BIO
Domenico Quaranta (1978, Brescia, Italy, http://domenicoquaranta.com) is an art critic and curator. He is a regular contributor to Flash Art and Artpulse. He is the editor (with M. Bittanti) of the book GameScenes: Art in the Age of Videogames (2006) and the author of Media, New Media, Postmedia (2010) and In Your Computer (2011). He has curated various exhibitions, including Holy Fire: Art of the Digital Age (Bruxelles 2008, with Y. Bernard), Playlist (Gijon 2009 and Bruxelles 2010) and Collect the WWWorld (Brescia 2011 and Basel 2012). He is a co-founder of the Link Center for the Arts of the Information Age (http://www.linkartcenter.eu/).

My Life Without Technoviking: An Interview with Matthias Fritsch


Matthias Fritsch is an independent artist from Berlin, most well known for his work Kneecam No 1—the live video that brought Technoviking to the internet. Over a decade after he uploaded the clip that went viral, Fritsch now is enduring a long legal battle with Technoviking himself, who sued for the reproduction, proliferation, and unwarranted use of his likeness. In response to the process, Fritsch is making The Story of Technoviking, a crowd-funded documentary that aims to shed light on the legal issues surrounding viral images. Below, Fritsch talks about what it’s like do battle in court with a viking, the ownership of images in the internet age, and hopes for his current project.

My Life Without Technoviking—since the trial began, Fritsch is no longer allowed to use images of the plaintiff's face.

DQ: Matthias, I'm of course curious about the video that originated it all. What was, for you, Kneecam No 1 (2000) before it became an internet meme? Why did you upload it to YouTube? Were you expecting such a viral reaction? What did you think when it happened?


What's (Really) Specific about New Media Art? Curating in the Information Age


This text has been written for the proceedings of the international conference "New Perspectives, New Technologies", organized by the Doctoral School Ca' Foscari - IUAV in Arts History and held in Venice and Pordenone, Italy in October 2011


The "portal" designed by Antenna Design to show net based art in the exhibition "Art Entertainment Network", Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2000. Courtesy Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

 

In the late nineties and during the first decade of this century the term “new media art” became the established label for that broad range of artistic practices that includes works that are created, or in some way deal with, new media technologies. Providing a more detailed definition here would inevitably mean addressing topics beyond the scope of this paper, that I discussed extensively in my book Media, New Media, Postmedia (Quaranta 2010). By way of introduction to the issues discussed in this paper, we can summarize the main argument put forward in the book: that this label, and the practices it applies to, developed mostly in an enclosed social context, sometimes called the “new media art niche”, but that would be better described as an art world in its own right, with its own institutions, professionals, discussion platforms, audience, and economic model, and its own idea of what art is and should be; and that only in recent years has the practice managed to break out of this world, and get presented on the wider platform of contemporary art.

It was at this point in time, and mainly thanks to curators who were actively involved in the presentation of new media art in the contemporary art arena, that the debate about “curating new media (art)” took shape. This debate was triggered by the pioneering work of curators – from Steve Dietz to Jon Ippolito, Benjamin Weil and Christiane Paul – who at the turn of the millennium curated seminal new media art exhibitions for contemporary art museums; and it was – and still is –nurtured by CRUMB - “Curatorial Resource for Upstart Media Bliss” - a platform and mailing list founded by Beryl Graham and Sarah Cook in 2000 within the School of Arts, Design, Media and Culture at the University of Sunderland, UK. As early as 2001, CRUMB organized the first ever meeting of new media curators in the UK as part of BALTIC's pre-opening program – a seminar on Curating New Media held in May 2001.

In the context of this paper, our main reference texts will be CRUMB-related publications, from the proceedings of “Curating New Media” (2001) to Rethinking Curating. Art After New Media (2010), a recent book by Beryl Graham and Sarah Cook; and New Media in the White Cube and Beyond, a book edited by Christiane Paul in 2008. Instead of addressing the specific issues and curatorial models discussed in these publications, we will try to focus on the very foundations of “curating new media”, exploring questions like: does new media art require a specific curatorial model? Does this curatorial model follow the way artists working with new media currently present themselves on the contemporary art platform? How much could “new media art” benefit from a non-specialized approach? Are we curating “new media” or curating “art”? ...


The Postmedia Perspective


The following excerpt comes from the final chapter of my book Media, New Media, Postmedia, recently published in Italian by Postmediabooks, who kindly gave Rhizome permission to republish it in English. The book is an attempt to analyze the current positioning of so-called “New Media Art” in the wider field of contemporary arts, and to explore the historical, sociological and conceptual reasons for its marginal position and under-recognition in recent art history.



