Art movements are almost always named by critics or historians after the fact. But on a recent evening at the Gagosian Gallery on West 24th Street, Miltos Manetas, who creates computer paintings, staged ''Project: ?Word,'' a happening in the form of a news conference to introduce a term for today's contemporary art and style. ''Neen'' describes visual culture inspired by or based on computer technology, including fine art, Web design and video games, as well as by any number of things sleek, portable and plastic. ''No one knows exactly what it refers to,'' said Steven Pinker, a professor of psychology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and one of five speakers on a panel at the event, which drew some 350 people in the world of art. ''But it's a synonym for cool.''

How come ''Neen''? Mr. Manetas enlisted the help of Lexicon Branding, a company in Sausalito, Calif., that comes up with names for products -- including PowerBook and Pentium -- to invent a hipper word with a broader meaning than conventional terms like ''cyber,'' ''digital,'' ''pixel'' and ''techy'' art. Some reasons for settling on nasal-sounding Neen: in Greek it translates as ''now,'' it rhymes with ''screen'' and recalls an outer-space salutation, ''Na-nu, na-nu,'' which Mork offered on the 1980's television show ''Mork and Mindy.'' ''The word has more to do with style and personality and a new way of dressing than with media and technology per se,'' Mr. Manetas said. Here's a list of what's Neen and not Neen as compiled from comments by ''Project: ? Word'' panelists and other self-described Neensters.

Neen: iMac computers; Audi TT; Doug Aiken's video art; fashion by Alessandro Del Acqua, Helmut Lang and Alexander McQueen; Samsonite luggage; Palm Pilots; the Guggenheim Museum at Bilbao; the movie ''Face Off''; cybersex; and Prozac.

Not Neen: Xerox machines; Jeeps; Eric Fischl; fashions by Tuleh and Gucci (they may be sleek but they're retro); L. L. Bean totes; walkie-talkie-size cellphones; ''The Matrix''; real sex; and aspirin. ELIZABETH HAYT

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