Commentary on What’s (Really) Specific about New Media Art? Curating in the Information Age – Domenico Quaranta

What is new media art? According to Domenico Quaranta, it is “the established label for that broad range of artistic practices that includes works that are created, or in some way, deal with new media technologies.” Some forms of new media art that he mentions later on in the article include computer animation, robotics, internet-based art, and biotechnologies. In this article, Quaranta aims to discuss the process that curators of new media art must go through in order to be successful at their job. One thing that he believes is that curating new media art must be “strictly technical an medium-based” (which he feels is unsurprising as this is a general characteristic of curation). However, Quaranta acknowledges the fact that this is a complex process. It is difficult to classify what belongs in the curated collection, since new media art varies from traditional art forms. In new media art curating, it is better to view the curator as “less [of] a caretaker of objects and more [of] a mediator, interpreter, or producer.” The main obstacle for new media art curators oftentimes is technology. Quaranta also explains the fast-moving pace at which technology advances, and cites it as another difficulty for new media art curators. He therefore believes that it is best to separate technology from the other features of new media art in order to best analyze which elements are most important for curation purposes. In conclusion, Quaranta says that “it has to be more about curating the art that deals with new media, and less about curating the actual new media themselves.”


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