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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  June 2014

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING June 2014

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Subject:

Re: Sorry typos corrected

From:

Sarah Cook <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Sarah Cook <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 30 Jun 2014 16:17:22 +0000

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I wanted to drop in a note that I greatly appreciated this spurt of thought and exchange on the topic of spending energies dismantling or shoring up institutional logics, ghettos, whathaveyou.
I've been reading Hans Ulrich Obrist's 'ways of curating' : should we be glad he ends the book (spoiler alert) with a nod towards the digital (post les immateriaux) or annoyed that his take on 'the potential of digital life' explored in 'the field of exhibitions' is that it has only just begun (with Paola Antonelli apparently, who he says 'curated one of the first large scale shows online...') ?

It strikes me that a difficulty of not (spending time) explaining / elucidating the historical connections between intermedia processes of old and new post digital whatevers of now, is that curator-pundits will continue to only investigate artists born after 1989 (as HUO says he will), or only art made after the dot com crash of 2002, and artists will inadvertently remake earlier works by other artists they didn't know about, creating a chronological gap and a reclusive loop. We have plenty of instances of otherwise not ignorant people setting up arbitrary boundaries to their investigations.

In Obrist's own words, dontstopdontstopdontstop?

Random thoughts typed while in transit,
Sarah


Sent from my pocket.

> On 28 Jun 2014, at 15:41, "Clive Robertson" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> Hi Domenico:
>
> Was caught by your sentence: "there are people working hard to generate a broader debate and understanding of art made with digital media, and that do not accept to stay within the borders of the indian reservation, get drunk and keep thinking that the whole country of art  does indeed belong to them."  Artists casually use a similar phrase, "the ghetto" when they really mean 'ghettoized' or 'marginalised.' Artists weave in and out of popular, community and academic cultures and find sufficient and varied audiences to engage with them and their work in ever-chaning formations, conjunctures, and the like.
>
> But to further your idea that "the whole country of art does indeed belong to them" where I live there are historical aboriginal treaties and then there is land. Our Supreme Court finally made a decision this week where titles to non-ceded land do exist. So its fine for artists to say that they haven't ceded title to the interpretation, valuation and circulation of their work to a class of curators, curators, critics, collectors, "stakeholders," et cetera.
>
> As an Performance and Media artist, curator, critic and cultural historian and publisher for almost 45 years I don't think, on the matter of museums, that digital media art faces a much different 'challenge' than performance or video. My sense is that generations of producers - whatever material and conceptual frameworks they use - are with cause rarely satisfied with how the sum of institutional historiographic resources are allocated.
>
> I appreciate your detailing what it takes to "get into a museum." It's not so much that I think it's boring - which it is - it is more a serious drain on our limited multi-hatted energies and agency. We have enough problems attending to and caring for spaces and networks that we ourselves have created and passed on. I would argue that tracking, reforming and improving on their 'institutional logics' is time better spent.
>
> Sincerely, Clive
>
> Clive Robertson, PhD, MFA
> (author: Policy Matters: Administrations of Art and Culture, 2006)
> Associate Professor,
> Art History and Graduate Programme
> in Cultural Studies,
> Queen's University, Kingston
> Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6
> [log in to unmask]
>> On 28 Jun 2014, at 09:47, Domenico Quaranta wrote:
>>
>> 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
>
> Clive Robertson, PhD, MFA
> Associate Professor,
> Art History and Graduate Programme
> in Cultural Studies,
> Queen's University, Kingston
> Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6
> [log in to unmask]

The University of Dundee is a registered Scottish Charity, No: SC015096

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