Art Term

Multi-media

The term multi-media describes artworks made from a range of materials and include an electronic element such as audio or video

Susan Hiller, ‘Belshazzar’s Feast, the Writing on Your Wall’ 1983–4
Susan Hiller
Belshazzar’s Feast, the Writing on Your Wall 1983–4
Tate
© Susan Hiller
Andrea Zittel, ‘A-Z Comfort Unit with Special Comfort Features by Dave Stewart’ 1994–5
Andrea Zittel
A-Z Comfort Unit with Special Comfort Features by Dave Stewart 1994–5
Tate
© Andrea Zittel
Mapping The Studio Bruce Naumann

The term was first used in the 1960s to describe events such as those staged by Andy Warhol with the rock group the Velvet Underground, under the title of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, which combined music, performance, film and lighting.

Since the late 1970s multi-media has come to define an artwork that uses a combination of electronic media, which could include video, film, audio and computers.