Discussions (51) Opportunities (6) Events (38) Jobs (0)
EVENT

Gazira Babeli: ACTING AS ALIENS


Dates:
Tue Nov 03, 2009 00:00 - Tue Oct 20, 2009

Location:
Slovenia

image

Gazira Babeli: ACTING AS ALIENS
Exhibition curated by Domenico Quaranta

Galerija Kapelica, Ljubljana, Slovenia
November 3 - 15, 2009

Opening and performance: November 3, 9.00 PM (CET)

Aksioma - Institute for Contemporary Art and Kapelica gallery are proud to announce “Gazira Babeli: Acting as Aliens”, the first solo exhibition of the avatar artist Gazira Babeli in Slovenia. Internationally renowned for her activity in the digital reality of Second Life, Gazira Babeli is born there in spring 2006. She is a character in the Matrix, something in between the Oracle and Neo. What she does has been either dubbed as bug, virus, performance or art; what we can say about it is that it subverts the traditional notions of space, time, body, identity and behavior we inherited from our daily experience.
The show borrows its name from the opening performance, in which Gazira and the audience will share the same space and will play through material means, in an unprecedented overlap between digital reality and physical reality. The remains of the performance will be put on show after the event.

The exhibition will also feature a consistent video documentation of Gazira's previous performances, including 7UP (2008), a clockwork orange of twelve micro-performances made in complicity with Patrick Lichty, in a compulsive mix between slapstick comedy and Fluxus scores. Also on show two brand new works in which a self standing doll house - be it a desert or a prison - is built around some characters performing a singular, repetitive, sometimes destructive action.

In the occasion of the show in Ljubljana, the Cultural and Congress Center Cankarjev dom and Odyssey Art and Performance Simulator, Second Life, will host the round table “ACTING AS ALIENS. The ways of Performance Art in Digital Realities” in the frame of the Reflection on Contemporary Art / Seminar of Contemporary Performing Arts IX, organized by Maska, Institute for Publishing, Production and Education and the Cankarjev dom.

Credits:

Curated by Domenico Quaranta
Produced by Aksioma - Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana
Co-produced by Kapelica gallery

Executive producers: Marcela Okretič and Janez Janša

Special thanks: Fabio Paris Art Gallery, Helfe Ihnen, Jansmina Založnik, Bojana Kunst

Contacts:

Aksioma - Institute for Contemporary Art
Neubergerjeva 25, SI - 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Tel. +386-(0)41-250 669
aksioma@aksioma.org
www.aksioma.org

Links

Aksioma - Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana | www.aksioma.org
Kapelica gallery | www.kapelica.org
Odyssey Art and Performance Simulator | http://odysseyart.ning.com
Maska, Institute for Publishing, Production and Education | www.maska.si
Cankarjev dom - Cultural and Congress Centre | www.cd-cc.si
The Seminar of Contemporary Performing Arts | www.maska.si/en/symposium/seminar\_of\_contemporary\_performing\_arts


OPPORTUNITY

PIXXELPOINT 2009 CALL FOR ARTWORKS


Deadline:
Wed Sep 30, 2009 00:00

Location:
Slovenia

Dears,

These are the very last days to apply for the Pixxelpoint 2009 call for artworks. The application can be sent either via e-mail (to the address pixxelpoint2009@gmail.com) or via traditional mail to the following address:

Pixxelpoint
Kulturni dom Nova Gorica
Bevkov trg 4
SI 5000 Nova Gorica
Slovenia

These are the guidelines for this festival edition:

We keep on talking about “new media”, while in actually fact these media are anything but new. The Net is twenty years old, if we start counting from the advent of the Web, forty if we start from Arpanet. Spacewar!, the first videogame ever, is more or less the same age. Virtual worlds are the updated, lighter versions of a technology acclaimed as “the future” when Second Life programmers were still in diapers; social networks are the bastard sons of Fidonet. As for the computer, it is younger than Lord Byron, but certainly not than his daughter Ada.

Once upon a time there was the electronic frontier, an abandonware myth which was able to regenerate itself thanks to the continuous advance of the frontier itself. Like in space, in technological progress there’s no ocean at the end of the trip. But, unlike the space race, the race to the next technology is endless, and endlessness is boring.

Yet, while we got used to innovation and the day-after rhetorics, we have never got used to the loss of the past. We look back to what was new yesterday and is trash today, and we feel a deep sense of nostalgia. Commodore 64 and 386dx. The first Apple Macintosh. Bulletin Board Systems. Animated gifs. Glittering images. Web buttons. Super Mario. Doom. Napster. Jennicam. Mosaic. ASCII art. MIDIs and MOOs. Not to mention VHS, vinyl, audio cassettes, cathode tubes, portable radios, faxes. It is the kind of nostalgia that we feel for a relative who died young, once the pain abates: you are left wondering what kind of man he would have been. Or for someone that, once grown up, does not live up to his or her promise. Sometimes nostalgia develops into historical research, and becomes media archeology. We don’t look for the technologies that we once loved, but those we have never seen in action.

