Today the media arts not only address the great themes of our times, they inhabit the very media of which they speak. The contemporary is global, but only because of the media that enable globalisation. Those media are almost nowhere apparent in the mainstream practice of art that we see in biennials from Venice to Sao Paolo. The media arts reflect back to us our present condition, and in the archive present us with the ghosts of what we were, and what we failed to become. This book brings the reader into the centre of these strange encounters, introducing us to the rich legacies and futures of the most important arts of the last hundred years. It also looks ahead to the future and asks what happens to the condition of being human within the new constellation into which we are entering?