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Subject:

Re: British New Media Art Gate keeping...

From:

Helen Cadwallader <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Thu, 1 Apr 2004 14:25:50 +0100

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text/plain

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text/plain (195 lines)

Hi Susan,

I'm just reiterating the points you made here. 

The New Media Art: Practice and Context in the UK 1994-2004 is an anthology
of texts and is not intended as a definitive historical account.  The book
came from the arts council identifying the need to raise the profile of new
media artists and their related practice.  Given the significant range of
work which had been produced through the new media projects funds managed by
the visual arts dept (the funds ran from 1997 - 2004) much of this was
relatively unknown beyond very specialised networks.  The scope for the
editorial content for the book was established through discussions with an
editorial advisory group in the early stages of development.  It was agreed
that there was a need for a book and that this did need to focus on the work
which had been produced through the new media funds.  As part of the
discussions it was observed that (certainly at that time around a year and a
half ago) there were few books that had a focus on practice or
practitioners.  It was also agreed that some broader contextualising
material was necessary to open up the frames of reference to unpack the
works and to add an extra dimension to the varied cultural and social spaces
that artists work in and respond to.  But once again it was agreed that this
broader material still needed to be defined to some extent within the
specific criteria of the funds - namely electronic distributable
formats/networks.  Given this specific focus of the funds and resultant
work, we were very mindful of the fact that the book could not provide a
survey for all things new media in the UK.  Besides, it would not be
appropriate for the arts council to do this. This very specific focus is
made clear both in the preface and the introduction to the book. The actual
criteria to the funds are also reprinted as published at the time that the
funds were available.  One further function of the book is to serve as a
print-based documentation of projects derived from electronic media and
platforms. But of course I do understand  how the title could be construed
in other terms. The title was one of the most difficult aspects of the book
to resolve.  We opted for something very simple which could convey directly
what the nature of the books content is.

The book will be available from Saturday 3rd April through Cornerhouse
Publications  http://www.cornerhouse.org/publications.  RRP  15    ISBN 0
948797 88 6

Helen Cadwallader
Visual Arts Officer: Media Arts
Arts Council England
14, Great Peter Street
London SW1P 3NQ
E-Mail: [log in to unmask] 


-----Original Message-----
From: Susan Collins [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 25 March 2004 18:04
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: British New Media Art Gate keeping...


Marc,

As far as I know a lot of people - including people who are being *included*
in the book - are quite concerned that it is/will be seen in context, and
not as an inclusive/definitive history of all new media art in Britain...

From what I understand the impetus for the book was to provide a historical
context for work which was funded by the New Media Projects fund of the Arts
Council - which ran for a number of years and mostly funded 'distributable'
media (including net Cd etc).
Many artists (including myself) received arts council funding during these
years for major new media projects from other areas of the arts council -
ie. National Touring, Visual Arts Exhibitions, Artists film and Video etc,
and not from this one. As far as I know these - other - projects are not
being covered in this book. Although some of these 'other' artists have been
brought in in other ways for quotes, comment, or discussion (as I have)....

I have yet to see the book, so I reserve judgement, and in general I think
its a good thing that much of this work is beginning - finally - to be
written about, contextualised and documented in some way.  However I, like
you, will be concerned (and annoyed :-)) if it does appear - as the title
seems to suggest - as if it is a definitive history of the development of
'Practice and Content in the UK 1994-2004' rather than what I understand it
to be, which is a celebration of the (noteworthy) achievements of this one
particular project fund.

(please someone - lucy k, helen c?? Correct me if I am wrong!)

- Susan




> *British New Media Art - Gate Keeping...
> *
> Ok everyone - Furtherfield is asking everyone on here why are we left
> out of the loop here?
>
> We've been going since 97...and still going strong and communicating
> beyond gate keeping defaults, any answers?
>
> It does get a bit depressing - we are working 24/7 trying our best in
> the work that we do but because we are not institutionally connected we
> are snubbed...why?
>
> A very annoyed individual...
>
> marc*
>
>
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
--
> ---------------------
>
> British New Media Art: Conference and Book*
>
> *British New Media Art*
> At Tate Britain, Clore Auditorium
> Saturday April 3, 2004, 10.00- 17.30
> Millbank, London SW1P 4RG
>
> */New Media Art: Practice and Content in the UK 1994-2004/*
> April 2004
> Co-published by Arts Council England and Cornerhouse Publications
> ISBN 0 948797 88 6
>
> For more information:
> http://www.tate.org.uk/britain/eventseducation/artnewmedia
>
>
>
>
>
> In the past 10 years, Britain has fostered a unique set of practices in
> the field of new media. This conference will look at these diverse
> characteristics and preoccupations. From the net to CD-Roms to mobile
> technology, British artists have found innovative, provocative and
> cutting-edge ways to explore themes of popular culture, conceptualism,
> social interventions, identity formations and networks and modes of
> distribution.
>
> This one-day event will present some of those practices and explores how
> to critically engage with new media art. What are the contexts and
> structures informing curatorial decisions, public reception and artistic
> practice? Finally it will consider its own history and use the past to
> inform the present.
>
> Speakers and participants include Steve Dietz (keynote), Saul Albert,
> Geoffrey Batchen, Sarah Cook, Nick Crowe, Steve Dietz, Desperate
> Optimists, Matt Fuller, Charlie Gere, Shilpa Gupta, Lucy Kimbell, Julian
> Stallabrass, Thomson & Craighead and Carey Young.
>
> This conference, initiated by the Arts Council England in association
> with Tate Britain and Film and Video Umbrella, coincides with the launch
> of /New Media Art: practice and context 1994 - 2004,/ an ACE/Cornerhouse
> Publications publication (available c/o Cornerhouse Publications
> http://www.cornerhouse.org/publications and at the conference.)
>
>
> *New Media Art: Practice and Content in the UK 1994-2004*
>
> Part theoretical/historical reader, part showcase of new and recent
> artists' projects funded by Arts Council England, this book provides a
> context for new media arts practice in the UK from 1994 to the present
> day. A series of snapshots of this most exciting and contemporary of
> artistic forms, the book combines newly commissioned essays and
> discussions with illustrated project descriptions to offer an overview
> of key developments in new media arts, drawing on the experience of
> practitioners, producers, curators, writers and critics from the UK and
> abroad.
>
> *Geoffrey Batchen* and *Charlie Gere* chart the early history of new media
> *Steve Dietz* defines the elusive qualities of net.art
> *Matt Locke* considers the cultural importance of text messaging
> *Sadie Plant* writes on gaming and play
> *Nico Macdonald* explains the origins and features of current
> information technologies
> *Peter Suchin* looks at the appropriation of conceptual art
> *Sarah Cook *and *Beryl Graham *highlight new curatorial challenges
> *Erik Kluitenberg *discusses developing notions of online community
> *Heath Bunting* and *Rachel Baker* provide practitioners' first-hand
> accounts
> *John Ippoliti, Lawrence Lessig* and *Jon Naughton *wrangle with the
> complexities and politics of intellectual property.
>
> Complex, fast-moving and constantly evolving, new media work by artists
> can often be difficult to grasp - for general and artworld audiences
> alike. Echoing its longstanding institutional support for and
> recognition of this diverse area of new media practice this Arts Council
> England publication is the perfect introduction to this extraordinarily
> creative and innovative field.

www.artscouncil.org.uk

Arts Council England is the trading name of the Arts Council of England registered charity no. 1036733.

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