GALLERY OF NEW TECHNOLOGY - manifesto

Posted by Michal Brzezinski | Thu Apr 1st 2010 10:57 a.m.

GALLERY OF NEW TECHNOLOGY - manifesto
http://galeria-nt.pl

I would like to focus on the issue of functioning of the art of new technologies in public institutional space. Considerations concerning whether the traditional institutions associated with art are needed for new media art have become an inspiration to take up this subject. I would like to pick up the discussion in the context of a substantial text of Ryszard W. Kluszczyński which is the last chapter of his book “Interactive Art. From the Work-instrument to Interactive Performance”. The author considers situations in which new media art gets in contact with art institutions. But, this text would become a kind of a manifesto for the particular gallery and cover specific situation: a public art gallery of new technologies.
At the outset I would like to define the differences between the concepts of new media art and the art of new technologies used in the text. By defining a new medium I refer to audiovisual media such as film, video and Internet, rather than to the context of artistic expression of medium within the meaning of a brush, paint, stone, chisels, etc, which also used to be new. I understand the art of new technologies in a broader manner than the art of new media, because this term - for me - includes such areas as biotechnology or nanotechnology.
It seems that many of contemporary works, whether video or interactive network installations, software-art works, or those using mobile devices, no longer need art institutions such as galleries, museums and centres of contemporary art. Indeed, they are able to function outside their environment, and spread as well as be experienced outside the walls of the host institution. What is more, certain works of art themselves are able to generate communities centred around them and they transform themselves in such new and virtual institutions. Should it be noted that the time of galleries defined as forums has ended with the advent of interactive art?
The participation of the viewer in the internal structure of a work of art is certainly a new element. The community dimension generated by the work of art is also new. Art has always generated a community, but the community met in art galleries or museums. Today, works of art invite you to itself, but are the communities, which are created by them, the same communities as those which emerge around various galleries? The answer is simple, but on this occasion the question could be examined here if web galleries - sometimes having an institutional anchor and which represent the Internet art or video art - are able to build a competitive artistic environment in relation to institutional galleries? If they do not have institutional anchors as Saatchi, their virtual beings usually end up as sad and empty spaces, and with time filling with a random creativity. YouTube, Vimeo, MySpace, or other portals seemingly promoting art like Facebook, serve entirely different purposes not related with art and, certainly, they cannot compete with the gallery environment. Surely, you will find a competitive environments in terms of quality of discourse in relation to the those focused around galleries. Portals such as Artfacts, ArtReview, Rhizome, Rhiz, or environmental initiatives based on specific issues such as Digicult, concentrate people actively working as artists, curators, and critics. However, they have a completely different function and they are a wonderful complement to the world of art institutions. We cannot choose between institutions, galleries and themselves because they are solely those platforms of cooperation with other cultural institutions, or grass-roots initiatives, they are also media writing on art, engaged in the labour market in the art sector: they are peculiar billboards, a point of contact for curators and artists offering their ideas. This sphere does not exist without the institutional dimension, which is designed to be upsized.
The justification of presenting in galleries of net-art projects that are created for the needs of a different dispositive remains an open question. They are created in order to be able to come into contact with them from any point on the Earth if only we have, of course, Internet connectivity and a computer. Such works often affect privacy issues. So, the role of gallery in this context becomes not so much sharing, but paying attention to items which are generally available. Searching for the nature and justification for the institution of art related to these projects, please refer to history and perhaps look for differences. Today the distribution scale and allowing for interaction with the internal structure of the work as well as detachment from one item related to the evolution of mechanical reproduction systems and the generation of objects deprived of the original are really exceptional. Is the relationship of painting and new media art to the institutions of art so different? Yet paintings do not usually work for museums or galleries. They function for the private, domestic or public spaces, but usually for non-artistic ones. Perhaps they do not create such community platforms in the internal structure of work and do not replace galleries in this area, but the way of their operation in relation to the institution of art is in many respects identical. Both painting and Internet art expect promotion from galleries. Typically, a gallery is intended to be just an indirect element, sanctioned for the work by a specific exhibition, a place of exposure of an object, which could eventually live in the non-artistic space, illuminate and mark it. In this context, the art of new technology uses galleries as often as the so defined traditional art, tradycyjna. although, of course, the Internet replaces somehow and only rarely the institutions of art in the area of distribution of artworks and creation of communication platforms. The gallery of new technologies is to be a place where the same object, experienced e.g. through the YouTube, Vimeo, and Flickr channels, or the same network installation, experienced owing to recalling the appropriate web page from the server, separated by an ocean from the gallery, will be an artwork by the context of an institutionalized meeting at the artistic level, which does not exclude, but is designed to enhance individual reception.
