This project researches the contribution of Australians to the development of media arts as a global contemporary art practice. International publications and online archives dedicated to the study of media art are dominated by European and North American exemplars. Despite this, Australian video, computer graphic, interactive and internet artists have been active contributors to the international context since the late 1950s. Today, Australian media artists are world leaders, pioneering trends in technologically-based artistic endeavor such as interactive cinema, video installation and biotechnical arts. This project asks how issues of geographic distance (set against the relative portability of media art) have affected the particular historical development of media art in Australia. Has media art in Australia developed on par with international media art? Has the relative ephemerality of its materials – video, CD-ROMs, networked-based art, etc – allowed Australian media artists to participate in a wide international community at the expense of the preservation of this art? How have these problems of preservation impacted upon the wider dissemination and accessibility of Australian media arts for local and international audiences? This project will work with national and international partners in order to research the unique history of Australian media arts, at the same time examining the important artistic and technical contributions that have contributed to the shape of media arts in the global arena. By way of a dynamic web environment, our constituents will propose frameworks, refute inaccurate facts, question or expand upon theories, pointing out unseen associations and critical connections. This methodology has been chosen because there are currently no single set of scholarly resources for Australian media art. An online database for gathering these resources will therefore be both a method and lasting outcome of this research project. The project will contribute to knowledge about the significance, preservation and re-presentation of digital artistic material that often remains inaccessible to audiences due to platform and software obsolescence. The research will make use of innovative ways of documenting, circulating, annotating and supplementing media art works in online environments. Internationally recognised research partners across Australia and Europe will undertake to ensure that the beginnings of new media in Australia are documented and made internationally recognised through cutting edge media practices.