The object speaks: connecting the post-optimal object design with new media arts discourse

This research paper aims to make evident a relationship between Post- Optimal Object design and New Media Art. This objective is approached by reflecting on the respective disciplines’ theoretical and practical area of exploration. In Chapter One, the concept of the Post-Optimal Object, which is a proponent of design, is introduced and categorised, in order for it to be discussed in relation to New Media Art. In Chapter Two, three art historical descriptions utilised by Francis Halsall, which include: the dematerialisation of the art object; intermedia; and the post-medium condition, will be used to contextualise New Media Art, and serve towards its discussion with the concept of the Post-Optimal Object. There will also be a contemporary reflection of these two disciplines, which include a genre of New Media Art, referred to as interactive digital installation; and a genre of the concept of the Post-Optimal Object, which is ‘responsive’. In support of the proposed arguments of this research paper, four case studies will be utilised for illustrative purposes. In Chapter Three, a New Media Artwork, entitled Overflow (2000), by artist Laura Nova, will be discussed in comparison to a Post-Optimal Object case study entitled, The Technological Dreams Series (2007), by the design duo, Dunne & Raby. In Chapter Four, two additional case studies will be compared and discussed: Standards and Double Standards (2004) by interactive digital artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer; and Et Dukkehjem (2008) by the design duo Roofoftwo.