Public galleries can therefore assume one of two strategies: either they may enter into connections, create and strengthen the art market, recognizing it as something good, or enhance artistic activities which by their nature are non-market oriented, leaving the market to itself. I am of the opinion that public institutions should support non-profit artists and developing art, often young and just entering the market context, or knowingly giving it up and should have such a possibility without regard for profit, since this activity would be a defence of public interest. I also think that the promotion of art only present in the form of digital resources artificially snatched away from the area of network space and not accessible to the public, which is unusual for artists of the information society, is unethical, because it causes that works with commercial value are sponsored by public means. This situation cannot be avoided in the overall model of the functioning of the gallery, but the lack of public availability should not be an asset of the work, but in this case its shortcoming, as it endeavours to bounce the old order based on instinct and possession capital. Public and modern galleries should support above all the works that are available in a natural way for everyone, unless, of course, there is such a possibility. The role of museums is, however, to create accessible platforms, public servers, etc. in which this kind of art can find its free space.
It should be noted here that this is only a part of the phenomena within the so-called new media art, and artistic events occurring only in the gallery space, or possible to organize outside the gallery space only by the organizational structure of the gallery, or by other art institutions are very common.
Installations and actions (performances) are such a form of new media art. Ephemeral nature of media activities is also the specificity of new media galleries, which play an inspiring and stimulating role for similar creative phenomena. The actions themselves often take place outside the gallery, in the urban space, or private one. Installations can be initiated, created in the gallery space, however, it is only possible to ultimately store them in museums. They use technology usually available at the time of their formation, but generally it is quite elitist. However, it requires maintenance, and its negligence sometimes causes irreversible damage to the work. An example of this is the part of interactive films by Graham Weibren or some Mirosław Rogala’s installations which are no longer possible or it is very expensive to reconstruct. Disappearing technologies represent a trace of the epoch, reflecting not only in the matter, but also aesthetics. Videotape, chisel or a brush, a book, similarly as the software developed for Atari or Commodore computers, interactive installation using COM and LPT ports, or standards absent in modern equipment, are all a part of daily life existing then, but also a philosophy which is always a metaphorical plane of the medium, and they are also united in an artistic whole, and are a work of art which can only be maintained by art collectors and museums. The role of public galleries is only ad hoc. They may seek to inspire the emergence of new and the reconstruction of some ancient works, but they usually do not have space to store them.
The third kind of works appearing in the area of new media art those which broaden conceptual activities and introduce elements such as open source, or D.I.Y. to them. A significant part of the artistic works, which are interactive installations, cannot be implemented in a physical way, but, continuing a physical trail, it treats a physical being as an artefact . An implementation is really an artistic idea, and a company, the recipient of a work of art, or, sometimes, a random person may often be the executor of this work. Such works are in fact only intellectual constructs that potentially anyone can do by following the instructions. So, they are realized only at the level of ideas, but they have a dimension of existence, or physical beings. Sometimes they are objects that contain a suggestion to use, but at the same time they are designed so that the recipient seems to realize that using them he/she may endanger his/her life or health. If any form of creativity should be supported by public galleries, it is the one that is characterized by egalitarianism of distribution. The gallery space is a kind of a platform to promote human activity. Art becomes therefore the activity itself, the realization of the purpose outlined by the artist. The collector shall not be treated as depersonalized source of capital, but one attempts to convert him/her into a co-creator, who trying to make contact with art through action, could confront himself/herself with the given artistic idea, attempt to reconstruct a model, proceed into the world of art behind a white bunny set free from artist’s hat..
In conclusion, one could tempt to summarize and draw a line connecting the outlined points. From the projects existing in the network, the projects constituting a type of information enforced by a computer which converts them into a video stream, or an interactive object, to information in the form of commands issued for the recipient of art. It is possible to call this type of media activities the art of information emerging on the ground of technology. Media activities and installations that function in real space may be conventionally called the art of technology. The Gallery of New Technologies is to be a place where owing to public funding both the first and the second realizations find their origins.
