Despite the relevance of new media art for the critical understanding of the information and network societies today, it is largely ignored as a socially engaged practice—certainly compared to other forms of socially engaged artistic practices in the international field of contemporary art. This article outlines the reasons for this relative neglect and specifies different kinds of new media art that qualify for the category of socially engaged art beyond leftist politics and ideologies transposed to the realm of art. Proposing and mobilizing a “media-reflexive” art theory, which emerged from the author’s doctoral dissertation, this claim is substantiated by the analysis of three exemplary digital art projects by Joseph Nechvatal, George Legrady and Blast Theory, respectively.

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