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?
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.
MNAC - National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest
Reconstruction, Re-enactment, Re-reporting
curated by: Domenico Quaranta
MNAC - National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest
Izvor St. 2-4, wing E4, Bucharest, Romania / Entrance from Calea 13 Septembrie
22 January - 13 March 2009
Panel discussion: 22 January 2009 at 18:00
Exhibition opening: 22 January 2009 at 19:00
Featured artists: Lucas Bambozzi, Vaginal Davis, Quentin Drouet, Janez Janša, Janez Janša, Janez Janša, Irwin, Eva and Franco Mattes (aka 0100101110101101.ORG), OHO group, SilentCell Network (Mare Bulc, Janez Janša, Bojana Kunst, Igor Štromajer)
MNAC - National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest is proud to announce “RE:akt! Reconstruction, Re-enactment, Re-reporting”, the world preview of the works realized in the last three years within the platform “RE:akt!” conceived by Janez Janša and produced by the Slovenian cultural institution Aksioma.
During recent years the term re-enactment and the practices it refers to have enjoyed increasing success in the artistic context. On one hand, the success of re-enactment appears to be connected to a parallel, vigorous return to performance art, both as a genre practiced by the new generations, and as an artistic practice with its own historicization. On the other hand the term re-enactment accompanies two phenomena that at least at first glance have very little in common: re-staging artistic performances of the past, and revisiting, in performance form, “real” events - be they linked to history or current affairs, past or present.
“RE:akt! Reconstruction, Re-enactment, Re-reporting” tries both to research on the complexity of this concept and to get rid of it, approaching re-enactment not merely as “live action role-playing” or “living history” but rather as a strategy for cultural critique, analysis and artistic expression. “RE:akt!” - meaning not only “to act again” but also “to respond to / to react upon” and “Regarding: act!”- confronts current ideological and intellectual canons, power structures, policies, and distribution channels by re-enacting selected historical and culturally relevant events. Through processes of analysis, deconstruction, re-enactment and re-reporting, the intermedia research and presentation project “RE:akt!” examines media’s roles in manipulating perceptions and creating postmodern historical myths and contemporary mythology.
Thus, “RE:akt! Reconstruction, Re-enactment, Re-reporting”, curated by the Italian art critic and curator Domenico Quaranta, will collect ten different approaches to the concept ofenaction: from Ich Lubbe Berlin! (2005, SilentCell Network), a take on the 1933 burning of the Reichstag building in Berlin, which explores the contemporary meaning of symbols such as the Reichstag itself, and of concepts such as “communism” and “terrorism”; to Das KAPITAL (2006, Janez Janša), a performance which re-stages the 1969 occupation of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact forces with the languages of popular street artists; from C'était un rendez-vous (déja vu) (Janez Janša and Quentin Drouet), a project that plays with the paradigmatic history of a well known artwork, the film C'était un rendez-vous by Claude Lelouch, from “cinema verité” to “media fiction”; to VD as VB (2007), a series of actions in which Vaginal Davis, the “grande dame” of the queer underground in Los Angeles, dialogues with Vanessa Beecroft's performances. In Mount Triglav on Mount Triglav (2007 - 2008), the three artists Janez Janša, Janez Janša and Janez Janša re-stage a well known performance of the OHO group from the late Sixties, recently appropriated by the IRWIN group for their Like to Like Series (2004), performing it on the Mount Triglav itself, and then translating it into a monumental golden sculpture; while in Slovene National Theatre (2007), Janez Janša translates an infamous fact of recent racism against Gypsies - known in Slovenia as “the Ambrus case” - into a piece of theatre, re-invoicing it as it was featured by the mass media. In their Synthetic Performances (2007), Eva and Franco Mattes aka 0100101110101101.ORG reenact on the virtual platform of Second Life a series of historical performances that are all but virtual, raising issues such as body, violence, sex and pain, thus exploring the meaning of these very issues in a virtual world. In SS-XXX | Die Frau Helga (2007), Janez Janša again adds details and proofs of evidence to an “urban legend” recently circulated on the Net and mainstream media, concerning the presumed creation of a cyber-sex doll by the Nazis. Thus, performance and reenactment are far from being the only strategies adopted in “RE:akt!”, which also involves strategies such as documentation, remix, re-invoicement, reconstruction and remediation (such as in the project The Day São Paulo Stopped 2009 by Brazilian artist Lucas Bambozzi), and media such as photographic print, video, media installation and even architecture (such as in the project Il porto dell'amore, by Janez Janša, an homage to Fiume as an example of pirate utopia).
