I’ve been pondering this question a lot recently whilst writing my PhD stuff recently (it covers this area a lot).
Fortunately the Near Future Laboratory explain why with their Top 15 criteria that define “interactive” or “new media” art. It’s worryingly spot on, which makes me suspect the writers have made a few of these themselves.
I’ve been guilty of some of these and my students have definitely been guilty of all of them. What’s worse is that I’ve seen plenty of multi-thousand dollar grants go towards much of that crap too. (I’m just jealous of course – I want someone to fund my lame ideas to the hilt too).
In answer to my own question, I think it’s because it takes itself and the medium too seriously. That makes any kind of art shit in my book.