and other collaborators (eg, sound and/or choreographic),

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technologies, funding institutions, curators and exhibiting structures all functioning concurrently in a context of cultural, political and technological strata. The people involved become a network consisting (in one language) of nodes and inter-connections. The operating process is a communicative activity best described through Wiener’s cybernetics and the indication of the circular causal loop structure of a system. The connections of the network consist in these feedback-loop structures. They are dynamic yet can develop an intrinsic stability through their capacity to handle variety and perturbation. When they function adequately they can become autopoietic and thus self-generating and self-sustaining. The system of interconnections is rhizomic in general and it is driven or motivated by desire in one or many of its multitude of types.

This analysis is very important for providing an

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adequate basis to the historiography of the media arts. In this paper I provide a basis for pedagogical curricula and presentation that uses the framework to bring to the students’ attention the wide range of interconnectedness of the study and practice of the new media arts.

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