On Thursday, January 22, MNAC will host a panel discussion featuring Domenico Quaranta, curator of the exhibition; Janez Janša, artist and director of Aksioma; and the italian theoretician Antonio Caronia, co-editor of the book E:akt! Reconstruction, Re-enactment, Re-reporting, to be published on March 2009 (with contributions by Rod Dickinson, Jennifer Allen, Jan Verwoert, Antonio Caronia and Domenico Quaranta). On March 25, the exhibition will travel to ŠKUC gallery, Ljubljana (Slovenia) and then further to the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka (Croatia).
FREE IMAGES FOR PRESS and MORE INFO:
Production: Aksioma - Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana
the European Cultural Foundation www.eurocult.org
the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia
the Municipality of Ljubljana
Institut Français de Bucarest, Irwin, Claude Lelouch - LES FILMS 13, Moderna galerija Ljubljana, MGLC - International Centre of Graphic Arts Ljubljana, RPS d.o.o.
MNAC - National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest
Izvor St. 2-4, wing E4, Bucharest, Romania
phone: +40 - (0)21 318 91 37
Aksioma - Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana
Neubergerjeva 25, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija
gsm : +386 - (0)41 250 830
OPENING & PERFORMANCE: Saturday, January 17, 2009 at 6.00 PM
From January 17 to March 7, 2009
3.00 - 7.00 PM, closed on Sunday
Fabio Paris Art Gallery is proud to announce the second solo exhibition by the Austrian artist duo UBERMORGEN.COM, presenting the world preview of the project “Superenhanced”, which is dedicated to the pressing issue of torture. Though torture is banned almost everywhere, it has re-emerged under a new set of names with the neutral, tidy, functional language of marketing and branding.
Kidnapping is now called “extraordinary rendition”, and torture is “enhanced interrogation”: “an efficient way to extract valuable information from unwilling detainees” that uses so-called “soft” techniques such as the Attention Grab (the interrogator forcefully grabs the prisoner’s shirt front and shakes them) and the Attention Slap (an open-handed slap to the face); the Belly Slap (a hard open-handed slap to the abdomen, able to cause pain, but not internal injury); this then continues into “harsh techniques” like then Long Time Standing, with prisoners forced to stand, handcuffed, for more than 40 hours; the Cold Cell, where the prisoner is left to stand naked in a cell kept near 10 degrees Celsius; Waterboarding, a controlled form of drowning, and Sleep Deprivation, where they are not allowed to sleep for several days. These are mostly psychological techniques, which do not leave marks on the detainee’s body, and have been used for years (since the Reagan administration) in America’s Supermax prisons (but also in places like Kandahar, Bagram Airbase and Guantanamo Bay) to prepare ‘unlawful enemy combatants’ (including numerous children) for interrogation. The final set of methods used by authorities are the classic extremely brutal ones: Hanging prisoners by their wrists for days, beating prisoners, breaking bones, amputation of limbs, starving prisoners and killing prisoners.
UBERMORGEN.COM gets to grips with this sinister subject matter, but rather than condemning a human rights outrage that is there for all to see, appears to be more interested, on one hand, in exploring the hypocrisies of the language that renders it acceptable, and on the other the moral position of the spectator when exposed to ambiguous questions and disturbing images. The point of departure is the Superenhanced Generator, a web project (displayed in installation form) that contains a smart interrogation engine, basically capable of comprehending the spectator’s responses, and that generates a fake legal document (a foriginal), modelled on rendition orders and interrogation protocols.
The installation is accompanied by a series of photographic prints and a video which adopt the ascetic aesthetic of maximum security prisons representing child prisoners undergoing intimidation and torture: the photos are staged poses of a reality that no-one wants to believe in - a reality that is conveyed to the public eye as a form “collateral damage” in a “necessary” fight against terror. The images are nicely lit and professionally produced, but they are profoundly unsettling due to the truths that lie beneath their patina of glamour.
