Our featured author this week is Oliver Grau, author of Virtual Art and the editor of MediaArtHistories.
In his work, Grau argues that new media should be studied in the context of art history. He is professor for Bildwissenschaft at Danube University, Krems, in Austria (A quick check on Babel Fish reveals that "Bildwissenschaft" is German for "Picture Science", aka Image Science).
A review of his edited collection, MediaArtHistories, has been making the internet rounds recently: read it here at newmediaFIX.
Grau is also known for creating a digital art archive called the Database of Virtual Art, and the MediaArtHistories archive. The Database of Virtual Art website explains the importance of this project:
The Database of Virtual Art documents the rapidly evolving field of digital installation art. This complex, research-oriented overview of immersive, interactive, telematic and genetic art has been developed in cooperation with established media artists, researchers and institutions. The web-based, cost-free instrument - appropriate to the needs of process art - allows individuals to post material themselves. Compiling video documentation, technical data, interfaces, displays, and literature offers a unique answer to the needs of the field. All works can be linked with exhibiting institutions, events and bibliographical references. Over time the richly interlinked data will also serve as a predecessor for the crucial systematic preservation of this art.