Media-N <p>Journal of the New Media Caucus</p> New Media Caucus en-US Media-N 2159-6891 Introduction <p>The guest editors introduce the issue, which looks at new media art as a way to critique and subvert existing systems of news and information media.</p> Abigail Susik ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-02-19 2018-02-19 13 1 Social Media and the New Newsreel <p>The online circulation of raw footage from live streams, cell phones, and police dash-cams has fueled much political dissent in recent years, from Occupy Wall Street to the protests surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, and others. This essay looks at experimental moving image works made in response to these contemporary dynamics of protest. It offers a comparative analysis of short digital videos by Jem Cohen and Alex Johnson, both of whom embrace the newsreel as a radical genre, making direct reference to earlier generations of filmmakers who did the same. Cohen’s <em>Gravity Hill Newsreels</em> (2011) offer a series of immersive observational studies of the Occupy demonstrations and Zuccotti Park encampment. In a more directly referential mode, Johnson’s <em>Now! Again!</em> (2014) appropriates Santiago Alvarez’s <em>Now! </em>(1965), a Cuban newsreel made by animating photographs depicting the civil rights struggle. Johnston juxtaposes this imagery with media coverage of protests in Ferguson, Missouri after the death of Michael Brown in August 2014.</p> <p>Fifty years ago, radical filmmakers of Alvarez’s generation urged newsreel audiences to recognize themselves as a social body, sharing a stake in the struggles depicted on screen. Today, the currency of “newsreel” as a political mode of experimental media is less certain. Although the experimental videos at issue here could be read as nostalgic for conditions of cinematic exhibition long since eclipsed by the dominance of social media, I argue instead that they engage the current mediation of political unrest in order to explore the indeterminacy of the social body to which it gives rise. Calling attention to rifts in the visual field and the seams that bind one historical moment to another, these works are guided by a desire to grasp the historicity of newsreel as a form enlisted to play a participatory role in social protest. In each case, newsreel provides new forms for&nbsp;responding to urgent events that cut against the temporality and visual codes of social media, opening up new space to share the world differently.</p> Erica Levin ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-02-05 2018-02-05 13 1 5 18 Mediating the Tech Boom <p>Since the 2011 emergence of the San Francisco Bay Area “Tech Boom 2.0,” anti-eviction activists of the region have been caught amidst a maelstrom of media wars involving an amalgam of real estate and technology speculative analyses. As tensions grow, the media itself becomes increasingly polarized, as some journals and journalists side with simplified renditions of tech being good or bad, of development being right or wrong, of housing justice activists being outmoded or salvific.</p> <p>This article attends to this media polarization, studying likely and unlikely alliances between journalists, media sources, and advocates of various urban futurities. At the same time, it looks to alternative media arts and hybrid technologies that have arisen precisely to theorize contemporary realities of the region, from critical cartography digital projects to projection art productions. In doing so, I ask, how have innovative media arts projects such as that of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, People Power Media, and the Saito Group arisen out of both a media dearth and surplus, not only furthering community knowledge production but also shattering dialectical narratives clung to by other media sources? Furthermore, I question, how are entanglements and polarizations across varying media production constituted by, and constitutive of, formations of class, race, and gender? Drawing on cultural and media analysis, feminist technology studies, and critical race and ethnicity studies, this paper situates the technological media crisis and eruption of the Bay Area present alongside the spatial materialization of technological growth, looking at how technologically driven geographic mutation both mediates and is mediated by emergent media technologies.