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From Electronic Superhighway to E-Democracy

Nam June Paik predicted the Internet in electronic Superhighway, where information and communication would become boundary less like a superhighway, people will be less limited to their geographical locations and browse the world on Electronic Highways. Maurizio Bolognini sees Neo-technological art as a form of public generative art and aims to demonstrate Electronic Democracy in Democratic Blue (2006) and SMSMS(2000+). 

Whilst I admire the proposition of Generative art in New media art and focusing on relational and materiality factors of the new media, which have influenced me on my way of thinking towards new media art,  the future once predicted that is now, on the Internet does not turn out what it could have been. Just as real highways Internet is under influence of different factors such as commercial and geo-political. Net neutrality is not easily sustained. While I go on social media what  I saw is altered by popular trends, algorithms, advertisements and where I am located as well, the more I browse the less diverse I get from the algorithms of preference. E-democracy is probably most used in reality shows' elimination votes or canceling someone on the internet, the essence has now become the like/dislike button.

These situations might need new media artists  to rethink about what generative art could mean at the current social conditions, what is generative art generating? Can it be more than just changing tones of blue or creating ever changing visual effects? Whilst there are always positive effects on the electronic-super highway, as a lot of the social-activism relies on the efficiency of communication and e-community online. 

Technological Sublime is also an interesting topic to think about at current time, as Mario Costa supposed, technological Sublime is unlike the unpredictable nature sublimation, it is formed by calculation but yet somehow slip away from us. While TV Buddha(1974,Paik) stares at its own digital reflection, SMSMS( 2000,Bolognini) autonomously generates it's own existence. As I found I rely more and more on google translate, iCloud, and my smartphone to live my everyday life, the moment I saw accurate recommendation of what I might need to purchase on e-shopping websites, I often wonder if this is the new kind of Technological Sublime.


Nam June Paik




“TV Buddha” (1974)Credit...Estate of Nam June Paik; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Andrew Dunkley/Tate


Nam June Paik – Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, 1995, fifty-one channel video installation (including one closed-circuit television feed), custom electronics, neon lighting, steel and wood; color, sound, approx. 15 x 40 x 4 ft., at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, photo: CC BY 2.0 by Cea.


Post-screen works (since 1992). Sealed Computers, Atelier de la Lanterne, Nice, France, 1992-98


ICB (Interactive Collective Blue) / Democratic Blues , 2006

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