From Literal to Metaphorical Utopia: Interconnections Between the Inner Structure of the New Media Art and the Utopian Thought


  • Christina Vatsella


In its original meaning u-topia means the lack of topos. This condition is inherent in the new media artwork. Due to its immaterial quality and non-object status, the new media art is not physically tied to a specific space unless displayed. This literally “u-topian” condition results from the utopian (in the sense of revolutionary) nature of the new media art that rises above questions of unique prototype, controlled reproducibility and object ownership. To speak in Marxist terms, it’s the a priori negation of the commodity fetishism that imposes the literal, as well as the metaphorical, utopia. Thus, the new media, the pillar of the late capitalism public sphere, become the new field of revolutionary cultural practices. I will describe this paradoxical – or rather coherent, according to Frederic Jameson – condition by analyzing two major art forms of new media art, namely video art and internet art.