What Is Media Art?

Contributor: Stefani Allegretti. Lesson ID: 13367

Can sound be a work of art? What about animation or video games? From logos to websites to animated films, you interact with media art every day! Learn all about this technology-based art form.


Communications, Visual Arts

Fine Arts
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Take a look at the images below:

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  • What do you think these examples all have in common?

They are all examples of media art, and they were all created using some form of technology!

Media art is everywhere!

Just take a look around! Forms include electronic media, like digital art and photography, web design, sound art, video games, and other interactive media.

The media arts are forms of human communication that combine artistic elements with technology.

Watch What is Digital Art? by British Council Arts, to learn more about this innovative way of creating with technology:

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One way to truly appreciate the media arts is to understand its many forms and characteristics. Let's define some predominant forms of media art.

Sound Art is when sound is used as a medium. This is a very unique form of art.

To see an example of sound art, watch a short selection of LINES - an Interactive Sound Art Exhibition from VoicesofU:

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Digital Photography refers to images that are captured and stored as data files on a computer. These images can then be easily manipulated and altered as well.

We all use this form of media art when we use our cell phones to take pictures!

Graphic Design is a form of communication that combines images and text to convey a specific idea, effect, or concept to its audience.

Many of us interact with graphic design, in some way, every single day. For example, logos, magazines, websites, greeting cards, and more are created using graphic design.

Web Design includes all aspects of planning, designing, and creating a website.

The Elephango page you are looking at right now was created using web design!

Video is just moving visuals. The images, which are often accompanied by sound, must be recorded and broadcasted.

If you've ever seen or created a YouTube video, for example, you've interacted with this media art form.

Animation is the illusion of movement.

The animator creates a series of art media using drawings, models, or objects that are then posed in a series of incremental movements. They are then sequenced together at the appropriate speed to make it look as though it is moving.

Video Games can be simple, like Pong, or complex, like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

All video games, however, must be interactive where a player uses an electronic gaming device to control the game and its graphic images. All of those possible images must first be created by a media artist.

That's only a few forms of media art! There are many others.

The Media Arts are different from the Fine Arts, which include mediums like drawing, sculpture, or painting. This is because media art forms are created using some form of technology.

Painting, for example, is not a media art form. Drawing and sculpture are not media art forms.

However, it is important to note that painting, drawing, and sculpture can be integrated with technology to become forms of media art. For example, sculptures are often incorporated into sound artworks.

Take a look at some of the media artwork examples in New Media Art from Weiner Elementary School.

Wow! That was a lot of information about media art. Nice work!

Now, move on to the Got It? section to see what you remember.

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