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 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.
PIXXELPOINT 2008 / FOR GOD'S SAKE!
Kulturni Dom Nova Gorica (Slovenia) is pleased to announce the 9th International New Media Art Festival Pixxelpoint, that will open at the Nova Gorica City Gallery (Mestna galerija Nova Gorica) on December 5, 2008, at 8.00 PM. The festival will run from December 5 to December 12, 2008.
Pixxelpoint is one of the most successful and renowned festivals of new media art in Slovenia and also abroad. Its purpose is firstly, to bring the information technology and new media art closer to the general public, and secondly, to raise awareness about a different potential to use computer among the young.
FOR GOD'S SAKE!
This year's edition of the festival focus on the theme “FOR GOD'S SAKE! How the media change the way we imagine / represent / honour / curse the divinity”, suggested by the Italian art critic, teacher and curator Domenico Quaranta. In his words, “contemporary artistic projects have often raised such issues as technological fetishism, the oracular nature of the internet, the fideistic attitude we have towards the media and the evangelizing bent of those who produce them. This art often takes a critical approach, but also looks for an authentic vehicle of spirituality in the media. Taking this as its theme, Pixxelpoint 2008 addresses saints and heretics alike, showing projects which explore the relationship between media and spirituality at a key point in human history, a time of civilization clashes and neocon upsurges, apocalyptic nightmares and hopes for a new enlightenment.”
Among the works, distributed between the two spaces of Mestna Galerija Nova Gorica and Galerija Tir in Mostovna, the ones selected through the international call for artists are presented together with the ones proposed by internationally renown artists invited to take part in the exhibition. As in the previous editions, the festival program involves panels, workshops, musical events and the screening of a movie. The events will take place on both the sides of the border between Italy and Slovenia: together with Mostovna, Associazione Lucide and Dams - Università di Udine, located in Gorizia, have been involved. They will produce Pixxelmusic, a parallel festival that will run from December 10 to 12, 2008.
The exhibition, distributed between Nova Gorica and Mostovna, is the result of a difficult process of selection of the more than 110 applications arrived this year; a selection that should take into account not just the quality of the proposals, but also their ability to embody the suggested theme in a different way, and to integrate effectively the projects shown by the invited artists. The exhibition consists of 30 works by 30 different artists. Among them, etoy's Mission Eternity project, described as a “digital cult of the dead”; the network of meditating computers set up by the German artists Ute Hörner & Mathias Antlfinger; the Empathy Box by the Italian collective Io/cose, which helps building a spiritual community based on the sharing of pain; the anti-institutional, new media rituality suggested by Otherehto; Martin Conrads and Ingo Gerken's conceptual work, an interrogation on the ritual use of communication technologies; and then Gazira Babeli and Patrick Lichty's video-installation 7UP, a research on the meaning of an avatar life, and Janez Janša's remake of Koyaanisqatsi, which uses Google Earth as a source. The video screening, situated in the Galerija Tir in Mostovna, collects all the videos on show at the festival, putting together some brand new works with recent “classics” such as Negativland's The Mashin' of the Christ (2004) and Eddo Stern's Deathstar (2004) , an exploration of the relationship between religion and violence.
Below, the complete list of all the participating artists:
ALTERAZIONI VIDEO (Italy); GAZIRA BABELI & PATRICK LICHTY (Italy / USA); BridA / JURIJ PAVLICA, TOM KERŠEVAN, SENDI MANGO (Slovenia); MARTIN BUTLER (Netherlands); MARTIN CONRADS & INGO GERKEN (Germany); BRYANT DAMERON (USA); ETOY (Switzerland / International); UTE HÖRNER & MATHIAS ANTLFINGER (Germany); IO/COSE (Italia); JANEZ JANŠA (Slovenia); JAŠA (Slovenia); MARKUS KISON (Germany); CLEMENS KOGLER & KARO SZMIT (Austria); OLIVER LARIC (Germany); LES LIENS INVISIBLES (Italy); KEVIN LOGAN (USA); MANU LUKSCH (UK); MOLLEINDUSTRIA (Italy); PETROS MORIS (Italy); NEGATIVLAND (USA); OTHEREHTO (Cyberspace); PASH (Germany); CRISTIANO POIAN & PAOLO TONON (Italy); SECOND FRONT (Second Life / International); DANA SEDEROWSKY (Sweden); GULI SILBERSTEIN (Israel); ALAN SONDHEIM (USA); EDDO STERN (USA).
