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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:

Pau Waelder Laso <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Pau Waelder Laso <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 30 Jul 2012 13:55:50 +0200

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Dear all,

I have been away for a couple of days and I see that the discussion has expanded and many interesting things have been said. I'd like to contribute some comments and answer one question I left unanswered before we reach the end of this debate.

@Estela: Aaron Koblin's "Flight Patterns" is very interesting, although I prefer his collaborative works (from The Sheep Market to This Exquisite Forest), which go beyond the boundaries of what [s]edition can offer at this point. Although "Flight Patterns" was generated by data, the version that you can buy at sedition is not generative, it is just an animation, in the same way that a photo of an installation by Tracey Emin is not the same as the installation itself. If we think of the three main characteristics described by Steve Dietz (interactivity, connectivity, computability), we will realize that none of them is really supported by sedition, which takes us back to being passive viewers of beautiful things. Therefore, as Wolf has mentioned, I consider that including the work of Koblin or Rozendaal within the limitations of sedition just adds confusion to the perception of new media art.

The discussion about the ghetto has brought many interesting ideas, and in fact it has generated a separate debate. From the many contributions I'd like to comment on Jon's statement about "finding ourselves within a larger Mainstream Art ghetto": I agree with the fact that the art world is also a ghetto (so is the science community, the movie industry, etc.) but I am not so sure that it would be better for artists to just focus on the audience they find on the Internet (which is what the art market is doing with sedition or the VIP art fair) or on the App Store. Like it or not, in my opinion there is still a need to relate to the art world, in order to identify the product as an artwork. For instance, Snibbe's Gravilux (as well as other works he has brought to the iPad) is a good example of an artwork that reaches a new audience, but still it is sold as "a work of interactive art that was only available in galleries and museums." This does not mean that artists should either adapt their work to be sold at galleries or completely ignore the mainstream art world, but that a third way must be found that integrates both the specific conditions of new media art and the mainstream art world as a system of validation.

Finally, going back to the subject of the discussion, I think that collecting and preserving art should not be considered as synonyms (at least I got this impression from what has been written): on the one hand, collectors may buy art only to re-sell it later or be incompetent in matters of preservation, and in the case of initiatives such as sedition (sorry to mention it once more), all the collectors have their artworks stored in sedition's "vault", which may disappear some day, just as a collector of Snibbe's iPad artworks depends on the device to be still working or the software being updated to the next iOS, and therefore collecting does not ensure preservation. On the other hand, writing about art and documenting it is a way of preserving it (in the sense that Domenico has pointed out), yet those who write about art or teach it to their students are not (necessarily) collectors. What collecting and preserving have in common is that there needs to be a strong motivation to invest money in either activity, and this motivation will come from an understanding and appreciation of new media art. As Domenico said, "we save what we love", and as Karina has pointed out, it is necessary to educate the public, collectors, etc. to see this art the way we see it.

Best regards,

Pau



Pau Waelder Laso
Email: [log in to unmask]
Site: www.pauwaelder.com
skype: pauwaelder

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