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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  March 2010

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING March 2010

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Subject:

precedents, poetics and potentials

From:

Melinda Rackham <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Melinda Rackham <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 25 Mar 2010 17:33:37 +1030

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hi Crumblers

have been following intently..  (thank you all for  your experience  
downloads) while watching the bbc series desparate romantics - a  
lovely juxtaposition of 21c concerns with upstart pre-raphaelite art  
of C19.

Im interested in these divergent approaches  in (secondary ?)  
knowledge and wealth creation in the the world of media art. the  
polarization between the nesta/ creative industries approach which  
sees everything as a potential income source, where  the art making as  
almost incidental; and the open source /crowd sourceing/ "information  
wants to be free" founding principles of reproducible distributed  
media art and networked media;  really simplifies the issues and  
divert us from doing the hard work of initiating new models while we  
flay around dissecting dichotomies

i tend to think there needs to be a myriad of approaches - Jon Is  
posting on the cross cultural partnership is step in that  
direction..and perhaps a 4th and 5th and 6th way exist as well.. I  
think we forget that  media and emerging art itself can not be lumped  
together as a whole.. art production has many culturally specific  
goals.. from the capitalist ideal of fame and fortune; as a means of  
political intervention and activism;  story telling and preserving  
heritage; it can be therapeutic, practical and decorative;  
entertaining, frightening or confronting.

Rick side-saddelled on this point earlier-  why put yourself into a  
museum collection to become a discrete object behind a hard and soft  
fire wall where your work will be less visible - obviously here the  
select market and the art historical record is the objective,  and a  
fine one too as artists need to be recognized and shoulnt have to  
starve. the "nailing down the bits" provides a great overview of  
operating within this scape. -however i dont believe it is the only  
artscape, or that we have to conform and mould media practices into.  
after almost a  year outside of the parameters of the institution and  
funding rounds im reclaiming a libertarian perspective that utilises  
non-institutional pathways to produce viable incomes for artist,  
curators and cultural producers.

not everyone wants their work preserved/ codified/marketed as the  
live, alive, rhythmic cant be reproduced. Every piece of art we look  
at is decontextualized documentation any way - we were talking about  
this issue a few days ago in a forum at the australian national  
portrait gallery -the perfect example being  the good old mona lisa- a  
very minor painting which currently  brings hordes of admirers to look  
at its now undecipherable codes and its centuraries of alteration and  
tampering with conservation .

And at the other end of the spectrum, open source/floss  is not free -  
doesn't materialize out of the aether - its is supported by  
uncountable hours work subsidized by artists and programmers,  
universities and institutions,  etc etc, It operates in an economy  
where knowledge transfer, notoriety, problem solving and cooperation  
are of the highest value rather than the more virtual and ephemeral  
monetary economy.

Given that the geo political scape is changing rapidly- (of course  
Sotheby's is not going to disappear tomorrow, and collectors wont stop  
acquiring paintings like pork belly futures to store in their  
warehouses, and resell when the market is right )  band-aiding with  
potential ip income seems to be such a short sighted solution to a  
problem of competing markets and shifting global power structures.

Perhaps these fraught economics can be reordered by commissioning and  
neo-patronage, if commissioners pay artists upfront a decent amount  
for their work, contract for future scenarios, then issues of  
secondary income become irrelavent. This is probably generational- as  
thoes who have grown up with a "free" cultural distribution sysetem  
assume positions of influence, the models will change.. although the  
outcome of the networks  closing down with filtering , censorship and  
probably the end of the pretense of net neutrality- will have an  
unpredictable effect on current distribution systems.

just for the historical record i recall a precedent in the  
commissioning/commercialization of netart which Jon T was refereing  
to, form over a decade ago in a curated commercial online net art  
gallery--
'artcart' by Mario Hergueta. http://www.artcart.de/
documentation: http://mario.hergueta.org/projects/curating/artcart/

Artists - Lew Baldwin, Blank&Jeron, Natalie Bookchin, Heath Bunting,  
Valéry Grancher,Yael Kanarek, Takuji Kogo, Antonio Mendoza, Mouchette,  
Tina LaPorta, Jan Robert Leegte, Peter Luining, mi_ga, J.  
Niemandsverdriet, PAVU, Melinda Rackham, Erwin Redl, Station Rose,  
Jochem van der Spek, Teo Spiller, Zden.

We were making works which some of us open sourced, while also  
providing limited /custom editions.. of course it was too early then  
to create a lot of debate.. but it is interesting that a decade later  
we are discussing the same issues. perhaps its an infinite circularity  
- however each time we come past these familiar issues  again we work  
on shaping them just a little differently.

warm regards,
                     Melinda

Melinda Rackham (PhD)
Emerging Artforms Curator
Adjunct Professor
School of Media and Communications
RMIT University, Melbourne

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