Patrick Lichty (2013) Variant Analyses, Interrogations of New Media Art and Culture
Lichty’s range of commentary and analysis dissects nearly two decades of what has now become new media society. Before Facebook’s IPO and Wikileaks’ media storm, artist-as-activists experimented with data gloves, virtual world performance, and anonymous, anarchic disruptions determined to bewilder traditional enclaves of art and political society. In this collection Lichty presents several such experiments in distributed creativity: collaborations across a range of technologies and platforms, where authorship becomes a vague placeholder and sometimes acts as a performance in of itself, and the artwork is equally in flux, always in process, and often disappearing into bits.
These essays provide an extensive and timely overview of critical thought on new media culture, written by an observer-participant who has made major contributions to the sociopolitical movements he archives. Spanning art and new media theory, activism and literary criticism, this assembly seeks to understand the networked society in flux: what it means when the virtual integrates with the physical, and when newer, uncategorized media works prompt major shifts in cultural production and change the very definition of art and protest. As a veteran observer of the technological society, Lichty has produced the ideal guidebook for exploring the wilderness of our digital mediascapes, both past and present.