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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  September 2009

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING September 2009

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Subject:

Time - recap from conference

From:

Sarah Cook <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Sarah Cook <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 30 Sep 2009 09:01:48 +0100

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Dear CRUMB list readers,

A belated note of thanks to all the organisers and participants of  
the CRUMB conference "Real-Time: Showing Art in the Age of New Media"  
at the AND Festival in Liverpool last week.
http://andfestival.org.uk/siteNorm/programme/selectedEvent.php? 
qsSelectedEventId=28
Beryl has made a break for the hills, Axel is back in Berlin working  
on relocating his office, and Verina is moving house in London, so  
we're a bit scattered now, but all of us are very pleased with how  
the day went and our heartfelt appreciation goes out to co-chair  
Charlie Gere, and to the team at FACT including Gaby and Kerry and  
Mike. Thanks also to our guest speakers in the morning sessions who  
kicked off discussion in a slightly cold room with slightly echo-ey  
microphones: Barbara London, Mark Nash, Franz Thalmair and Gavin Wade.

In the afternoon we split into four groups and discussed time in  
relation to specific curatorial issues with the prompting of rapid- 
fire presentations by a range of artists and curators. As promised,  
here are the feedback notes from each group. We will post photos and  
texts online at crumbweb.org also. Meantime, I invite all CRUMB  
readers to post their feedback on the conference here also (and any  
corrections to my notes!), and continue to discuss the question of  
time as the days get shorter here through October...

cheers!
Sarah

Notes from roundtable discussions at Real-Time: Showing Art in the  
Age of New Media conference at the AND Festival, September 24, 2009:

showing video (discussion prompted by Oliver Laric and Guthrie  
Lonegan and Michael Connor; notes relayed by Michael Connor)

history of how new media forms become recognised, is there a crisis  
of digital technology - art and wider cultural products
different audiences for art and web, and video on the web in particular
how video is shown in physical space - spatialisation or suspension  
of time of the video/viewing experience
gallery is both opportunity and challenge. this is different with web  
based works, and web-based video work - creating arrays of projections,
creating an object for the work. these strategies are symptoms of the  
gallery as a constraint.
greatest inventions yet to come after moving past modes from art  
history - cinema
more to discuss: showing web based work in the gallery (video is  
institutionalised in the gallery)
audiences, expectations

showing live art (discussion prompted by Kelli Dipple and Helen  
Sloan; notes relayed by Charlie Gere)

tools - real time, no latency networked collaboration - what can be  
good for artists
play with reality as key to this.
process is an artform in itself.
tools developed elsewhere but artists come up with better ways of  
using them, thinking about them, thinking about what they do culturally
telepresence as tool of artmaking.
network space for virtual meeting
how and why to collect new media art - current economic crisis as a  
factor: "it's a big ask"
not just curators need to be educated - but all staff within museum,  
security guards, etc.
low-tech interventionist new media art - find its own presence both  
online and in other spaces to be remembered (or does it get forgotten?)
galleries should get used to ideas of temporality and impermanence  
(does this go against ideas of value for money?)
V&A - early computer art -- what is being collected?
different models of what might be collected - instructions over  
objects, anthropology museum model, performance vs documentation
what happens when BBC puts its digital archive online and becomes  
like a museum, while Tate becomes more like a broadcast org? who owns  
rights? what other issues of documentation?

showing interaction and participation (discussion prompted by Beryl  
Graham and Axel Lapp; notes relayed by Laura Sillars)

what is meant by participation? artworks with participation built in  
as part of a structure although work designed for gallery space
lots of ideals and ethics around participation, inclusion,  
consultation. we are layering lots of these ideals on to artists - is  
this a good idea or not?
example of the Yes Men: very explicit about the frameworks they are  
using.
how do you manage risk and trust with audiences/participants?
is a museum or gallery a sure-fire way of killing participation?
hard to disentangle subjective experience from participatory practice.
the ladder of participation - much art is reactive rather than  
participatory
deterministic experiences - constructed that way, so not truly  
participative.
art in the public realm garnered more debate than participatory art  
in gallery spaces.
example of the fourth plinth project: social interaction around it is  
the work rather than the work itself?
cultural variables which stop or start participation in different places
the radicality of participatory practice can be lost, we are so  
exposed to it in public spaces
the language of participation can be done very poorly but used very  
broadly - how do we use political tradition of the word in terms of  
the radical traditions it came from.
what values are we using to identify, judge, give status to a work?
commissioning process
opportunities to break down or create new social rules - frameworks  
into which participation can take place (i.e. olafur eliasson)
participative process in relation to the participatory end product
credit to those with the skills to reach the lower levels of ladder  
in order to create good participation and reaction.
maybe it doesn't always work very well in a gallery? more  
conversation needed here.
more doing less showing!

showing process rather than product (discussion prompted by Kathryn  
Lambert and Sarah Cook; notes relayed by Paul Amitai)

number of people in the group were working with artists in  
residencies or educational contexts. their role is to explore artist  
process and make it explainable i.e. through website blog, public  
engagement with working process - weekly lunches - ways to make  
process of work accessible.
museums - different in different countries / contexts, i.e. education  
dept building programmes around exhibitions. tate calls their dept  
adult programmes. create social spaces within the gallery, get people  
interacting with the work to lead them into the process of the artist.
residencies, i.e. at eyebeam, not always a final product. could be  
prototypes or versions, create a moment for interaction with  
audiences, then going back to the lab - feedback loop.
integrate programs within institutions to get them to speak to one  
another - i.e. cinema to gallery. (discussed example of cornerhouse)
how is participatory work documented? challenge at all different  
institutions. i.e. documenting software code is very different from  
performance. how can the documentation lead to the adaptation of the  
work?
think of archiving as a performative act? use oral histories as a model?
artists using the public to document their work (i.e. collecting  
other peoples' photos from flickr)
our group noticed that during the conference a lot of curators didn't  
talk about their process, and showed images of their 'products'
our question to michael connor about his marianspore project -- how  
might that process be documented. should what travels be the platform  
or the process (a set of instructions) as opposed to the objects  
amassed there?
could or should there be instruction kits for curatorial practice?
why don't we care more about the product, why aren't we more positive  
about product because we have shifted so much towards highlighting  
process.

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