On the evening of the opening, the installation will be accompanied by a performance.
UBERMORGEN.COM (lizvlx & Hans Bernhard, www.ubermorgen.com) is an artist duo based in Vienna, Austria. Behind UBERMORGEN.COM we can find one of the most unmatchable identities - controversial and iconoclast - of the contemporary European techno-fine-art avant-garde. Their open circuit of conceptual art, drawing, software art, pixelpainting, computer installations, net.art, sculpture and digital activism (media hacking) transforms their brand into a hybrid Gesamtkunstwerk.
In February 2009, FPEditions will publish the monograph UBERMORGEN.COM (edited by Domenico Quaranta, with contributions by Inke Arns and Jodi.org).
via Alessandro Monti 13 - 25121 Brescia - tel. 030 3756139 - Skype: fabioparisbs
below you can find my curatorial essay for Pixxelpoint 2008, that will open on Friday, December 5th in Nova Gorica, Slovenia.
FOR GOD'S SAKE!
“God Always Uses the Latest Technology.”
In the little town in northern Italy where I live, which is economically prosperous, culturally sleepy, religiously bigotted and politically conservative, there is a small but interesting “Museum of Art and Spirituality”. It presents part of the collection of contemporary art that belonged to Giovanni Battista Montini, a.k.a. Pope Paul VI, an illustrious local man and possibly the last Catholic pope to believe that contemporary art could convey a religious message. After a brief look at the collection, it is easy to agree that Pope Paul’s faith in art, was, as they say, blind. While alongside a few daubs, he managed to collect a number of undisputed masterpieces, by artists including Sironi, Morandi, De Chirico, Chagall, Kokoschka, Dalì, Matisse, Manzù and Giacometti, in this art it is difficult to find the populace-educating power of Medieval and Renaissance art, or the astounding emotional impact of Baroque art. None of these works has the catalyzing power of an icon. Contemporary art alters the rhetoric of religious art, learns its stylistic approaches and tackles it from a secular point of view. At times it conveys a private form of spirituality, not necessarily linked to any religion. And often, when it tackles official religions, it does so in a provocative, iconoclastic way: take Martin Kippenberger’s crucified frog, for instance, or the cross submerged in the urine of Andres Serrano, or Maurizio Cattelan’s Nona ora, or the Virgin Mary blackened with elephant dung by Chris Ofili, or Vanessa Beecroft’s recent Madonnas. All of these works are undoubtedly imbued with their own form of “sacredness”, yet they would hardly be hung in a church.
Even post-colonial art, which takes account of local traditions and therefore often deals with the powerful influence of religion, seems more intent on critiquing this influence than exploring its depths. In the contemporary art world, only video - in some instances - seems to have taken up the legacy of great religious art: take Bill Viola, for example, whose works have also been shown in cathedrals. We could explore the extent to which this is connected to the fluid magic of the electronic image, and more in general the ability demonstrated by the mass media in conveying the religious message, and recuperating the role of “biblia pauperum” once played by the great fresco cycles.
While sects and religions have had a hold over radio and television frequencies for some time, the film industry, from The Ten Commandments (1956) to The Passion of The Christ (2004), has accomplished what art has no longer been able to for around two centuries. But it has been above all with the appearance of the phenomenon euphemistically dubbed “the clash of civilizations” that we have become aware of the extraordinary readiness and skill shown by religions of all kinds in exploiting the media. The papal decree declaring the validity of a blessing received during a live radio programme (1967) came around the same time as Nam June Paik’s first legendary video (Café Gogo, Blecker Street, 1965, featuring the Pope), and the same recognition was accorded to blessings on the internet in 1995, when most of the political world had not yet even acknowledged its existence. On another front, the videos of Palestinian kamikazes have done much more for the development of “tactical media” than the Seattle movement. “God Always Uses the Latest Technology”, I once read on a Christian website. Holy wars are now waged as much in virtual worlds as real ones, and in video games such as Under Ash and Kuma War as much as with car bombs and air raids. We look to technology to confirm myth and miracle, from the Turin Shroud, to the blood of St. Gennaro, to the tears of the Virgin Mary; while the Catholic backing for Mel Gibson’s blockbuster is common knowledge, as is the way in which Opus Dei adroitly used the media to turn The Da Vinci Code’s bumbling but best-selling attack to its own advantage.
