Defining Media Art

Defining Media Art by Mark Tribe and Reena Jana
Many New Media artists have used the Internet as a tool to explore the construction and perception of identity. The Internet makes it easy for an artist to create a fictive online persona merely by setting up a free e-mail account or home page. Race, gender, age, sexual orientation, and nationality can all be invented, undermining the notion that art works are authentic expressions of their makers’ identities., a Net art project that claims to be the work of a thirteen-year-old girl named Mouchette (after the protagonist of 1967 film by Robert Bresson about an adolescent girl), demonstrates the pliability and uncertainty of online identity. As visitors explore the site, it becomes clear that Mouchette is a fictional invention. Yet the character’s presence, the sense that there really is a girl named Mouchette behind the project, remains convincing. As of this writing, the true identity of the artist responsible for Mouchette has yet to be revealed.

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