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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  July 2012

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING July 2012

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Subject:

Re: July Theme: Collecting New Media Art

From:

Simon Biggs <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Simon Biggs <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 20 Jul 2012 08:06:03 +0100

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The Koblin piece is beautiful and reveals something about commercial flight paths that is not ordinarily visible. However, I have some problems with it. Firstly, it reveals little, if anything, about the impact (good, bad or indifferent) commercial flight has on the planet and society. Secondly, it would be more interesting if non-commercial flights were factored in - military traffic, of course, but also under-the-radar flights (rendition flights, for example) - which could open up interesting space for reflection about the political and economic purpose of flight and stand as evidence of power relations that are not visible either in the publicly available flight data or in the sky above our heads. Thirdly, as a piece of 'generative' art it belongs to a well defined domain of practice, initially developed by artists like Vera Molnar and Roman Verotsko in the 1960's and 70's and, more recently, revived by a new generation of procedural formalists like Casey Reas. Whilst it is not a requirement that art is always formally and technically inventive it can be argued that new media art is defined by these characteristics. By these criteria Koblin's work seems less than compelling. On the other hand, the work is lovely to watch, evidences a good sense of colour, shape and line and a brevity of means to be admired. In this last respect it comes across as mature and well considered. However, for me, the former criteria are the more important in evaluating the quality of the work. Somebody else will have different criteria and arrive at a different conclusion about the piece. My evaluation is that it is decorative and, due to its conventional character, fails to "open up a whole new world" - it's a world that some are very familiar with.

best

Simon


On 20 Jul 2012, at 00:40, Estela Oliva wrote:

> Hi there, 
> 
> A very interesting conversation, just wanted to add a thought.
> 
> @Paul Waelder, just as I was reading your initial comments about Sedition art I discovered today their one of their first real digital artwork, a data visualisation piece by Aaron Koblin http://www.seditionart.com/aaron_koblin/flight_patterns
> This opens a whole new world to that platform. A world of "virtual art" that has been created using code and is viewed on the screen. I think the interesting point of this piece is the link to the viewer as it represents real world data. I would be interested to know what you think of this piece in relation to new media art.
> 
> Regards, 
> 
> Estela
> 
> -- 
> Director
> +44 (0) 7717303537
> --
> Alpha-ville
> Netil House, Hackney
> 
> International Festival of Post-Digital Culture
> Innovation, Creativity and Forward Thinking
> http://www.alpha-ville.co.uk
> 
> 
> On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 12:44 PM, Simon Biggs <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> These questions regarding new media vs mainstream art have been rehearsed many times and have a number of answers. The argument for new media practice to be considered as part of mainstream art is compelling as ghettoisation does nobody favours and such reconciliation would help new media practice escapes its own discursive limitations (this assumes the art world is interested - it might not be, due to its own limitations).
> 
> However, the argument for sustaining difference is also compelling. Many new media artists have chosen to work with new media because of their disaffection or distress with how contemporary art is developed, produced, consumed and commodified. For many the constant reinvention and instability that are the characteristics of new media (where the means of making and dissemination are always under review, shifting with changing technical substrates and socio/conceptual frameworks) is the main attraction - and for these artists the discourses of the mainstream artworld are anathema. For some artists this shifting context is the point of their work, whilst for the artworld such a technical focus is of little interest. So, why bother trying to build bridges? Michael Naimark discusses this in depth in his essay 'First Word Art / Last Word Art' ( http://www.naimark.net/writing/firstword.html ) and I also consider it within the larger context of a discussion about the relationship between creative practice and practice based research in 'New Media: The First Word in Art' ( http://www.littlepig.org.uk/texts/practiceresearch.pdf ).
> 
> I've spent my life as an artist working with new media and have oscillated between these two positions. I'm no nearer knowing which is the better strategy but perhaps having the capacity to oscillate is the point - even if such a schizoid approach can be exhausting it can also be strangely liberating.
> 
> best
> 
> Simon
> 
> 
> On 14 Jul 2012, at 12:04, Pau Waelder Laso wrote:
> 
> > Finally, and following your statement: "I'm pretty sure new media art will never achieve it as a whole, and under this definition", I think that this is quite possible and that we may start to think about getting rid of this label. The question "why do we call it new media art and not just art?" has come up frequently in talks with artists and in my opinion we are kind of trapped in this self-made ghetto that is at the same time quite comfortable because it creates a separate art world in which artists, curators, researchers, etc. can gain recognition quicker (within the boundaries of this particular art world).
> >
> 
> 
> Simon Biggs
> [log in to unmask] http://www.littlepig.org.uk/ @SimonBiggsUK skype: simonbiggsuk
> 
> [log in to unmask] Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
> http://www.eca.ac.uk/circle/  http://www.elmcip.net/  http://www.movingtargets.co.uk/
> MSc by Research in Interdisciplinary Creative Practices
> http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/degrees?id=656&cw_xml=details.php
> 
> 
> 
> 


Simon Biggs
[log in to unmask] http://www.littlepig.org.uk/ @SimonBiggsUK skype: simonbiggsuk

[log in to unmask] Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
http://www.eca.ac.uk/circle/  http://www.elmcip.net/  http://www.movingtargets.co.uk/
MSc by Research in Interdisciplinary Creative Practices
http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/degrees?id=656&cw_xml=details.php

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