As I write there is an exhibition regarding this very theme - the skilful use of the media made by sects and religions - being staged. Entitled “Media Religion”, it is hosted by the Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe (curated by Boris Groys and Peter Weibel). The press release goes as follows:
“Video has become the chosen media for religious propaganda as it can be produced and distributed particularly fast thanks to today's technology. [...] The exhibition “Media Religion” aims to demonstrate the medial aspect of religion based on current examples of religious propaganda and individual works by contemporary artists. Shown, among others, will be confession videos by religiously inspired terrorists, religious propaganda television series, and documentaries about current sects and religious groups. The artistic works juxtaposing the documentary material arise for the most part from the same context as the religious movements that they refer to. The relationship of most of the artists to religious rituals, images, and texts from their own culture is neither affirmative nor critical but instead, blasphemous. In this way, a critical analysis of the respective religious iconography is possible, as well as its crossover into modern culture.”
If the religious - when not cultural - use of the media has had a hand in bringing religion to the centre of artists’ attention, the ramifications of religion in the information society are, if possible, even more complex and fascinating. Whether we like it or not, spirituality has shaped the evolution of the media, and has in turn been greatly influenced by it.
Two of the most effective technological era brands - the Big Brother symbol and the Second Life logo - are patently inspired by the divine eye, and more generally, religious iconography appears to be almost an obligatory reference for many communications and media companies, especially stateside. High tech gadgets are increasingly aspiring, with undisputed success, to the status of fetish object. Without any great qualms we have replaced rosary beads and holy images with iPods and iPhones, and prayer books (even in the form of Mao Tse Tung’s little red book) with Notebooks. Total immersion in videogame playing, even from the postural point of view, resembles a new form of prayer or religious ecstasy, and search engines have acquired the status of oracles. “It’s true - I read it on Google”, is an often-heard mantra that sounds like an act of faith. If religion is (or was) the opium of the people, in the 90s it was banal to say the same of television, and now of Youtube.
“God games” are one of the most successful videogame genres, and together with the satellite vision made popular by GPS systems and Google Earth, they show how much we enjoy having an omniscient, commanding view of the world. What the Greeks regarded as the sin of hubris is commonplace for us, almost mundane, as is another divine prerogative man has granted himself: that of taking on different forms and using these to operate in different worlds. Like in the past, this projection of the divine ego is known as an avatar, but unlike in the past, it is now a possibility open to any acne-ridden adolescent. For today’s teenagers, “virtual life” is a fact of life, but often it is also, like in the film eXsistenZ (1999) by David Cronenberg (also present at Pixxelpoint) a collective cult, a religion. The fact that it is not yet possible to risk one’s ‘real’ life (unlike in the film), is a mere detail. Technology also violates our privacy like only God used to be able to; thus while we are increasingly unwilling to attend confession, we find it easier and easier to lay our souls bare on social networks. While our computers are not yet as powerful as HAL 9000, the arrogant superbrain in 2001 A Space Odyssey, we get the impression that this is not far off. In any case, a few years back we were sufficiently advanced to direct our millennial angst at an improbable “millennium bug”, and more recently, at a highly technological particle accelerator, which ended up getting jammed on its first run.
I am writing this article on my Macbook, on a slow, clunky train which was probably last renovated at the beginning of the 90s. It is called Freccia della Versilia - Arrow of Versilia. Opposite me there is a girl in pointed shoes and ripped jeans painting her nails and replying to sporadic messages on her Blackberry. When this secular ritual is interrupted, she takes a tiny pamphlet out of her bag - about 5 cm across, and with few pages. On the cover there is a Madonna and child image, but a few details reveal that this prayer book is not the stuff of Catholic orthodoxy. To the side of me there are two other girls. One has an open copy of The Transfiguration of the Commonplace by Arthur C. Danto, while the other, who is wearing Timberlands and a Palestinian kefiah, is holding a sheaf of notes. But instead of reading, the girls are talking about nirvana, The Celestine Prophecy and finalism, mixing philosophy, mysticism and new age. Then they stop, and the one reading Danto gets out an iPod. I swear. May god strike me down if I am not speaking the truth. If I had looked around the train earlier, I might not have written what I have. But the fact that the bag of a 20-something can contain a Blackberry, a prayer book, The Celestine Prophecy and an iPod is not really a contradiction, when it comes down to it. The future is here, and at least in this part of the world it is distributed pretty well, but it coexists with a past which is unwilling to bow out. The strange times we live in are the children of both syncretisms and synchronies.
