This presentation provides an overview of some exciting directions new media artists have explored in Australia in the last few years. The paper is a case study on how the creation of a certain institutional environment results in the production of certain kinds of work. Both the strengths and weaknesses of Australian work will be discussed—its theoretical and self-critical sophistication as well as the technological dependency that results from being on the periphery of the emergent military-entertainment complex. The peripheral location of Australian artists has traditionally been a strong theme in Australian literature and visual art, but in new media art, this ‘tyranny of distance’ on the physical terrain is doubled and re-configured as an awareness of relations of centre and periphery in the mediated, virtual relations of transnational media.
- McKenzie Wark (Australia) is a lecturer in international communications at Macquarie
University in Sydney as well as contributing Editor to 21 *C and World Art magazines. He is a columnist on communications and higher education for The Australian newspaper and is a producer for ABC Radio National in Australia.