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«Media Art Net,» the third collaboration between the Goethe Institute and the Center for Art and Media Technology Karlsruhe, indicates networking in two senses. In terms of content, it is the result of a collaboration of the editor with various authors; in a formal sense, it emerged and will continue to emerge as a networking of the expertise of various institutions and persons in the context of media and art studies.
While the theory and texts were separated from the audiovisual material in the previous publications, with the former in book form and the latter on CD-ROM, here they are both placed on the web-platform. This results in a clear linkage of critical reflection with the context of audiovisual documentation. But does this justify the additional production of a book with texts that are also all available online? The undeniable practical qualities of the book medium make this step sensible. The thorough reading of academic texts requires, as it were, the book in the hand. The search for references and cross-references, working with audiovisual as well as textual materials is nevertheless situated in media terms in the hypertextual medium of the Internet. Cross-references from the book to the
website with the help of ‹soft links› serve to guide and simplify access to the materials in the Net and amplify the linkage of various media experiences. This can result in a great variety of synergetic effects.
This «Overview» is the first module published in the Net and is accompanied by this volume of text. This module will serve as a foundation for all later modules, and reacts at the same time to an additional paradox of mediation in the media: even those relevant websites that deal with media art still lacked up until now a comprehensive introduction to this subject. We thus see in the exemplary selection of materials and source texts as well the semantic links made by both authors as well as the database an important prerequisite for developing approaches to a curriculum on media art. Free access to these materials is a central aspect of the project. In terms of subject matter, ten introductory essays dedicated both to historical developments as well as interlinking references in terms of content are collected to an «overview.» The spectrum ranges here from the utopian media