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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  March 2010

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING March 2010

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Subject:

Antw: Re: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] I have a dream....

From:

Oliver Grau <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Oliver Grau <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 13 Mar 2010 17:26:31 +0100

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Thank youRoger for this. You made a very important point for all of us
here and Istrongly like to support your thought by adding my five cents.
 
Comparablewith natural sciences, digital media and new opportunities of
networkedresearch catapult the cultural sciences within reach of new and
essentialresearch, like appropriate documentation and preservation of
media art, or evenbetter, an entire history of visual media and their
human cognition by means ofthousands of sources. These themes express in
regard to image revolutioncurrent key questions. In order to push
humanities and cultural sciences intheir development, it is necessary to
use the new technologies globally and create a research infrastructure
which is organisided much more intercontinental than now.
 
Since the foundation of the pioneering Databaseof Virtual Art anumber of
online archives for digitization and documentation arose:
LangloisFoundation inMontreal, Netzspannung at the Frauenhofer Institut
or MedienKunstNetz at ZKM * most of these projectsterminated, their
funding expired, or they lost key researchers like V2 inRotterdam. Even
the Boltzmann Institut for Media Art Research in Linz, faced recently
itsclose-down after an evaluation. In this way the originated scientific
archiveswhich more and more often represent the only remaining image
source of the art works,do not only lose step by step their significance
for research and preservationbut in the meantime partly disappear from
the web. Not only the media artitself, but also its documentation fads
that future generations of researchersand public will not be able to get
an idea of the past and the art of our time.To put it another way, till
now no sustainable strategy exits. What we need isa concentrated and
compact expansion of ability. There is/was increasingcollaboration with
these projects in a variety of areas and in changingcoalitions. But in
the field of documentation projects - real preservationprojects do not
exist yet (beside fantastic case studies) - the focus is stilldirected
too much towards particularisation, instead of concentrating forces,what
is essential strategy in most other fields (as Roger pointed out).
Manyindividual projects are definitely innovative but too small and
without clearlarger scientific strategy and safe financing, which is not
their fault. Someprojects are already expired and not carried further.
Lots of competence and culturalwealth, but too much separationism. 
 
Especially the university based researchprojects and partly also the
ones which are linked to museums have developedexpertise that needs to
be included in cultural circulation, not only in orderto pass it on to
future generations of scientists and archivists but also togive it a
chance to flow into future university education in the fields of
art,engineering, and media history. Clearly, the goal must be to develop
a policyand strategy for collecting the art of our latest history under
the umbrella ofa strong, let’s say “Library of Congress like”
institution. Ultimately, however, this can onlybe organized by a network
of artists, computer and science centers, galleries,technology producers
and museums. Those projects which collected culturallyimportant
documents in the past and which often expired, were not further
supportedor even lost their base must be supported and reanimated. They
should beorganized like a corona around an institution which receives
the duty ofdocumentation and may be even the collection of contemporary
media art, such aninstitution could be in the USA, the Library of
Congress; in Europe, besidesthe new European digital libraries database
Europeana, it could be the BibliothequeNational, the BritishLibrary, the
V&A or in Germany beside the ZKM for example the DeutscheBibliothek or
even better a Max Planck Institute.Interestingly the libraries show
increasingly interest to archive multimediaworks and their
documentation; however, the usually complex cultural andtechnical know
how is lacking in order to preserve principal works of the mostimportant
media art genres of the last decades. Not only can the
internationalstate of Media Art be a hinderance in creating common
projects, also the FUNDINGINFRASTRUCTURE of media art documentation so
far, has normally promotedprojects for 2, 3, or more years, neglecting
sustainability. A structure whichupdates, extends and contextualizes
research * whether in historical orcontemporary contexts is required.
The funding and support infrastructureswhich have been built in the end
of the last century are not suitable forscientific and cultural tasks in
the Humanities of the 21st Century.
 
What is needed in the (Digital) Humanities isan institutional support
equivalent to that in Astronomy, Biology or ClimateResearch, in order to
create enough momentum and adhesion the main fundingorganizations like
NSF, NEH, the European Research Council, DFG, VolkswagenFoundation etc.
have to support on an international level the necessaryresearch
structure for research in Media Art and the Digital Humanities ingeneral
needed in the 21st century.


oliver

 



>>> roger malina  13.03.10 13.45 Uhr >>>
Rick

Look forward to seeing the book. Re the Open Museum discussion,
i recently posted my Open Observatory manifesto

http://www.leoalmanac.org/index.php/lea/entry/an_open_observatory_manifesto/

I am heavily influenced here by my work as an astronomer over the last
thirty
years. Thirty years ago astronomers viewed the data they took ( in those
days
photographic plates) as their personal property and their careers hinged
on
their
controlling this data ( and their students careers depended on their
access
to their
professors data). Today NASA and NSF now have a contractual stipulation
that
all data
funded by NASA must be made publically available= its funded by public
money
so the public has a right to access it. This has led to a scientific
revolution in
astronomy= more science is now done on the hubble data archive, than
with
new observations= and more science is done by other people than by the
astronomers who took the data. The international virtual observatory
movement
has generalised this and there are now shared data analysis tools that
are
open sourced.

