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often cultivated an anti-institutional stance in relation to the mass media, creating their own forums and sites for insiders. But there is an ever-increasing need for concrete material on art that works in and with the media. Questions of an audiovisual aesthetic can only be treated in a more concrete way if the relevant materials are available beyond a few specialized archives and temporary festivals. That a discussion in art studies and art history about the aesthetic foundations of media art is only taking place so late in the day can be termed the paradox of media art's mediation.
In response to this situation, the project «Media Art Net» (in German «Medien Kunst Netz») has been installed for purposes of self-instruction. Combining various forms of representation, this simultaneously audiovisual and theoretical structure not only offers interested ‹surfers› a succinct, attractively designed Internet presentation, it also provides profound and comprehensively documented information and
contextualization for those researchers with a more specific focus. The consistently bilingual presentation on the website (German/English) pays tribute to the international character of the project. The goal is a new form of the synthesis of theorization and scientific ‹visualization› in cultural studies and art history that can support tele-learning catered to the realm of art. Preference is given neither to pure quantity, nor to the detailed case study, but to presenting judiciously-selected, meaningful connections that make it possible to grasp the material in both an intuitive and an intellectual way and methodically offer a number of different perspectives in terms of content. Contextualization, a key concept of art of the 1990s, is carried out here in quite a concrete fashion, but does not merely serve to illustrate a specific theoretical approach. One danger that lurks behind such a project is an overgrown machine that links everything to everything. We have also consciously tried to avoid this by developing a careful selection of semantically rich links not only supported by a database, but also shaped by editorial decisions.