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Themesicon: navigation pathOverview of Media Articon: navigation pathNarration

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how representation could be possible (again) today. There is a hint of hope here, a departure from the nihilism of the 1970s and early 1980s, from the radicalism of «Stop making sense» (the denial of coherent meaning contexts), which in this light now itself appears as a totalizing gesture. The ‹rediscovery› of the narrative in the 1980s and 1990s is hence not a regression to a time before the negation of the great narrative blueprints of the modern age, but rather a critique of these, because it assumes that storytelling as cultural dispositive still very much influences our perception and our processes for constituting meaning. At the same time, modified forms of narration pay tribute to the transformation of media, because they no longer rely on conventional production methods to supply meaning. They attempt instead to create meanings that are autonomous and do not possess any clear reference in reality. In their strategy they take into account the altered character of the digitally encoded information that today determines our reality: digital data in principle has no reference in the physical world and has therefore lost its representational character. By contrast with


traditional analogue reproduction processes, the digital image can be reduced, regardless of original medium, to endless variations on the binary signs 1 and 0. These signs refer to nothing but themselves —they are self-referential. Without this media background, current forms of narration as a contemporary expression of the change in reality cannot be understood. It is only the transformation from analogue to digital medium that makes the fundamental doubt of what is real and the search for modified options for representation comprehensible.

Narration as a connective system

While attitudes, concepts and motifs in the web art and interactive art of the 1980s has much in common with the video art of the 1990s, they differ in one important aspect: their choice of medium. This aspect is not to be underestimated in cases where the sensory conditions of the viewer as well as cultural dispositives of communication play a pivotal role. After all, the choice of medium is always an aesthetic statement. The artists who employ the computer as medium also necessarily convey its ideology of optimism

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