On December 10, 2008, at 6.30 PM Pixxelmusic, a related festival, will open in the restaurant “Al Falegname” in Gorizia, Italy. The festival will run until December 12, and includes many different events. Pixxeldinner, a dinner / panel (coordinated by Marco Mancuso, director of the editorial project Digicult) that will take place after the opening mixing pleasure, conviviality and culture, will involve the following speakers: Claudio Sinatti, filmaker, vj and video artist; Antonio Riello, artist and teacher; Peter Mlakar, head of the Department of Pure and Applied Philosophy of the NSK; Jurij Krpan, director and curator of the Galerija Kapelica in Ljubliana; and Claudia D’Alonzo, indipendent curator. Pixxellab (December 11), a vj session with the Dutch artist EBOMAN and the Italian duo Mylicon/EN, and Pixxelnite (December 12), with the group Useless Wooden Toys, will close the festival.
December 5th 2008
8 p.m. Opening of Pixxelpoint - 9th International New Media Art Festival
Mestna galerija Nova Gorica (City Gallery)
December 6th 2008
6 p.m. Workshop with members of art group Etoy
Mestna galerija Nova Gorica (City Gallery)
9 p.m. Electro Music Night
DJ set Roli, Gogo, Krle
Entrance fee: 3 EUR
December 9th 2008
6 p.m. eXistenZ, D. Cronenberg (Canada, UK, 1999)
Kinemax, Hall 2 (P.zza Vittoria 41), Gorizia
In collaboration with organization “La Farfalla sul mirino”.
Film will be screened in Italian language. Free entrance.
December 10th 2008
6.30 p.m. Opening of Pixxelmusic08
Restaurant Al Falegname (Via Maniacco 2), Gorizia
7.30 p.m. Pixxeldinner
Restaurant Al Falegname (Via Maniacco 2), Gorizia
Participation confirmation needed. Contact email@example.com.
December 11th 2008
3 p.m. Workshop with art group Mylicon/EN
Palazzo del Cinema, Dams Cinema, Red Hall
(P.zza Vittoria 41), Gorica
In collaboration with Universita di Udine, DAMS Gorizia.
9 p.m. Pixxellab
Participating: Mylicon/EN, EBOMAN
Auditorium della Cultura Friulana (via Roma 5), Gorizia
December 12th 2008
10 p.m. Pixxelnite
End of the festival
MAGAZINE ÉLECTRONIQUE DU CIAC NO 31 - AUTOMNE 2008 - SECOND LIFE / ART
CIAC'S ELECTRONIC MAGAZINE NO 31 - FALL 2008 - SECOND LIFE / ART
This new issue of the CIAC's Electronic Magazine is devoted to art in Second Life, and explore the many ways this virtual new world is taken over by artists.
The issue includes an essay written by the artist and writer Patrick Lichty (USA), entitled:
Why Art in Virtual Worlds?
e-Happenings, Relational Milieux & "Second Sculpture".
The author, well-known for his work with The Yes Men and Second Front, examines the recent history of art in Second Life, in the context of contemporary art, from Dada to Fluxus, as well as from happenings to relational art.
We also present five works and artists selected among the best in Second Life.
The CIAC's Electronic Magazine (http://www.ciac.ca/magazine) is an online and bilingual (French and English) publication, devoted to cyberculture, art and literature in all their connections with new technologies.
The Magazine is online since 1997.
All back issues are available (and free) online on the magazine’s website.
