Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Volume 20, Issue 1
Red Art: New Utopias in Data Capitalism
Volume Editors: Lanfranco Aceti, Susanne Jaschko and Julian Stallabrass
Editor: Bill Balaskas
This issue investigates the relevance of socialist utopianism to the current dispositions of New Media Art, through the contributions of renowned and emerging academic researchers, critical theorists, curators and artists.
From the early stages of its development, New Media Art readily adopted a variety of means of artistic engagement and expression that aim at serving modes of utopian social being: from multi-modal collaboration to unrestricted public participation and from open software applications to hacktivism, the germs of leftist political thought seem to abound in the art of the Digital Age. Prompted by the economic crisis, New Media Art appears to increasingly employ the tools provided by new technologies in order to penetrate all aspects of global social living and assert the need for socioeconomic change. New Media artworks and art projects have gradually formed a common practice whose objectives allude to utopian theories of social organization lying closer to certain visions of communism, direct democracy and anarchism, rather than to the realities of neoliberal capitalism within which new media are produced and predominantly operate.
Red Art: New Utopias in Data Capitalism explores this multifaceted context in an attempt to demystify whether and to what extent the art of the Digital Age could be the result of the seemingly paradox combination of capitalism’s products and communism’s visions.