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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  January 2012

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING January 2012

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Subject:

Re: quick piece of research regarding artist's television

From:

Katrina Sluis <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Katrina Sluis <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 20 Jan 2012 11:57:25 +0000

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Hello All,

I am pleased the issue of The Space has been raised.

Whilst the BBC is presenting it as a revolutionary platform, its original brief was rather vague about what this might mean. From the documentation it appears to be a content management system whose 'revolution' surrounds its use of open source software (Wordpress?) with respect for metadata and standards connected to the semantic web. Whilst this means that content can be easily syndicated to other interfaces (and allows computers to understand and connect chunks of content), what we see (unsurprisingly!) is a very broadcast-oriented approach. The platform will allow "content" to flow from iphone to iPad to iMac and cope with the interface demands of each platform. 

The BBC conceives the project as the "iPlayer for culture," and it is with admirable geeky excitement that they are approaching the coding the content management system as we speak. Certainly, the technical challenges of the CMS and the hardware that supports it are diverse and complex. But because the technical detail was only released last week, it has been very hard to suggest projects which are able to play with and respond to the interface itself - in a sense the original brief appeared as "we have a database: now we need cultural organisations to fill it". Having said that, the call was not exclusively confined to The Space platform itself, and many proposals have suggested new media projects which are not hosted on the space eg games, microsites.

I will be curious to see how the relationship of the interface to the content will work when The Space launches. The disaggregation of form from content which underpins much of the database driven web is both liberating in one way, but subsumes all video, text, audio and image under a the paradigm of "content". In this sense, web design/authorship is not so longer with the coding of web sites, but the customisation of templates which have in-built parameters for the presentation of data which is located elsewhere. 

With this in mind, The Space demands that all image content, for example, is provided at (the cinematic) ratio of 16:9 - the platform will automatically optimise/crop/resize images "to the sizes required for presentation on the various devices targeted by the platform". Organisations will be given a template which can be re-skinned - I wonder if the template will pre-suppose a certain navigational order? Now that projectors, LCDs and other screen-based platforms conform to 16:9 this has obvious implications for The Photographers' Gallery and the way we may want to digitally work with images, commission photographs, and curate photographic work over networks and screens. Or, to pick up on Sarah's discussion, how older works are archived and mediated through such channels. 

Katrina

--
Katrina Sluis
Curator (Digital Programme)

The Photographers' Gallery

http://www.photonet.org.uk
[log in to unmask]
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7087 9332


On 19 Jan 2012, at 20:21, Sonya wrote:

