The World of Awe: Contemporary New-Media Art and Painting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article seeks to disclose a possible connection between the current new media or digital art (net based art) and contemporary (traditional) landscape painting, which are argued as efforts to uncover the opacity of the visible data that organize our reality. Thus the frame of reference for this connection is that of an active hole or lack, which causes us to sacrifice that which is dear to us in order to fill the lack, and to become the objects of desire of the alleged subject, other, order or system apparently experiencing this lack. It is especially noteworthy that, by incorporating the active role of a void or hole in reality this article will explicates how the mechanism of virtual reality constitutes a subject essentially intersubjective and contingent on the other. As the article will show it is also significant to look into the indivisible connection between technophobia and technophilia, which is paralleled with the anxiety over a void of the real and the fantasy to fill out the void - all of which is well explored in the discussion of new-media art and landscape painting. The purpose of the article is to foster a new sensitivity to the historical happenings in the field of art without introducing a grand-narrative of the great divide among artistic media; the article is not looking here for the nature, or the ontological essence, of differences between the arts. The issues discussed at the heart of this survey focus on the specific features of the works presented. The phenomena discussed are not restricted to the medium, either painting or media art, but are relevant to both painting and computer-generated-imagery. Following Carroll it can be said that “the framework” I offer in this article “is neither medium-specific nor essentialist.” The net art of the new-media artist Yael Kanarek and the paintings of Eyal Sasson, Eran Bar-Nachum and Oren Eliav are discussed here, revealing the opacity or the hidden fractures surrounding the visible data that organize our reality. These artworks impel us toward seeking the opacity and acknowledging the stain that operates at the centre and on the margins of the visual field of our worlds. Thus investigation of the new media art and landscape paintings is intended to reveal ways in which we perceive the world, the reality, or Big Other in the digital age. Referring to Lacan’s notion of the real, reading through Žižek, the paper interestingly argues that the Big Other is ultimately “an other that is partially conditioned by our libidinal energy.”
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-327
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of the Association of Western Art History
Issue number39
StatePublished - 2013


  • Digital Art
  • Landscape
  • Painting
  • Medium
  • Lack
  • Big Other
  • The Real
  • Contemporary Art


Dive into the research topics of 'The World of Awe: Contemporary New-Media Art and Painting'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this