GALLERY OF NEW TECHNOLOGY I would like to focus on the issue of functioning of the art of new technologies in public institutional space. Considerations concerning whether the traditional institutions associated with art are needed for new media art have become an inspiration to take up this subject. I would like to pick up the discussion in the context of a substantial text of Ryszard W. Kluszczyński which is the last chapter of his book “Interactive Art. From the Work-instrument to Interactive Performance”. The author considers situations in which new media art gets in contact with art institutions. But, this text would become a kind of a manifesto for the particular gallery and cover specific situation: a public art gallery of new technologies. At the outset I would like to define the differences between the concepts of new media art and the art of new technologies used in the text. By defining a new medium I refer to audiovisual media such as film, video and Internet, rather than to the context of artistic expression of medium within the meaning of a brush, paint, stone, chisels, etc, which also used to be new. I understand the art of new technologies in a broader manner than the art of new media, because this term - for me - includes such areas as biotechnology or nanotechnology. It seems that many of contemporary works, whether video or interactive network installations, software-art works, or those using mobile devices, no longer need art institutions such as galleries, museums and centres of contemporary art. Indeed, they are able to function outside their environment, and spread as well as be experienced outside the walls of the host institution. What is more, certain works of art themselves are able to generate communities centred around them and they transform themselves in such new and virtual institutions. Should it be noted that the time of galleries defined as forums has ended with the advent of interactive art? The participation of the viewer in the internal structure of a work of art is certainly a new element. The community dimension generated by the work of art is also new. Art has always generated a community, but the community met in art galleries or museums. Today, works of art invite you to itself, but are the communities, which are created by them, the same communities as those which emerge around various galleries? The answer is simple, but on this occasion the question could be examined here if web galleries - sometimes having an institutional anchor and which represent the Internet art or video art - are able to build a competitive artistic environment in relation to institutional galleries? If they do not have institutional anchors as Saatchi, their virtual beings usually end up as sad and empty spaces, and with time filling with a random creativity. YouTube, Vimeo, MySpace, or other portals seemingly promoting art like Facebook, serve entirely different purposes not related with art and, certainly, they cannot compete with the gallery environment. Surely, you will find a competitive environments in terms of quality of discourse in relation to the those focused around galleries. Portals such as Artfacts, ArtReview, Rhizome, Rhiz, or environmental initiatives based on specific issues such as Digicult, concentrate people actively working as artists, curators, and critics. However, they have a completely different function and they are a wonderful complement to the world of art institutions. We cannot choose between institutions, galleries and themselves because they are solely those platforms of cooperation with other cultural institutions, or grass-roots initiatives, they are also media writing on art, engaged in the labour market in the art sector: they are peculiar billboards, a point of contact for curators and artists offering their ideas. This sphere does not exist without the institutional dimension, which is designed to be upsized. The justification of presenting in galleries of net-art projects that are created for the needs of a different dispositive remains an open question. They are created in order to be able to come into contact with them from any point on the Earth if only we have, of course, Internet connectivity and a computer. Such works often affect privacy issues. So, the role of gallery in this context becomes not so much sharing, but paying attention to items which are generally available. Searching for the nature and justification for the institution of art related to these projects, please refer to history and perhaps look for differences. Today the distribution scale and allowing for interaction with the internal structure of the work as well as detachment from one item related to the evolution of mechanical reproduction systems and the generation of objects deprived of the original are really exceptional. Is the relationship of painting and new media art to the institutions of art so different? Yet paintings do not usually work for museums or galleries. They function for the private, domestic or public spaces, but usually for non-artistic ones. Perhaps they do not create such community platforms in the internal structure of work and do not replace galleries in this area, but the way of their operation in relation to the institution of art is in many respects identical. Both painting and Internet art expect promotion from galleries. Typically, a gallery is intended to be just an indirect element, sanctioned for the work by a specific exhibition, a place of exposure of an object, which could eventually live in the non-artistic space, illuminate and mark it. In this context, the art of new technology uses galleries as often as the so defined traditional art, tradycyjna. although, of course, the Internet replaces somehow and only rarely the institutions of art in the area of distribution of artworks and creation of communication platforms. The gallery of new technologies is to be a place where the same object, experienced e.g. through the YouTube, Vimeo, and Flickr channels, or the same network