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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  October 2013

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING October 2013

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Subject:

Re: October's theme: Art History Online, an introduction

From:

"Goebel, Johannes" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Goebel, Johannes

Date:

Mon, 7 Oct 2013 10:50:27 +0000

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text/plain

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Reply

Reply

I am following the exchange as an "outsider" and as such I would like to
throw a couple thoughts into the mix.

I do understand that the topic of the month refers to "Art History" and as
such has a specific focus. Which is just fine as we have to limit
ourselves as much as we are limited by/limiting our interests. And already
that is encompassing way too much as we can see in the current discussion
and the multiple threads which are being followed.

There is a smaller thread in this exchange which addressed explicitly the
underpinning technology and its relation to "what is done" - though
certainly that is a major condition which is implicitly addressed in every
contribution.

A major other area of lists and platforms that influenced the development
probably as much as what is mainly addressed in this exchange are the
software-developer-and-user communications in the realm of "computer in
the arts". Many software packages were developed by individuals who were
also artists and who maintained a highly active exchange with artists who
were "users" of the software. These exchanges (also over lists) actually
show where the rubber met the road in a production sense (with the mostly
tacit aesthetic implications). And these list-discussions were and are
extremely important as they reveal the relationship of "new" and "media".


Secondly  - and less importantly for this discussion - I would just like
to point out again that there is so much to be observed by looking over
the river to the other bank - to music and "sound". All major festivals
since the Ars Electronica have included music - but a cross-discplinary
exchange also in the historical perspective has never really taken place
(from my limited perspective). Again I do understand that your are
discussing "Art History" - but the "new media" platform cannot be limited
to "visual art" with sound being a secondary ingredient which everyone
likes and uses but is hardly reflected with the same rigor in its
relevance to "new media art".

What can  be learned historically is that because of lower bandwidth and
computing requirements, many technologies and artistic directions took off
in this area before the visual use could bloom (with whatever kinds of
blossoms). And there was always a tight relationship extending from the
musical to the visual domains using the same fundamental technology
(though in a prejudiced way I would say  much less so in the reverse
direction). 

To give you a couple of ideas: A UNESCO survey of "computer music" in
1977/78 (Bill Buxton) listed scores and scores of entities worldwide that
were working in the area (and yes the ones in the US used email and
r-logins etc when they were part of a university that was connected to the
ARPA net - I once worked on a computer system on the east coast while
being on the west coast because my sound file was too large to back-up on
the west coast system).  And when I started the music group at ZKM in
1990, we established immediately internet connections so Rick Taube (a
composer and programmer who I had hired to develop Common Lisp Music etc.)
could be connected with his mother ship in the US and could have the
exchange with other people using his software.

Footnote end.

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