</p> Erin McElroy ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-02-19 2018-02-19 13 1 Algorithmic Pollution: Artists Working with Dataveillance and Societies of Control <p>In 2013, interactive artist and Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica winner, David Rokeby, coined the phrase Algorithmic Pollution to describe a phenomena where data collection alters human public behavior. The purpose of this article is to contextualize the topic of Algorithmic Pollution and artists working with data, surveillance and landscape. The inspiration came from the exhibition I curated in 2013, CYBER IN SECURITIES for the Washington Projects for the Arts in DC, at the Pepco Edison Gallery. The curation was completed just two weeks prior to Edward Snowden’s controversial leaking of security documents to The Guardian newspaper. CYBER IN SECURITIES reflects artists that have responded to massive data collection and the residual scrutiny of their private lives by creating artworks distributed through networks and systems that operate under their own control and rules. They’re also reacting to the transmission of that data in urban and natural spaces and its interactive processing with the human psyche and body. Artists have described this phenomenon as “environmentalized”, “a psychic takeover” and again, “algorithmic pollution”, altering our perceptions of our relationship with the environment both natural and urban.</p> Lisa Moren ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-02-19 2018-02-19 13 1 Why Manga Matters after Fukushima <p>The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster of 2011 has created an alternative space for reportage and journalism. While much research has investigated how mainstream news media reported the Fukushima disaster in Japan and elsewhere, virtually absent is a scholarly investigation of the role of new media artworks in shaping what it means to be the Fukushima nuclear crisis. This study thus focuses on the role of Japanese manga among various new media artworks, and investigates how the disaster was represented in comics form.</p> <p>&nbsp;Among various Japanese manga on the Fukushima disaster, this paper focuses on examining a Japanese manga titled as <em>Ichi Efu: Fukushima Daiichi genshiryoku hatsudensho rōdōki</em> or <em>1F: A cleanup worker’s account of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant</em> (thereafter, <em>1F</em>) written by Kazuto Tatsuta, one of the Japanese cleanup workers at the wrecked power plant. Originally published in <em>Morning</em>, a Japanese weekly manga magazine in 2013, <em>1F </em>illuminates what the consequences of the Fukushima disaster looked like from the perspectives of a cleanup worker, providing an uncommon view of Fukushima for a wide variety of audiences including comic fans in Japan and elsewhere.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Yasuhito Abe ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-02-19 2018-02-19 13 1 Steal This Station: The Videofreex and Radical Banality of Pirate Broadcasting <p>In this review of the 2015 documentary, <em>Here Come the Videofreex</em>, the author questions Rasking and Nealon’s choice of a traditional chronological approach to a discussion of the importance of the Videofreex, particularly to our contemporary understanding of citizen journalism and the ubiquity of cameras in everyone’s back pocket. Instead, Paulsen asks questions about the importance of the Videofreex self-removal from mainstream media to rural New York and their relationship to other radical video collectives of the time.</p> Kris Paulsen ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-02-19 2018-02-19 13 1 Neural: An Interview Andressano Ludovico <p>This interview with Ludovico, conducted by Franco in September 2016, explores the role of Neural in the critical analysis of media art and how the reporting of new media art in Neural has had an influence in the contemporary art field.</p> Francesca Franco ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-02-19 2018-02-19 13 1 Reporting the Future With New Media Art <p>The 9th Mediacity Biennale (September 1 – November 20, 2016) is exhibited in all four buildings of the Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA), spreading the new media exhibition widely across the city. The exhibition is about the future in today’s world. This article reviews the exhibition, highlighting the forward looking and tomorrow focused new media artworks.</p> Mina Cheon ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-02-19 2018-02-19 13 1 Disruption of the Broadcast <p>While the mainstream media largely dominate the discourse and narrative of the daily news cycle, we have, since the dawning of the Web some twenty-five years ago, seen this tight grip of control loosening at an increasing rate. The emergence of citizen-journalism via the blogosphere in the early 2000s, followed by the explosive and ubiquitous presence of social media in the late 2000s, has empowered the individual in the act of distributing their <em>own</em> view of events as they unfold.The key question raised here is the following: how might the artist engage rogue tactics of journalism via the Internet to directly challenge the dominance and status quo of the broadcast media?