This open data is still not the case in many fields of science even
though
the data was funded by public monies, but its a growing trend (even in
the
genome project). And indeed
the model is that the scientist is funded up front to take the data, and
then
its open sourced. In the humanities its still not the case often= and
access
to collections is tightly controlled ( cf the ongoing debate about the
dead
sea
scrolls..)

So a first piece of your open museum proposal could simply be that
any work commissioned using public monies must be open sourced
on the ideological basis that the public paid for it so they have a
right
to it. And indeed the artist is paid up front ( just as the scientist is
paid
up front)

This approach obviously ignores the fact that in art ( as opposed to
science)
a lot of the art economy depends on speculation and that a small tiny
fraction
of artists get very rich because the intellectual property can be
controlled
and
monetarised in speculation. I guess in science the equivalent is that a
few
scientists have benefited from very lucrative patents that they have
filed-
which are not so much speculative but are market driven. Patents that
result
from government funding are tightly regulated, with the inventor and the
institutions
getting their share.

Many of these issues were discussed at the CODE conference some years
back and in the book edited by Ghosh in the leonardo book series

http://leonardo.info/isast/leobooks/books/ghosh.html

Open source software is considered by many to be a novelty and the open
source movement a revolution. Yet the collaborative creation of
knowledge
has gone on for as long as humans have been able to communicate. CODE
looks
at the collaborative model of creativity -- with examples ranging from
collective ownership in indigenous societies to free software, academic
science, and the human genome project -- and finds it an alternative to
proprietary frameworks for creativity based on strong intellectual
property
rights.

the museum issue is tangentially addressed


roger




On Mon, Mar 8, 2010 at 11:59 PM, Richard Rinehart wrote:

> Hello again New-Media-Curating,
>
> In addition to the other mischief we like to cause individually, Jon
> Ippolito and I are co-authoring a book for MIT Press, due out Spring
'11 on
> collecting and preserving new media art .
>
> I include below a brief excerpt from the book relevant to our
discussion
> this month on commissioning variable media art. In it, I'm proposing a
new
> model for an archive of new media art I call "the Open Museum" and
> describing perhaps a new way that commissioning could be seen to
function in
> that.
>
> I was originally inspired along these lines by the V2 arts
organization in
> Rotterdam that had a stipulation in which new media works commissioned
for
> their lab space must remain open-source within the lab space for
future
> commissioned artists. It got me thinking, why not take that great idea
a
> couple steps further.....
>
> "Students, scholars, and the public can currently access images and
records
> *representations - of artworks held in museum collections, but they
cannot
> access the collections themselves. The Open Museum takes advantage of
the
> unique property of new media that allows one to share the original
without
> diminishing it. In the Open Museum, the source code and other files
for
> digital artworks from the collection are free for users to download,
study,
> use, and re-mix into new works. In this way, even the casual student
can
> peer under the hood and examine the inner workings of these artworks
in the
> way that previously only privileged scholars could with traditional
material
> collections. .......
>
> Intellectual property law was created to balance the private need with
the
> public good. It grants authors and artists exclusive rights over their
work
> for a limited period (not a short period, sometimes 90 years after the
> artists lifetime) after which the rights in the work move into the
public
> domain. The artist has time to find ways to earn a livelihood from
their
> work and this is seen as an incentive to create in the first place.
Why
> then, could not public museums act as stewards of the public good and
> compensate the artist earlier rather than later by commissioning works
for
> the Open Museum, after which they apply Creative Commons licenses and
> release the work to the public. The museum would earn their renown not
for
> the quality of art they obtain in exclusivity, but for the art they
obtain
> and then give away. The artist gets money up front and still owns
their
> work. And the public is served by waiting months rather than decades
to gain
> access and rights to use the work in question."
>
> Two more items.
>
> Within the Berkeley Art Museum's net art portal, we were able to
include
> *some* of the function of the Open Museum - an open-source net art
archive.
> Call it a baby step.
> (see http://netart.bampfa.berkeley.edu and scroll down to NetArtchive)
>
> An earlier post to this list (from Leigh I believe; I lost the email),
> outlined how public institutions in Scotland are now using their
muscle to
> gain IP rights in works they commission. While public art funding and
IP are
> quite different between the UK, US, Canada and elsewhere, I wonder if
the
> Open Museum provides a more positive spin on how public institutions
could
> partner with artists with regard to the disposition of IP in
commissioned
> works - or - is the Open Museum just another step toward big brother
taking
> everything?
>
> What do you all think? What are the ways in which commissioning new
media
> *could* work in addition to how it already works? What are your
dreams?
>
> Richard Rinehart
> ---------------
> Digital Media Director & Adjunct Curator
> Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
> bampfa.berkeley.edu
> ---------------
> University of California, Berkeley
> ---------------
> 2625 Durant Ave.
> Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
> ph.510.642.5240
> fx.510.642.5269
>



-- 
Roger Malina is in France at this time

I
011  33 (0) 6 15 79 59 26
or         (0) 6 80 45 94 47
Roger Malina is acting Director of the Observatoire Astronomique de
Marseille Provence and Executive Editor of the Leonardo Publications at
MIT
Press and member of the steering committee of IMERA the Mediterranean
Institute for Advanced Studies.

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