But in both the cases, in the artistic field this sentimental look at the past is producing some brand new, interesting stuff. Reviving dead media and obsolete technologies, retrieving and rekindling their aesthetics, making them do things they were never expected to do, and telling stories about them with other means is proving to be a sound artistic strategy - undoubtedly more so than “the exploration of the artistic potential of new media” which became the mantra of most New Media Art. This happens because, when you give up on the rhetorics of novelty, what is left on stage is the human element: the man of the past who domesticated the media, put his own life into them and was changed by them; and the man of the present, who looks back on that past with the same sentiment as the venerable Sergio Leone looked to the West.

On the occasion of its 10th Birthday, Pixxelpoint festival wants to explore this feeling. Clean out your attic, the folders you haven’t touched for years, GIF repositories, your university’s warehouse, and the dumps of Silicon Valley - or its small-town emulators. Get your hands on this stuff, and send us your finds. Any media is allowed, apart from new!

Domenico Quaranta, curator

More infos:

http://www.pixxelpoint.org

http://domenicoquaranta.com

---

Domenico Quaranta

http://domenicoquaranta.com/

mob. +39 340 2392478
email. info@domenicoquaranta.com
skype: dom\_40
home. vicolo San Giorgio 18 - 25122 brescia (BS)


OPPORTUNITY

PIXXELPOINT 2009 - ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST


Deadline:
Wed Sep 30, 2009 00:00

Location:
Slovenia

ENTRY FORM (PDF): http://www.pixxelpoint.org/entryform2009.pdf
DEADLINE: September 30th 2009, arrival date.

*** *** ***

image

Once Upon a Time in the West

We keep on talking about “new media”, while in actually fact these media are anything but new. The Net is twenty years old, if we start counting from the advent of the Web, forty if we start from Arpanet. Spacewar!, the first videogame ever, is more or less the same age. Virtual worlds are the updated, lighter versions of a technology acclaimed as “the future” when Second Life programmers were still in diapers; social networks are the bastard sons of Fidonet. As for the computer, it is younger than Lord Byron, but certainly not than his daughter Ada.

Once upon a time there was the electronic frontier, an abandonware myth which was able to regenerate itself thanks to the continuous advance of the frontier itself. Like in space, in technological progress there's no ocean at the end of the trip. But, unlike the space race, the race to the next technology is endless, and endlessness is boring.

Yet, while we got used to innovation and the day-after rhetorics, we have never got used to the loss of the past. We look back to what was new yesterday and is trash today, and we feel a deep sense of nostalgia. Commodore 64 and 386dx. The first Apple Macintosh. Bulletin Board Systems. Animated gifs. Glittering images. Web buttons. Super Mario. Doom. Napster. Jennicam. Mosaic. ASCII art. MIDIs and MOOs. Not to mention VHS, vinyl, audio cassettes, cathode tubes, portable radios, faxes. It is the kind of nostalgia that we feel for a relative who died young, once the pain abates: you are left wondering what kind of man he would have been. Or for someone that, once grown up, does not live up to his or her promise. Sometimes nostalgia develops into historical research, and becomes media archeology. We don't look for the technologies that we once loved, but those we have never seen in action.

But in both the cases, in the artistic field this sentimental look at the past is producing some brand new, interesting stuff. Reviving dead media and obsolete technologies, retrieving and rekindling their aesthetics, making them do things they were never expected to do, and telling stories about them with other means is proving to be a sound artistic strategy - undoubtedly more so than “the exploration of the artistic potential of new media” which became the mantra of most New Media Art. This happens because, when you give up on the rhetorics of novelty, what is left on stage is the human element: the man of the past who domesticated the media, put his own life into them and was changed by them; and the man of the present, who looks back on that past with the same sentiment as the venerable Sergio Leone looked to the West.

On the occasion of its 10th Birthday, Pixxelpoint festival wants to explore this feeling. Clean out your attic, the folders you haven’t touched for years, GIF repositories, your university's warehouse, and the dumps of Silicon Valley - or its small-town emulators. Get your hands on this stuff, and send us your finds. Any media is allowed, apart from new!

Domenico Quaranta, curator

*** *** ***

Rules and conditions

1.
Pixxelpoint 2009 International New Media Art Festival will begin on December 4th 2009 in Nova Gorica, Slovenia in Nova Gorica City Gallery (Mestna galerija Nova Gorica) and it will last for eight days, until December 11th 2009.

