The Search for New Media

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  • Title: The Search for New Media: Late 20th Century Art and Technology in Japan
  • Author(s): Jean Ippolito
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: The Arts in Society
  • Keywords: Art and Technology, Art History, Digital Media
  • Year: 2012
  • ISBN (hbk): 978-1-86335-949-8
  • ISBN (pbk): 978-1-86335-947-4
  • ISBN (pdf): 978-1-86335-948-1
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Ippolito, Jean. 2012. The Search for New Media: Late 20th Century Art and Technology in Japan. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Research Networks. doi:10.18848/978-1-86335-948-1/CGP.
  • Extent: 170 pages


There has been burgeoning interest in documenting the history of digital media within the international art and technology movement so prevalent today. What once was referred to as “computer art” has earned the new title “digital media” in the art world. In the field of art history it dissolves into the larger art category called “New Media” which includes performance, installation, environmental art, and other venues that do not necessarily include technology. This book makes parallels between the process of production in traditional media and the reiterative algorithm in digital media within Japan’s avant-garde of the 1970s. Looking even further back in time reveals that the avant-garde attitude to the exploration of materials and processes of the 1960s in Japan may have provided the impetus to search for new types of media, an attitude which naturally led to experiments with technology and eventually opened the way toward the digital realm and the use of computer algorithms and interactivity in the fine arts. An exploratory attitude toward the abstract concept of the computer’s virtual environment, and the inclination to see the algorithm as the process of art, may have its roots in these early experimental currents. This also gives insight into the nature of non-narrative interactive and performance art in the today’s digital media realm of Japan.