Editor in Chief : Anne-Marie Boisvert
This issue of the Ciac's Electronic Magazine has been made possible through a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts
and from the Conseil des arts de Montréal
DANS CE NUMÉRO / IN THIS ISSUE :
· Dossier/Feature :
Why Art in Virtual Worlds?
e-Happenings, Relational Milieux & "Second Sculpture"
par/by Patrick Lichty, États-Unis/USA (in English)
Patrick Lichty is a technologically-based conceptual artist, writer, independent curator, animator for the activist group, The Yes Men, and Executive Editor of Intelligent Agent Magazine. He is currently a Professor of Interactive Arts & Media at Columbia College Chicago.
· Perspective :
Fred Forest dans Second Life
par/by Fred Forest, France (en français)
Fred Forest, artiste multimédia et des réseaux, docteur d'État de la Sorbonne. Pionnier de l'art vidéo, dès l'année 67, il crée en France les premiers environnements interactifs, utilisant à la fois l'ordinateur et la vidéo. Dans sa pratique artistique, il utilise, tour à tour : la presse écrite, le téléphone, le fax, la vidéo, la radio, la télévision, le câble, l'ordinateur, les journaux lumineux électroniques, la robotique, les réseaux télématiques, et bien sûr, aujourd'hui... Internet et Second Life (http://www.fredforest.org)
Fondateur du webnetmuseum.
Professeur titulaire à l'École Nationale Supérieure d'Art de Cergy (France), puis titulaire de la Chaire des Sciences de l'Information et de la Communication de l'université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, il dirigera au Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain de Nice un séminaire de renommée internationale sur l'Esthétique de la communication.
· Cinq oeuvres/Five works :
1- The Accidental Artist,
Alan SONDHEIM (USA/Second Life), 2008
présentée par / presented by : Domenico Quaranta, Italie/Italy (in English)
Domenico Quaranta is an art critic and curator who lives and works in Brescia, Italy.
With a specific interest in net art and new media, Domenico regularly writes for Flash Art magazine.
2- Olym Pong
Gazira BABELI (Second Life), 2008
présentée par / presented by : Pau Waelder, Espagne/Spain (in English)
Graduate in Art History by the University of Barcelona, currently studying for a PhD on digital art. Works as an independent graphic designer, curator and art critic.
Contributing editor of the media art section in art.es magazine, correspondent for the art magazine a::minima, the cultural section of the newspaper dBalears and the videoblog VernissageTV. During the last years, he has contributed as editor and reviewer in the digital art websites Artnodes, Furtherfield and Rhizome.
3- Molotov Alva and his Search for the Creator:
A Second Life Odyssey
Douglas GAYETON (USA/Second Life), 2007-présent/ongoing
4- 13 Most Beautiful Avatars
Eva et Franco MATTES aka 0100101110101101.ORG (Second Life), 2006
présentées par / presented by : Paule Mackrous, Canada (en français)
Paule Mackrous prépare présentement un doctorat en sémiologie à l'Université du Québec à Montréal, pour lequel elle s'intéresse à l'effet de présence. Ses objets d'études sont principalement liés aux formes d'art émergentes sur le Web (arts hypermédiatiques, mondes virtuels).
Elle collabore à plusieurs revues d'art actuel et contemporain et participe aux comités de rédaction de DPI, la revue électronique du Studio XX, ainsi que bleuOrange, revue de littérature hypermédiatique. Elle travaille comme adjointe de recherche au NT2 : le Laboratoire sur les œuvres hypermédiatiques.
5- Alissa 1969 Seriman
Agnès de CAYEUX (France/Second Life), 2008
présentée par / presented by : Margherita Balzerani, France (en français)
Margherita Balzerani, est curateur et critique d'art.
Elle travaille depuis 2002 au sein du Département de l'Action Culturelle du Palais de Tokyo, site de création contemporaine de Paris. Passionnée de jeux vidéo, elle est chargée de la préfiguration en 2009 de l'antenne du Palais de Tokyo sur Second Life.
Auteure de nombreux articles sur des artistes contemporains, elle est rédactrice de la rubrique INTERARTIF pour Amusement Magazine. Membre active de l'O.M.N.S.H., Observatoire des Mondes Numériques en Sciences Humaines, elle termine une thèse de doctorat ayant comme titre : « Les enjeux esthétiques des jeux vidéo et leur influence sur la création artistique contemporaine ».