installation, experienced owing to recalling the appropriate web page from the server, separated by an ocean from the gallery, will be an artwork by the context of an institutionalized meeting at the artistic level, which does not exclude, but is designed to enhance individual reception. Public galleries can therefore assume one of two strategies: either they may enter into connections, create and strengthen the art market, recognizing it as something good, or enhance artistic activities which by their nature are non-market oriented, leaving the market to itself. I am of the opinion that public institutions should support non-profit artists and developing art, often young and just entering the market context, or knowingly giving it up and should have such a possibility without regard for profit, since this activity would be a defence of public interest. I also think that the promotion of art only present in the form of digital resources artificially snatched away from the area of network space and not accessible to the public, which is unusual for artists of the information society, is unethical, because it causes that works with commercial value are sponsored by public means. This situation cannot be avoided in the overall model of the functioning of the gallery, but the lack of public availability should not be an asset of the work, but in this case its shortcoming, as it endeavours to bounce the old order based on instinct and possession capital. Public and modern galleries should support above all the works that are available in a natural way for everyone, unless, of course, there is such a possibility. The role of museums is, however, to create accessible platforms, public servers, etc. in which this kind of art can find its free space. It should be noted here that this is only a part of the phenomena within the so-called new media art, and artistic events occurring only in the gallery space, or possible to organize outside the gallery space only by the organizational structure of the gallery, or by other art institutions are very common. Installations and actions (performances) are such a form of new media art. Ephemeral nature of media activities is also the specificity of new media galleries, which play an inspiring and stimulating role for similar creative phenomena. The actions themselves often take place outside the gallery, in the urban space, or private one. Installations can be initiated, created in the gallery space, however, it is only possible to ultimately store them in museums. They use technology usually available at the time of their formation, but generally it is quite elitist. However, it requires maintenance, and its negligence sometimes causes irreversible damage to the work. An example of this is the part of interactive films by Graham Weibren or some Mirosław Rogala’s installations which are no longer possible or it is very expensive to reconstruct. Disappearing technologies represent a trace of the epoch, reflecting not only in the matter, but also aesthetics. Videotape, chisel or a brush, a book, similarly as the software developed for Atari or Commodore computers, interactive installation using COM and LPT ports, or standards absent in modern equipment, are all a part of daily life existing then, but also a philosophy which is always a metaphorical plane of the medium, and they are also united in an artistic whole, and are a work of art which can only be maintained by art collectors and museums. The role of public galleries is only ad hoc. They may seek to inspire the emergence of new and the reconstruction of some ancient works, but they usually do not have space to store them. The third kind of works appearing in the area of new media art those which broaden conceptual activities and introduce elements such as open source, or D.I.Y. to them. A significant part of the artistic works, which are interactive installations, cannot be implemented in a physical way, but, continuing a physical trail, it treats a physical being as an artefact . An implementation is really an artistic idea, and a company, the recipient of a work of art, or, sometimes, a random person may often be the executor of this work. Such works are in fact only intellectual constructs that potentially anyone can do by following the instructions. So, they are realized only at the level of ideas, but they have a dimension of existence, or physical beings. Sometimes they are objects that contain a suggestion to use, but at the same time they are designed so that the recipient seems to realize that using them he/she may endanger his/her life or health. If any form of creativity should be supported by public galleries, it is the one that is characterized by egalitarianism of distribution. The gallery space is a kind of a platform to promote human activity. Art becomes therefore the activity itself, the realization of the purpose outlined by the artist. The collector shall not be treated as depersonalized source of capital, but one attempts to convert him/her into a co-creator, who trying to make contact with art through action, could confront himself/herself with the given artistic idea, attempt to reconstruct a model, proceed into the world of art behind a white bunny set free from artist’s hat.. In conclusion, one could tempt to summarize and draw a line connecting the outlined points. From the projects existing in the network, the projects constituting a type of information enforced by a computer which converts them into a video stream, or an interactive object, to information in the form of commands issued for the recipient of art. It is possible to call this type of media activities the art of information emerging on the ground of technology. Media activities and installations that function in real space may be conventionally called the art of technology. The Gallery of New Technologies is to be a place where owing to public funding both the first and the second realizations find their origins.
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