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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  2001

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Subject:

Re: baltic new media curating seminar

From:

Taylor Nuttall <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Curating digital art - www.newmedia.sunderland.ac.uk/crumb/

Date:

Sat, 19 May 2001 14:03:05 -0300

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Hi friends on Crumb list.

This thread of posts made me think a little more about my own experiences of
seeing work in different spaces. Vuk was talking at the Crumb conference
about the difficulty of audience participation with work shown in the
gallery space - computer often seen as office equipment / communications
tool - so visitors expected the computer to be used as such - browsing -
sending e-mail and thus bypassing the art work available to view.

I have shown work in environments such as Internet Cafes and have witnessed
similar responses. Here is a computer - let me get on do with it as I want.

So I thought about how video installations have become a standard format for
viewing single channel works. Here the work is placed in front of us - we
are presented with an opportunity to engage / spend time or walk away. Yet
often the environment provided is a crucial aspect of this. A dark difficult
to access space may put people off entering - especially if there is another
viewer in the space experiencing a personal relationship with the work.

In other situations I have been within an even more simple arrangement
projection / video monitor with a seat / chair to watch. One person may be
sat there for a short period of time - but other visitors hover nearby for a
few seconds then move on because someone else is there already.

To summarise it is evident that consideration must be made for the
environment in which a work is seen - but also consideration of whether the
display of a piece of work is intended to support a single viewer or not.

As a final thought - most of my 'art' consumption now takes place before a
computer screen in non gallery environments (say 90% vs. 10%) - this is
clearly now having an impact on the way in which I now respond to gallery
based forms of art. Anyone got any thoughts on this potential change in
perceptions.

Regards

Taylor

________________________________

Taylor Nuttall
Director
Folly
26 Castle Park
Lancaster
LA1 1YQ
Tel: 01524 388550
www.folly.co.uk

> >Whilst it can be argued that such spaces ghettoise media art, at least
they
> >make the work accessible in a more informal setting. Some (though not
all)
> >computer-mediated art is made to be viewed in a domestic environment, and
> >'lounge' spaces attempt to bridge the gap between institutional space and
> >domestic space.
>
> I think that this is a very interesting point. I think that space, time
and
> comfort must be taken into consideration when presenting media work (I'm
> thinking here of single channel video, in particular) and I don't think
that
> by creating an environment that will encourage/enable audiences to engage
> with this type of work does it a disservice or lessens it's importance
> within the institution.
>
> If time is an integral aspect of the work (as in much performance), then
> viewing the work in its entirety can be crucial. And if an exhibition
> contains numerous lengthy works,then walking around a wall projection or
> watching a monitor on a pedestal just doesn't cut it.
>
> Over-designing a traditional space doesn't necessarily work either. I was
> recently in Los Angeles and went to see Making Time: Considering Time as a
> Material in Contemporary Video and Film at the Hammer Museum. It was a
> comprehensive show that included around 30 works of varying length, many
> with a running time of more then 20 minutes. I was told by friends that
the
> installation had been widely praised as a way of addressing some of these
> issues, however I don't think that certain aspects worked at all.
>
> In the first gallery space (a darkened room), a line of monitors were
> suspended from the ceiling and two sets of headphones (per monitor) were
> attached to the back wall, along with some type of padded vinyl that you
> could sort of lean against, but not actually sit on. The works were quite
> diverse in both form and content and although the headphones prevented an
> audio babble, I found the competing images very distracting. Although
other
> aspects of the show were more successful (video and film installations and
> small viewing rooms with mid-scale projections), I think that a quiet,
> comfortable area for watching the longer, single channel works would have
> been favourable.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Michelle Hirschhorn

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