</p> <p>For the past 15 years, through networked art projects that include the <a href="">US Department of Art &amp; Technology</a> (2001-2005), <a href="">Media Deconstruction Kit</a> (2003-2004), and <a href="">The Post Reality Show</a> (2012-), I have used techniques of media to appropriate, transform, and rebroadcast live cable news media via the Internet to amplify and distorts its contents: allowing us to view the broadcast in a new way, revealing its hidden mechanisms of control, a détournement that jolts us out of the sensationalism of media and its seductive hold on our gaze. In contrast to the citizen journalist who brings unreported events to the light of day, the artist's reportage here takes shape as a disruption of the media broadcast, attempting to expose its effects of disinformation by <em>shocking</em> the viewer out of obedient assimilation of its contamination.</p> Randall Packer ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-02-19 2018-02-19 13 1 Landscapes of Absence <p>The project and exhibition <em>Landscapes of Absence</em> by Brandon Bauer explores ethical issues around the use of ISIS propaganda images within the media. In particular, the project examines the use of propaganda images in the absence of reliable and journalistically objective images, since the brutal beheadings of western journalists has made it too dangerous to report from areas under control of the self-proclaimed Islamic State. The project uses images drawn from eight beheading incidents disseminated through ISIS media outlets.&nbsp; In the works in the exhibition, the dehumanized image of the victims has been erased, leaving only the landscape and the absence of image as a metaphor for the larger issue of the absence of reliable reporting.</p> Brandon Bauer ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-02-19 2018-02-19 13 1 Top Two News Words (By Hour) <p>The <em>Top Two News Words</em> project began in 2007 as a gallery piece featuring a computer and dot matrix printer linked to an online parsing routine which gathered headlines from fifteen major news sources hourly, and analyzed and reduced these headlines to the two most frequently occurring words. The resulting pairs were printed each hour on a continuous sheet of computer paper, creating a linear document of the 24/7/365 news cycle. Since 2008, the online component of the piece has been running automatically, without its physical half, publishing hourly word pairs via RSS and on Twitter and building an online archive of nearly 90,000 hours of news.</p> <p><em>Top Two News Words</em> has consistently evoked questions of bias from its audience: “Why only these sources? Why only sources in English? Who are you to decide what is a major news source?” This is, of course, one of the desired outcomes of the project. A deeper question, which is reflected in the recent controversy and surprise over Facebook’s use of human curators for trending topics, is why don’t we investigate for bias in supposedly neutral online news aggregators such as Google? And, is it even possible to filter news programmatically without bias? I seek to use this project to illustrate the simple concept that curation, bias and reduction are not the antithesis of awareness in a world of continuous, direct news but are an essential part of navigating and understanding this world.</p> Rick Valentin ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-02-19 2018-02-19 13 1 Creative Data Mining Diamonds in Dystopia <p>One of the most popular new media platforms for the proliferation and distribution of ideas related to Technology, Entertainment, and Design is produced in the form of TED Talks. &nbsp;For the independent TED event—designated by the x—TEDxLSU, three media artists developed a poetry performance web app,&nbsp;<em>Diamonds in Dystopia</em>, which applies advanced coding techniques to aggregate TED Talk transcripts as found text to generate new stanzas using a found text and Markov chains creative process, which enables succinct recombination of massive amounts of language as source material. This addition pushes the boundaries of the TED Talk by adding another exciting and popular form of new media, interactivity, to the mixture of mediums. Performance-scaled interactivity, specifically using mobile devices in an audience comprised of hundreds of users swaps the individualized information dissemination system and turns it into one capable of creative output or collaboration. The collaborative text contributed by the audience in&nbsp;<em>Diamonds in Dystopia</em>&nbsp;further engages information dissemination because the user’s interaction enables a parallel creative bond to form between the audience experience and the performing poet, in terms of the text methodology employed. By picking or clicking on the individual word selections of a seed poem that resonate with them, audience members create Markov chain reactions that creatively recombine and datamine a database of over 2,500 TED Talks to send a flurry of improvisational stanzas to the poet, which he then improvises into the poem on stage, creating and archiving an event-specific version of the poem and performance.&nbsp;</p> Jesse Allison Vincent Cellucci Derek Ostrenko ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-02-19 2018-02-19 13 1