> Hi List, I am the MA Contemporary Curatorial Student Sarah mentioned... I'm currently researching a paper about The Space and have drafted some questions for the List around this subject; your recent discussion is very timely and fascinating within the context of this Arts Council and BBC collaboration.
> 
> 
> 
> My reason for contacting you all is that I am specifically looking at this project in terms of what it says about art in the UK, how that intersects with government and Arts Council policy, the specific investment and showcasing of digital art forms all within the Cultural Olympiad. I am considering what this says to us in the UK about our "culture" and to the wider world.
> 
> 
> 
> My initial thoughts are that this platform is allied with current government policy, increasing broadband connectivity, e-accessibility, inclusivity, Raceonline etc, the development of a future, internet orientated economy.
> 
> 
> 
> It could indicate a highly creative and experimental approach to art making, given that art institutions do not always readily engage with digital platforms.
> 
> 
> 
> It is on the face of it highly inclusive, but will the reality be the case, and do artists/practitioners want their art "distributed" in this way.
> 
> 
> 
> Will The Space be a marketing tool or to disseminate information, or will it be used for its full creative potential as a medium in itself.
> 
> 
> 
> The brief mentions the inclusion of celebrity curators, do any members have knowledge of who this may be? I am wondering in this context what "celebrity" means and the affect that may have on the outward integrity of the project.
> 
> 
> 
> This is also tempered with the knowledge of the Arts Council cuts that affected digitally orientated new media organisations last year.
> 
> Perhaps the two are not related in that regard. Whilst this is not the focus of the paper it is something to consider, and I would appreciate any comments you may have, it would suggest a u-turn in policy but perhaps that is a naive statement.
> 
> 
> 
> Your recent conversations also refer to the longevity of the project and what happens after this event - will it create a precedent to build on. The information I have read so far only refers to it as a "pop up service" and Alan Yentob describes it as a space for experimentation and a space to fail - which I find very interesting too and I wonder if that truly will be the case.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> It would be great to hear from any of you who are proposing work for The Space.
> 
> 
> 
> If you prefer to reply to me privately given the nature/sensitivity of any proposals you have submitted please email me [log in to unmask]
> 
> In anticipation, I appreciate your help and support.
> 
> 
> 
> Thanks
> 
> 
> 
> Sonya Russell-Saunders
> 
> 
> 
> 
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "honor" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2012 1:07 PM
> Subject: Re: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] quick piece of research regarding artist's television
> 
> 
>> Hi Sarah,
>> 
>> Thanks for the prompt to consider these questions, which are particularly timely
>> I think, in light of The Space, the collaboration between the BBC and the Arts
>> Council:
>> 
>> http://www.bbc.co.uk/commissioning/news/arts-council-england-bbc-launch-digital-arts-media-service.shtml
>> 
>> http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/apply-for-funding/strategic-funding/thespace/
>> 
>> It would be interesting to see whether anything that qualifies as "artists'
>> television" is supported through The Space ...
>> 
>> If not, I wonder what other vehicles of support and distribution there are in
>> the UK for this type of practice at the moment?  Perhaps video platforms such
>> as Vimeo and YouTube have negated the need for more institutionalised systems
>> of support?  And does something like FACT's artplayer
>> (http://www.artplayer.tv/) offer opportunities in this area? Or are platforms
>> like this more of a distribution platform for pre-existing work?
>> 
>> I know these observation don't really help you with your art historical research
>> ;-) - but it just struck me as a resonant moment to be exploring such questions,
>> in light of the Arts Council's investments into art and broadcasting here in the
>> UK.
>> 
>> Best,
>> 
>> Honor
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Honor Harger
>> 
>> Director
>> Lighthouse
>> http://www.lighthouse.org.uk
>> 
>> Email: [log in to unmask]
>> Tel: +44 1273 647197
>> Address: 28 Kensington Street, Brighton, BN1 4AJ, UK
>> Twitter: http://twitter.com/LighthouseArts
>> 
>> Now on: Invisible Fields, an exhibition in Barcelona, 14 October 2011 - 4 March
>> 2012
>> http://www.lighthouse.org.uk/programme/invisible-fields
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Quoting Sarah Cook <[log in to unmask]>:
>> 
>>> Hello CRUMB list
>>> as you are all eminently smart about art and technology and the history of
>>> art I have a request.
>>> 
>>> There is a forthcoming publication from the Finnish Institute in London about
>>> artists' works and community television and I'm informally working with Nina
>>> Pope and Karen Guthrie to help them recontextualise their project TV
>>> Swansong. We'd like to gather some thoughts related to this project's place
>>> in history from you all, before the end of next week.
>>> 
>>> At the time (2002, a decade ago) TV Swansong was billed as:
>>> "a cross-media art project which commissioned 8 new works reflecting on the
>>> current state of flux in television with idiosyncratic responses to its past,
>>> present and future." http://www.swansong.tv/
>>> 
>>> Some of you might remember the exhibition I cocurated with Kathy Rae Huffman
>>> on a similar topic - http://www.broadcastyourself.net/ - for AV Festival in
>>> 2008, which included TV Swansong's archive. A question we asked with
>>> Broadcast Yourself was how did we get here, to this moment of many online
>>> platforms for dissemination of broadcast work (the end of television?) - and
>>> what initiatives did artists take before this point.
>>> 
>>> So we are wondering the same thing again now: how do works which deal with
>>> the 'current state' of technology age?
>>> How are works which were once live supposed to be exist within the history of
>>> art and technology in archived form?
>>> Is television dead? Is artist's television dead? Was TV Swansong ever
>>> considered as community television, or indeed television at all (as it was
>>> webcast)?
>>> Can artists continue to contribute in their work to discussions around
>>> community television and if so, how?
>>> 
>>> As this is an informal chat we welcome any and all responses, which, with
>>> your permission, we'd like to quote in the dialogues we hope to be included
>>> in the publication.
>>> You can email back offlist if you like.
>>> 
>>> We've got til the end of next week... and we'll launch some regular monthly
>>> discussions on CRUMB after that.
>>> 
>>> Thanks all,
>>> Sarah
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> --
>>> University of Sunderland - life-changing: see our new TV advert at
>>> http://www.lifechangingsunderland.com or http://www.sunderland.ac.uk
>>> 
>> 
>> 
>> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
>> honor harger
>> email: [log in to unmask]
>> r a d i o q u a l i a:
>> http://www.radioqualia.net
> 
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