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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  June 2014

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING June 2014

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Subject:

Antw: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] An article that doesn't understand new media art | An Archive that does

From:

Domenico Quaranta <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Domenico Quaranta <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 28 Jun 2014 15:47:15 +0200

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Hi Oliver, 

thanks for your reply

> underqualified article also on digital media art, and started a
> lamento.. I do
> not know, where you take your interpretation "us vs. them" from,

maybe from here? 

> We should not be frustrated
> by ignorant articles of people writing for the Art Market, which has
> other interests.

But you are right, the very subject of this conversation, that doesn't belong to you, is telling. Personally, when anybody doesn't understand my work, my first reaction is not "what a stupid badass", but "what I did wrong? what I could do better?"

> Although (digital) media art on more than 200 festivals and
> biennials is more successful than ever, it is not entering the museum
> system,
> due to a system failior. If you can show me the museums, which collected
> and
> preserved the main artworks by Eduardo Kac,
> Myron Krueger, jeffrey Shaw, Maurice Banayoun, Char Davies and many,
> many others you can make a point and will all help us... Char Davies
> Osmose
> alone received more than 100 scientific articles but is shown in no
> museum on
> our planet.

Let's put it simple. The Whitney Museum is now presenting a huge, discussed Jeff Koons retrospective. Thinking about this, we may just end up thinking that the museum is serving market interests, or we may try to understand what actually brought him there. If we do, maybe we will realize that (specialized) festivals and scientific articles in (specialized) reviews are not enough to produce this happy end; and if we keep doing, who could blame a journalist for saing we are "provincial"?

> centers, archives and the digital industries. If govenments start
> conferences
> with their museums asking, what are you doing precisely to follow the
> law and
> protect digital art?

In order to get into the museum, the artists you mention should need the appraisal of a wider number of (non-specialized) art critics and curators; the ongoing support of a network of commercial galleries (one is not enough) and of private collectors with a good reputation; mentions in contemporary art history books; and so on. None of these things, alone, can produce the same result; only a long term joint effort can. Of course it may happen that a museum media art curator brings in the collection a landmark media art piece; but without all I mentioned, it will probably take the way to the repository right after being exhibited in the "new museum acquisitions" show. And this would (sadly) happen any time the museum buys a piece not because it thinks it's valuable, but because a bunch of academics and the government force it to "follow the law and protect digital art". But again, does media art really want to be a protected species on the way to extinction?

In my opinion, what you suggest is not wrong, but it's not enough - and it's not the main point. In the first place, new media art needs a community of supporters that does any effort to bring it in the "mainstream art world", and that do not dismiss any effort it does to get it. It needs galleries, collectors, features in magazines like The Art Newspaper, art fairs and yes, auction houses. The good news is that this kind of community is starting to take shape.

This, of course, if getting into the museum and the "mainstream art world" is the point (which may not be the priority for many artists and researchers working in the field). But it is not this (absolutely legitimate) form of radical independence that I'm criticizing; it's the approach of those that would like to be at the party, but since they were not invited, they (1) claim it it is not worth them or (2) want to be admitted by law.

More on the subject http://linkeditions.tumblr.com/beyondnma :-)

Thanks for your patience. I know that, making these points, we are moved by an unconditional love for the same subject, and this is what allows me to be so straight
Domenico

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