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useless/useful

From Flong Blog, Golan Levin on how new media artists, working outside the mandates of utility and traditional research, are often uncredited sources for novel, sophisticated technologies. Issues of copyright aside, it shouldn’t be news that artists work in ways that circumvent linear problem-solving, and may, in the process, create technologies that are very useful indeed. I’d speculate that this kind of idea-hatching extends beyond the new media fields as well.

“As an occasional emissary for new-media arts, I increasingly find myself pointing out how some of today’s most commonplace and widely-appreciated technologies were initially conceived and prototyped, years ago, by new-media artists. In some instances, we can pick out the unmistakable signature of a single person’s original artistic idea, released into the world decades ahead of its time — perhaps even dismissed, in its day, as useless or impractical — which after complex chains of influence and reinterpretation has become absorbed, generations of computers later, into the culture as an everyday product.”

Read the full post here.

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