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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  November 2012

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING November 2012

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Subject:

Re: November Theme: Curating on and through web-based platforms

From:

marc <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

marc <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 26 Nov 2012 15:29:22 +0000

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Hi Mark,

First, just want to say, I really enjoyed your 'Re:Mix' performance at 
Remediating the Social conference (http://www.elmcip.net/conference) on 
November the 1st.

 > * a display of assorted books and early mobile phones referenced in the
 > catalog as being instrumental in the early and ongoing nomadic 
practice of
 > The Artist 2.0 (the catalog discusses the various hardware, software,
 > books, etc. that the artist has used over time including mobile 
phones and
 > experimental / open source software and postmodern metafiction … 
although
 > keep in mind that the narrative tone is definitely satirical -- 
perhaps the
 > natural outcome of some of the frustrations often voiced in communities
 > like CRUMB and nettime and Rhizome, etc. -- and that as an artist who 
has
 > worked in the field for what feels like forever, is best addressed 
through
 > black humor)

I find the idea of 'The Artist 2.0', equally funny and also interesting. 
A kind of tongue in cheek feeling resonates within me, as I look deeper 
into the tone of how it all presents itself. But, also I'm very aware of 
the fact that the contemporary artist, thinker, curator - all face the 
challenge in dealing with hybrid forms of creative endeavors. Not only 
in relation to the practicality of showing work but also its 'outer' 
dialogues which are connected, happening elsewhere at the same time.

Which brings me to my main question...

 From experience of my own works, and co-curating other people's art 
works, projects, and collaborations through the years; I have witnessed 
what I consider as important changes. A natural shift has evolved 
redefining how we experience art now, and it has pushed the traditional 
concept of exhibiting 'art' off its axis. When viewing an exhibition 
(especially when involving media art), the experience and meaning of an 
exhibition is different now. It's no longer an exhibition that we are 
asked to view or be part of, but an 'interface'. This interface, even if 
it is within an exhibiting framework can still possesses the behaviours 
and qualities of an interface. A representation of current thought and 
experiments which communicate or relate beyond the object itself. We 
witness the continuation of an artist's or an art group's journey, 
displaying their discoveries and where they are at various moments. This 
has much to do with technology never standing still. And, moving on from 
the argument (for now), that capitalism never stands still, and neither 
does technology, we can also include other factors into the mix, such as 
time, nature, emotions and knowledge.

Getting back to question - Are you yourself as a performing entity, 
displaying similar qualities - are you an interface of what's happening 
around you?

Wishing you well.

