bob cotton’s mediainspiratorium app

Wanna be a creative? mediainspiratorium is the place to start. Download the iPad  app free at the appstore.

Just What is it that Makes Today’s Media So Different, so Appealing?

(thanks Richard Hamilton)

The 19th century 1800-1899 – saw the invention of modern photographic, reprographic, and electronic media: camera, telegraph, telephone, comics, gramophone, cinema, movie-machines, animation, wireless.. It also saw the Romantics, the Impressionists, the Pre-Raphaelites, the Pointillists,Symbolism, Aesthetic Movemebnt, Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau. 


And even since I went to art college in the 1960s, innovations in the arts and media have proliferated…with Television, New Wave Cinema, Jazz-Poetry, The Counter Culture, Cable TV, Concrete Poetry, Pop Art, Conceptual Art, Happenings, Multi-screen, Minimalist Music, Concrete Poetry, Performance, Colour Xerox, Cool Jazz, Folk Revival, British Blues, Pop Festivals, Colour TV, CDs and CDROMs, Installations, Events, Computer Games, Synthesisers, Satellite TV, Macs and PCs, DVDs, email, Laptops, the WWW, Blogs, Mobile Phones, iPods, MMORPGs, Smart-phones, iPads,Broadband, Virtual Worlds, Social Media, WiFi, Streaming Video,VR, AR, Robotics, and AI too!


And most of these electronic  and digital  innovations were rooted in analog ancestors – in the practices and methods of artists, designers, craftsmen and practitioners in older media. Digital operations like Cut and Paste stemmed from graphic design and reprographics; compositing from early photography; social media from cartes-de-visite, printed postcards, art postcards, telephone; special effects from experimental film-making, multiscreen from cinema and a/v shows in the Sixties… Others sprang fully fledged as ‘computer-media’: videogames, simulations, geographical Information systems, virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence. Mediainspiratorium allows you to trace the roots and origins of new media – from the first ’new’ media – photography – to augmented reality, AI and Robotics.


And, do you know what? Bob Cotton’s mediainspiratorium is the very FIRST integrated history of these new media. This is stuff you need to know if you’re a student, or even if you are a practitioner, designer, content creator, developer, coder, or just interested in the phenomenal recent history of the arts and media

Sample entries…


There are over 1200 entries – each linked to full screen graphic, caption, commentary and links to other relevant items.

This is the app for students, designers, content creators, developers, directors – for all those involved in the creative industries.







Wanna be a creative? mediainspiratorium is the place to start. Download the iPad  app at the appstore.


This is ‘guided contextual learning‘ from a media historian, lecturer, researcher and creative director – Professor Bob Cotton guides you through the innovations in arts and media that are the back-story of today’s media arts.


We have built machine-learning into our app – this provides another level of personalised guidance – links tailored to your browsing history, and to the temporal context


This is a tool for self-learning – learn at your own pace, follow the links to explore the the first intermedia or cross-disciplinary history of art and media


mediaispiratorium is a non-linear narrative with millions of story combinations – explore them at your own  pace. Use the favourites tab to list stuff you like, use this as a guide for further study.

“I quickly found myself totally engaged and happily immersed in following links and cross-references”