Art of the electronic age


Art of the electronic age

Frank Popper

Thames and Hudson, 1993

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Includes bibliographical references (p. 186-188) and index



Art has been the subject of more explosive experimentation in the last twenty years than in almost any other period. Not only have most preconceptions about art and the artist been questioned and sometimes overturned; whole new media and areas of artistic activity have been pioneered, especially since the advent of such technology as the PC, Xerox, video and lasers. This book reveals the various trends that have been spawned by these unprecedented innovations. Frank Popper divides the subject into five categories: laser and holographic art; video art; computer art; communication art; and installation, demonstration and performance art. He analyses each of these movements in terms of its objectives and those who take part in it. What is most fascinating about these works is that, although their creators are experimenting with ways and means undreamt of even fifty years ago, their objective is the same as that of artists since antiquity - to create a shared aesthetic experience. This study demonstrates that such art has not emerged out of the blue, but is a clear evolution from the art and artists that preceded it. Once that is understood, this new field can be assimilated, interpreted and enjoyed in accordance with its own standards. Frank Popper has been writing on contemporary art for almost thirty years. His books include "Die Kinetische Kunst" (Cologne, 1975) and "Electra: Electricity and Electronics in the Art of the 20th Century" (Musee d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris, 1983).


  • Introduction
  • the roots of electronic art
  • laser and holographic art
  • video art
  • computer art
  • communication art
  • art, nature and science
  • social and aesthetic implications of the art of the electronic age
  • conclusion
  • notes on the text
  • acknowledgments.

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