More important than what you can make with electronic media is what you can do with what you make. Electronic media is not just a random collection of tools for making pictures but a system of interlocking artistic, technological and commercial interests that are coming together into new cultural and social formations. It has now become impossible for cultural institutions to ignore the pressure being applied by previously marginalised groups and formations as they exert their new found economic influence made partly possible by the commercial traffic in technological media. In turn, the potential appears for spaces to be created where a wide range of cultural interests can develop, gain confidence and begin to operate. It is becoming increasingly difficult to position new media practices within the cultural spaces of galleries, publications, conferences or popular entertainments with so many different interests at work. As new producers emerge their greatest challenge is the formation of new audiences and support structures. How the forces of cultural hegemony react to these new players will be crucial in defining what is possible and where far more than their technical facilitation. As aesthetic standards are disrupted there are many instances where new forms of legitimation are emerging, leading to the prospect of certain technologies and practices being declared ‘artistic’ at the expense of others.
- Richard Wright was born in 1963 in Barnet, England. He is a electronic media artist, writer and lecturer. Since 1991 he has been a lecturer in Computer Graphics at London Guildhall University.