Contemporary art often raises these issues - technological fetishism, the oracular nature of the internet, the fideistic attitude with which we use the media, and the “evangelizing” approach of those who produce them. It often adopts a critical stance, but also looks to the media as an authentic vehicle for spirituality. When I began working on For God's Sake!, the show was basically a tag cloud, a cluster of key words: hi-tech fetishism, technology mysticism, Millennium Bug, HAL 9000, Brainstorm, Big Brother, Truman Show, surveillance, dataveillance, privacy, oracle, rituality, avatar, community, social networks etc. I had a few phrases and a few works in mind, but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. On the other hand I knew exactly what I didn’t want to do: I didn’t want to stage an exhibition which attributed one single meaning to the term “religion”; I didn’t want to put on an exhibition of religious art, or profanity, but rather mix saints and heretics, worshippers and blasphemers. I wanted to move away from cyberpunk mysticism, techno-hippies, data-gloves and virtual reality gurus, but also the lavish effects of audio visual work, the facile attraction of electromagnetism and the other tricks much beloved by Teslans. What I was particularly interested in was exploring the relationship that develops between our spiritual lives, both individual and collective, and the gadgets we use on a daily basis; understanding how these worm their way into our imaginations, and how they exploit and enrich our symbols and metaphors, and also understanding where faith takes shelter in a world where nothing seems private, a world which has transferred the “style” of the sacred to consumer goods, and which has submerged silence under an unprecedented information overload.
The works gradually fleshed out the framework I had sketched, enriching it and often surprising me. The power of some of the images astounded me: the evocative Via Crucis of shadows imagined by Markus Kison, the dance of satellites orchestrated by Janez Janša, or Briant Dameron’s traveller, who seeks confirmation of his existence in an empty screen. I was surprised to witness the appearance of various issues I had not considered, like the exploration of the prescriptive, authoritarian nature of certain artistic languages and styles: from the tutorials collected and examined by Petros Moris to the Powerpoint style parodied by Clemens Kogler. I was even more surprised to discover, in some works, how needs, rituals, and even the sacraments of faith can find support and mediation in the community aspects of digital technologies, and that this in no way undermines their original purity. The fact that a few of these works adopt an ironic approach does not make this new dimension of rituality less interesting.
One project with an extremely serious theoretical premise is Mission Eternity, an ambitious work in progress by the Swiss collective etoy. Mission Eternity describes itself as “a digital cult of the dead”, and entails digital archiving and data conservation, and the social dimension of peer to peer networks; it blends technology and ancient rites, with a modernized version of the Chinese joss paper tradition which bestows shares in the etoy.corporation, rather than money, on the deceased.
Meditation for Avatars, by the German artists Ute Hoerner and Mathias Antlfinger, involves a series of networked client - computers with the work installed on them, to give rise to a kind of collective meditation. Participants perform a mantra then send it to the other users online. This creates a community of computers in meditation, generating a field of positive energy that the artists reckon is transferred to the users. Vice versa, the Empathy Box by the Italian collective Io/cose establishes a community of users united by empathy through their shared perception of pain - pain caused by an electric shock generated by the device and transmitted through the human chain. Lastly, Confession 2.0 by Cristiano Poian and Paolo Tonon explores the connection between the drastic drop in confession attendance and the digital soul-baring typical of social networks, by means of a high-tech confessional that makes our confessions public, transforming us into “successful sinners”.
All of these works deploy the rites, sacraments, idols and fetishes of a spirituality currently renewing itself in line with the anthropological mutation in progress. As has always happened, for the greater glory of God.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 : email@example.com
Centre international d'art contemporain
Courriel / Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Téléphone / Telephone : 514-288-0811
Télécopieur / Fax : 514-288-5021