Margherita Balzerani est également professeure de sémiotique et d'histoire de l'art à l'école de Manga, Eurasiam et de Muséographie à l'ICART de Paris. Elle vit et travaille à Paris.
Rédactrice en chef / Editor in Chief
Magazine électronique du CIAC / CIAC's Electronic Magazine
Courriel / Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Centre international d'art contemporain
Courriel / Email : email@example.com
Téléphone / Telephone : 514-288-0811
Télécopieur / Fax : 514-288-5021
I looked for some Net Art 2.0 in Basel during the last weekend, but I didn't find any.
Indeed, I found out some Net Art 1.0 (01.ORG, UBERMORGEN.COM, Olia & Dragan, Shulgin, Cosic) - or, if you prefer, its commercial offspring - but it was far to gain the space it deserved.
And since I'm a guy who wants to learn something from everything, I learned 2 things in Basel:
1. That Net Art 2.0, even if more gallery-friendly, more eclectic and less medium-specific than Net Art 1.0, wasn't that able to jump on the big bus indeed.
2. That if we don't stop discussing about names, brands, specific features and so on, and if we don't start to step up the game in some way, our little, darling art movement will have on the art and culture at large less impact than its previous release.
> about Pall's manifesto: ... not net.art ... dynamic... cannot function without an active network connection... may or may not be interactive... may or may not be accessible on-line... must appeal to at least one of the human senses... reflects contemporary culture... is not epic... is not science... is historically grounded... cannot function without electricity... automated... not virtual... not dependent upon The World Wide Web...
damn... isn't this a good definition for contemporary art?
> about the term Net Art 2.0: net.art was a play with software and domain names, and was funny. net art was a purely technical definition, and was boring. Net Art 2.0 is a nice mix indeed. But it's not an upgrade. IMHO, Net Art 2.0 is to net.art what Vista is to XP, or, if you prefer, what Mannerism is to Renaissance
- the rule of new media art in the last thirty years of art production;
- the existence of two very different "art worlds", with few possibilities of discussion and exchange;
- the ephemeral nature of new media art, that makes it difficult to preserve and collect;
- the necessity to be a "media savvy" in order to understand media art;
- the usefulness of a different label, whatever it is;
- the necessity to develop an alternative economy;
There is a lot of discussion about these issues. We tried to collect some statements in the debates section of the website, and obviously we are going to have a panel. Maybe this Rhizome thread doesn't mean that the show is good, but it is a demonstration that the issues it raises are hot potatos. But discussions are not enough. Last year I was in a panel about "bio art" hosted by an art fair (again, I don't like the label, but I wrote something about it in the past). I realized that we were talking about a ghost, since there was no "bio art" in the fair, and I told this to the audience. The other speakers were horrified, but many people in the audience nodded in assent.
An exhibition is, in my opinion, a way to bring a debate to a wider audience. I'm not saying that this is a good subject for an exhibition. Sure, it's boring. Maybe unseemly. But it's always unseemly to talk about the emperor's new clothes. I would like to talk about time, neo-pop resurgence or identity. I'll do it in the next future. But NOW I feel the urge to clear away the rubbish from the road. In order to be free to "mingle old media with new media" without putting the latter in "back corridors", as Tom said about Unmonumental, we have - I think - to take this step before. Confront with our taboos, realize which kind of position we have in the art world and try to change it - and do it publicly. We have to join forces. Steven, you say that you have no money to come in Brussels. Help us to bring Holy Fire in the States, create a wider network of galleries, artists and collectors, develop it into an art fair and get in touch with museums, and this little European show will be the beginning of something.
yeah, maybe it is. Many others seem to think in the same way. Surprisingly enough, many people taking care for new media chose to take part in it, in a way or another. Strange. Maybe they were all drunk. Or, maybe, they are celebrating with me the ritual suicide of new media art. Seppuku!
Keep on thinking, Steven. I prefer to make things happen. Even if it means making a counter-productive, boring show. If you are right, I will wear a cilice. But if I'm right, something would have happened. And something is better than nothing, isn't it?