2.
Competitors can choose between categories:
- New media installation (new media work that is exhibited in spatial arrangements)
- Computer based art (new media work that doesn’t require physical space, for example, programs, computer games, internet art, etc.)
- Digital print
- Video
- Other (work in traditional media - ie drawing, painting, sculpture, embroidery and so on - that may fit thematically or conceptually in the exhibition)

3.
Submissions must be sent free of charge to:
Pixxelpoint
Kulturni dom Nova Gorica
Bevkov trg 4
SI 5000 Nova Gorica
Slovenia

(Att. Blaz Erzetic)
E-mail: pixxelpoint2009@gmail.com

Deadline is September 30th 2009, arrival date.

4.
Works can be sent on:
- CD-ROM
- DVD-ROM
- e-mail (pixxelpoint2009@gmail.com)

Label on the media must contain the name of the author and the work. Every single work must be accompanied by entry form. Works submitted without this entry form will not be valid. In case of sending by email, attach scanned filled form or send it by fax to 00386 33 540 19. Media will not be returned.

5.
There are no software and hardware limitations.

6.
Competitors agree that their work can be used for promotional purposes for the festival Pixxelpoint and catalogue for Pixxelpoint festival.

7.
Submitted works will be selected by the curator on the basis of artistic achievement. Autors whose works are admitted to the contest will be contacted by the oragnizers.

8.
Author guarantees the authenticity of his/her work. In case that work is partially or completely not competitor’s property, he/she assures that he has all the rights and permissions to use this work.
With this statement the author frees the festival of any misunderstandings regarding copyrights.

9.
Pixxelpoint will not sell artworks or copyrights of the submitted works. The festival is meant only as exhibition and promotion for the artists.

10.
All submitted works must match the given theme ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’ as described on this page.


DISCUSSION

A Whole New World?


Hi Daniel,

even if I tried to support the project, I can't but agree with one of the artists in the show. If the artists are unhappy, the project is a failure of course.

Talking about segregation, in my little work as a curator I always tried to avoid it. Probably today a separated "net art show" is even more stupid as ever, since most of the best artists working on the internet are working out of it as well, with galleries etc. That said, I still think that the Internet pavilion made an interesting step onward, at least conceptually, talking not about "net art", but about "net citizenship". Probably this isn't enough to make a good show, but the good news is that the "ceramics pavilion" model is a thing of the past

ciao,
domenico

DISCUSSION

A Whole New World?


Hi Ceci,

thank you for the nice and long review. It was a pity not to meet in Venice...

I agree with most of the things you say, but I have some concerns about your position regarding the Internet Pavilion. You say:

> Further, I found it odd to frame the internet as a territory, when it’s clearly a tool and a medium.

This is quite surprising if said by a Rhizome editor :-) The Internet is definitely something more than a tool and a medium, and that's what makes it more interesting than any other medium. Video is a tool and a medium. The Internet is a tool, a medium, a place, a space, a society, a meeting point for cultures, subcultures, aesthetics, philosophies and the place where new cultures, subcultures, aesthetics and philosophies are born. And much more than this. The notion of netizenship may be old, but it still works. Just a little portion of Manetas' work is net-based, yet 99% of it couldn't exist without the Net. And I think the same should be said for all the artists in the New Wave exhibition.

You found some naïveté in the press release, and you describe the installation as loose, sloppy and disappointing. That's what I thought in the beginning, but spending some more time in the pavilion, I started feeling comfortable with this kind of presentation. A serious, functional, museum-style installation would be too much "telic" for the father of Neen. In my view, the Internet Pavilion wants to be a meeting point, an happening site, a place where you can meet hackers and pirates and where you can see some good, fresh art, but without the seriousness of an exhibition. It doesn't want to compete with its neighbor Pinault, but it wants to be the cool place where everybody is going after visiting Punta della Dogana. You say:

> Given that these artists are doing some of the most compelling work in the field today, this was an enormous letdown. More attention, care and thought could’ve been devoted to the presentation of each artist’s project.

In a way, what's really naïve and immature here is not their conscious, ironic appropriation of the celebratory language of the first net art years, but your anxiety for the recognition of the practice (but I could say “our anxiety”, since my approach would have been very similar to the one you suggest). Good art is not recognized as such because the label on the wall is in the right place. The looseness of the Internet pavilion can be a lesson for all of us who believe that net art can enter the system simply becoming user friendly, imitating traditional art forms and putting well formatted descriptions on the wall. The problem is: are we making it more accessible or more boring?

Bests,
Domenico