The growing use of the Internet has been widely recognised by the arts sector as creating tremendous opportunities for developing effective communications, and its use in ticketing transactions and email promotions is well documented. But unless you?re electronically inclined (and let?s face it, how many people working in the arts are?), it?s easy to forget ? accidentally on purpose ? that the new media have provided an exciting new opportunity for creating artistic work.
Presumably, this realisation also dawned on early photographers and film-makers when their technologies were first developed. The problem is that it?s pretty difficult for some of us to get our heads around the whole concept of new media art, and for an arts organisation, the process of ?getting onto the digital highway? can be a challenging one as Bristol?s Watershed has discovered (p7). Managing the presentation of a brand new art form with historical roots stretching back only as far as the late 1900?s inevitably means treading new ground, and there is a steep learning curve to be climbed. So Helen Cadwallader?s explanations of this brave new world (p5) are very valuable.
Make sure you read this feature if you, like us, find it all a little confusing (and look out for the sequel). It may be an unpalatable read to quill-pen users, but it?s a medicine that would certainly do them good.