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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  September 2009

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING September 2009

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Subject:

Re: Recap: September 2009: "Real-Time: Showing Art in the Age of New Media"

From:

Josephine Bosma <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Josephine Bosma <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 8 Sep 2009 10:45:44 +0200

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dear Sarah and other Crumbs,


Just some thoughts...

Since the discussion is going in many different directions I decided  
to look back at your initial call and theme, which is in the subject  
line of this mail. Am I mistaking when I think this topic is first  
and foremost not so much about time, but about presence, access and  
connectivity? I have always found this aspect the most intriguing  
issue in art using any kind of electronic media, because of the  
sensitivity and vulnerability involved. In this area one time aspect  
appears that was not mentioned here yet, and this is delay. Delay is  
of special importance in decentralized performance. I remember how  
VRML and sound performance Adrift by Helen Thorington and Fakeshop  
between Vienna and New York in 1997 was difficult because of it. I am  
not sure how and if it is of influence in 'decentralized'  
installations, like for instance in Atau Tanaka's Global String.

Delay only really matters in case of actual real-time experiences;  
there are also real-time simulations. The beauty of all media (print  
included) is of course the possibility of some sort of presence  
despite of distance. In the 19th century the museum's reach for  
example was expanded through the publication of photographs and  
collector's albums and magazines. A very interesting text about  
photography/reproduction and the artworld is the PhD of Friedrich  
Tietjen, which was not published as a book yet as far as I know.  
Radio, TV and Internet create a much stronger sense of real-time  
presence though, which can feel very real even when faked. I think of  
for instance Debra Solomon's project 'The_Living' in which she  
combined chat-performances with fake webcam input of her and her  
keyboard under water, on a bicycle, or on a boat in an Amsterdam  
canal. It took a while before her audience realized one could connect  
a video camera/player to the webcam input quite easily. This  
theatrical side of electronic media (think also of War of the Worlds  
or in some ways the Truman Show) is well known and discussed, like in  
Zizek's text about the Matrix. It undermines a sense of reality, and  
thus of engagement. I like very much how questions of presence, the  
tension between local and distant interaction, and the importance of  
intimacy/closeness for an experience of reality can be investigated  
and displayed through the theme of Real-Time. I hope some of you can  
share some nice examples of exhibitions or artworks that explore  
these topics. Technical issues are most welcome to hear about too... ;-)


Back to work,




J
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