marc




 > <<Mark, your Museum of Glitch Aesthetics was presented as a gallery
 > installation at Abandon Normal Devices festival this year, I wonder 
if you
 > would like to tell us more about how it was to work with this two 
different
 > 'platforms' of display in terms of deciding how to present the works in
 > relation to the structure and organisation of material, e.g. 
architecture,
 > the interface, the modes of arrangement.>>
 >
 >
 >
 > Thanks for your question, Marialaura. To start, I should say that 
both MOGA
 > (glitchmuseum.com - commissioned by Abandon Normal Devices and Harris
 > Museum) and remixthebook (Univ. of Minnesota, 2011 and remixthebook.com)
 > are expandable hybrids that are open to remix / reconfiguration in a
 > variety of exhibition, publication, and performance contexts. This open
 > collaboration is ongoing if anyone's interest is piqued by my (too long)
 > comments below.
 >
 >
 >
 > With MOGA, a close "reading" of the work will reveal a central,
 > pseudonymous figure, The Artist 2.0, and a small bevy of other fictional
 > characters: Nigel Foster, the Director of the Museum of Glitch 
Aesthetics;
 > Gaby Whitebread, the head curator of the museum but also a research
 > professor running a new program in Social Media Performance Art at a
 > university in the NW of the UK; Brian Hale, a media art critic for the
 > Guardian; and an international pop star (who cut her teeth experimenting
 > making art on the net in the mid-90s) who is now the most prolific
 > "collector" of the work of The Artist 2.0. The various artworks 
thought to
 > be made by The Artist 2.0 and that are included in the online museum are
 > discussed by these figures and others in the free, downloadable, 
full-color
 > catalog available via glitchmuseum.com. A color, collector's edition 
of the
 > catalog is available via Lulu and linked to from the site as well. The
 > web-based version of this (admittedly satirical / transmediated) work 
was
 > released on the net on June 22, 2012, in conjunction with the launch 
of a
 > few other projects at Abandon Normal Devices right around the time the
 > torch was being passed in Manchester.
 >
 >
 >
 > After the web release and over the summer, AND helped facilitate a 
dialog
 > between the curator Omar Kholeif, Cornerhouse, and I, and we began 
formally
 > developing a strategy for what would be the first remix of the 
website in a
 > gallery context. The eventual Manchester-based gallery venue that 
MOGA was
 > exhibited in was the Lionel Dobie Project, a very new space focused on
 > "emerging curatorial strategies as they relate to artistic practice" --
 > something that resonated with the MOGA project which is, after all, a 
net
 > art work but also an experimental form of curation. It's also been
 > identified as a work of electronic literature (or transmedia narrative)
 > which would probably make sense to anyone who is familiar with my work.
 >
 >
 >
 > Having said that, we like to think that what the work actually "is" is
 > quite open to interpretation. In this regard, Lional Dobie was the 
perfect
 > space to initialize the coming out of MOGA into more traditional 
exhibition
 > contexts. In many ways, Omar -- and the curatorial team at Harris who I
 > will discuss in a bit -- assumed the role of The Artist 
2.0-as-curator. Of
 > course, since the work is a playful investigation of digital persona 
as it
 > relates to contemporary forms of artistic and curatorial practice, the
 > Lionel Dobie venue ended up being the perfect location to launch the 
first
 > physical remix of the site (Lionel Dobie is a fictional character /
 > abstract painter played by Nick Nolte in a movie based on a short 
story by
 > Dostoyevsky, so the playful relationship between abstract artist, 
fictional
 > persona, pseudonymity, and narrative myth-making was further 
accentuated in
 > this hands-on cultural production with the gallery space -- and here it
 > should be noted that creating these resonant convergences of
 > cross-generational, like-minded cultural producers and experimental
 > practitioners is something that AND excels at).
 >
 >
 >
 > Omar and I agreed that since the Lionel Dobie Project was just getting
 > started and MOGA would be the first exhibition of its kind in the space,
 > that we would experiment with the way we redistributed the web artifacts
 > into the physical space and that MOGA would, in a sense, inform the 
nascent
 > gallery's initial narrative (which I'm sure has since changed). The 
gallery
 > was just getting started and had no real exhibition history to speak 
of, so
 > the space was (mockingly? seriously and with good intent?) 
transferred into
 > a slick, Soho-like gallery, and the exhibition was also very clean and
 > included many of the works and texts available on the WWW, including 
some
 > of the following:
 >
 >
 >
 > * the construction of a maze-like or labyrinthine space to navigate
 >
 > * lots of vinyl wall text sampled from the catalog
 >
 > * the MOGA logo
 >
 > * framed digital images from the blog (sized at blog-thumbnail scale)
 >
 > * looping animated GIFS consisting of images shot on early mobile phone
 > video circa 2006 playing on small LCDs
 >
 > * projections of experimental Google Street View glitch video 
distributed
 > by The Artist 2.0 on sites like Vimeo (also sized at large desktop 
monitor
 > full screen scale)
 >
 > * a display of assorted books and early mobile phones referenced in the
 > catalog as being instrumental in the early and ongoing nomadic 
practice of
 > The Artist 2.0 (the catalog discusses the various hardware, software,
 > books, etc. that the artist has used over time including mobile 
phones and
 > experimental / open source software and postmodern metafiction … 
although
 > keep in mind that the narrative tone is definitely satirical -- 
perhaps the
 > natural outcome of some of the frustrations often voiced in communities
 > like CRUMB and nettime and Rhizome, etc. -- and that as an artist who 
has
 > worked in the field for what feels like forever, is best addressed 
through
 > black humor)
 >
 > * a small listening room for the Soundcloud stand-up comedy performance
 > (more glitchcrack humor focused on many issues but most significantly 
"art
 > schools")
 >
 > * a computer displaying the glitchmuseum.com website
 >
 >
 >
 > etc.
 >
 >
 >
 > Here is a link to some images from the AND / Lionel Dobie exhibition:
 >
 >
 >
 > 
http://markamerika.com/news/images-from-museum-of-glitch-aesthetics-andfestival 

