New media art shares an important trait with all other genres: it builds upon the work that precedes it. By studying the work of other artists and the progression of their careers, the next generation builds and expands upon the field of new media art. The ground-breaking artists included in ASPECT Volume 8: Early Works have had an undeniable impact on the creative practice of artists of all media worldwide, new media in particular. The early works of these artists are signposts indicating the goals and interests that are pervasive throughout their careers. As always, we are very excited to bring these works to you, and are particularly grateful to the artists and commentators for their generosity.
DOUG BACK: Small Artist Pushing Technology, 1987/2005
(05:50, computer controlled installation)
Audio commentary by Caroline Seck Langill, multidisciplinary artist, writer, and independent curator
An exploration of the human struggle to couple with machines.
ROBERT BECK, Learning From Dynasty, 1986
Audio commentary by Bill Arning, Curator, LIST Visual Arts Center, MIT
Misappropriating material excised from both popular and sub-cultural sources, Beck connives artworks that incorporate commonplace materials for uncommon ends.
JOAN JONAS, Left Side, Right Side, 1972
(08:50—5 min. excerpt, video)
Audio commentary by Ute Meta Bauer, Director and Associate Professor, Visual Arts Program, MIT
Exploring video as both a mirror and a masking device, this work examines self and identity within a series of inversions.
TONY OURSLER, Spinout, 1983
(16:02—11 min. excerpt, video)
Audio commentary by Marcia Tanner, independent art curator and writer
An apocalyptic tale of a world spinning out of control to nowhere.
CAI GUO QIANG, Fetus Movement II: Project For Extraterrestrials No. 9, 1992
(04:00, performance with gunpowder)
Audio commentary by Jane Farver, Director, LIST Visual Arts Center, MIT
An explosive work which aimed to restore the geomantic condition of the landscape through the relocation of water and earth.