The argument that a field as large, diverse, and ill-defined as art can be bisected “neatly… in two” by such elementary criteria seems to be an oversimplification, at worst. At best, it is a paradigm in which we can hope to better understand the motivations behind some (not all) works and how they are situated in a broader context. I think the article was quite articulate, but it presented nothing that I had not already contemplated. In fact the mere words “new media” inherently embody much of the article’s claims. The field is an artistic field because the methods and mediums within “new media art” have not yet been explored, which implies that in other fields of art, artists work with mediums that have already been explored.
That being said, Naimark deserves credit, at least, for contradicting himself in a significant way: he says that the two divisions are “not mutually exclusive,” even going so far as to assign a project to find works that fall into both categories. Naimark should have also assigned a project to find works that fall into neither category to exemplify the “in the middle” period that a lot of art movements must have. Of course if there is a beginning of an era and an end of an era, doesn’t that mean that there is a middle?
As a student interested in new media and technical arts, I continuously ask myself “is new media even new?” At times it seems that it is not new at all, which undermines so much of what makes my work compelling. After all, the second person who did something is not nearly as important as the first. Does my work fall into the forgettable middle? Neither pioneering or perfected?