 >
 >
 >
 > A month after closing in Manchester, MOGA then reappeared (and is 
still on
 > exhibit until January 3) in an exhibit at the Harris Museum and 
Gallery in
 > Preston. When the curator at the Harris, Lindsay Taylor, came to the
 > opening of MOGA at Lionel Dobie, we began a discussion on how best to
 > re-remix the Manchester exhibition and glitchmuseum.com exhibition of 
MOGA
 > into the Harris. Lindsay's curatorial team included Steph Fletcher, 
Aneta
 > Krzemien, and Kit Robinson, and in consultation with Omar, we came up 
with
 > a different approach. Contrary to Lionel Dobie, which opened this 
summer,
 > the Harris has been around since 1893 and has a rich and deep historical
 > narrative already implied in its building foundation, extensive and
 > centuries-old collection, permanent exhibitions, etc. Given these very
 > different contexts, we decided it would be more provocative to try 
and, if
 > you will, "glitch the museum" ("glitch the muse" is how I saw it).  The
 > different works distributed throughout the Harris also include the 
looping
 > animated GIFs, framed jpegs, books, video projections, old mobile 
phones,
 > screen based net art, QR codes (that link to quotes from The Artist 2.0
 > peppered throughout the catalog), and the album-length stand-up comedy
 > routine.
 >
 >
 >
 > Here is a link to some images from the Harris remix of the MOGA 
exhibition:
 >
 >
 >
 > 
http://markamerika.com/exhibitions/images-from-the-moga-installation-at-harris-museum 

 >
 >
 >
 > As you can see by following the link above, the various digital works 
and
 > objects exhibited in the Harris are distributed through the permanent
 > collections of fine and decorative art as well as within the more
 > contemporary galleries where the "Digital Aesthetic" exhibition is 
located.
 > In this way, Museum of Glitch Aesthetics goes mano y mano with the by 
now
 > predictable narrative trajectories of museological discourse. Yes, 
the work
 > was first intentionally constructed as a playful, online intervention 
into
 > the challenges of not only curating web-based art but of resisting (or
 > strategically embracing) the potential canonization, historicization, 
and
 > mythologization of a pseudonymous (fictionalized) net art presence (The
 > Artist 2.0). Some of you may find that this figure resonates with the
 > mid-late 90s net art practitioners who still inform the discourse 
today as
 > we tangle ourselves up with the academic, commercial, and mainstream art
 > purveyors now glomming on to the potential of digital transformation 
in the
 > arts. Obviously, much of the artist's bio-data resonates with many of my
 > own creations over the years, and of course this is intentional, and
 > resonates with my next work which looks at the relationship between
 > Duchamp's portable and miniaturized museums (Boîte-en-valise) and his 
Large
 > Glass delay-in-painting which comes with its own "album" and "book" 
(terms
 > he used to  describe "The Green Box" that many think is at the heart 
of his
 > practice).
 >
 >
 >
 > Perhaps I should also mention that MOGA has been sampled from and 
remixed
 > into two live performances as well: the first with Lydia Lunch, Chad
 > Mossholder and myself in a packed hotel room in the Salutation Hotel in
 > Manchester as part of AND's "Machine By Other Means" event (
 > http://www.andfestival.org.uk/events/machines-by-other-means/) and as 
the
 > closing act on the opening night of performances at ELMCIP's 
"Remediating
 > the Social" event held at the Edinburgh College of Art earlier this 
month.
 >
 >
 >
 > I must say that as exhausting as it was to make and continue performing
 > this elaborate artwork -- I'm trying to imagine what Gaby and Ruth at 
AND
 > thought when they first opened up the website -- it was really quite 
fun to
 > address these issues that concern us all (the institutionalized life as
 > experienced in museum/gallery culture, the "art world," art school,
 > creative industries, etc.), It goes without saying that I had an 
excellent
 > team of collaborators and amazing production support from the team at 
AND.
 >
 >
 >
 > Sorry for the lengthy email … I think I will end there for now. I am 
happy
 > to discuss two other recent works, remixthebook and Immobilité, in 
relation
 > to the themes of the month if there's time.  remixthebook tries to 
rethink
 > the relationship between practice, theory and performance by hybridizing
 > the publication as print book and digital  exhibition / performance; and
 > Immobilité has a semi-interesting history in relation to museum culture,
 > cinema culture, urban screens, and fine art collection.
 >
 >
 >
 > But I know there are many others who have a lot to contribute as well.
 >
 >
 >
 > Best,
 >
 >
 >
 > Mark
 >

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