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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  December 2017

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING December 2017

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Subject:

Re: New Media Public Art Conversation

From:

"Christiane Paul, Curatorial" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Christiane Paul, Curatorial

Date:

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 15:13:24 +0000

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text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (326 lines)

Thanks, Melinda! You know how much I respect your work and you make a coherent argument, but I also feel obliged to completely disagree.


Granted, not all art (across all media) needs to be preserved, and there also are works that need to be ephemeral, and perhaps live on in oral history. I know (art) history is a construct but we would be writing a very obscure and culturally irresponsible history if digital art — in all its manifestations, from physical to highly conceptual and ephemeral — would be omitted from it. Over centuries art institutions have gone to great lengths and spent millions of $ to preserve artworks in different media, including highly fragile, ephemeral, and conceptual works. They collected and took care of them because they believed in their cultural value. The problem has been that digital art from the 60s onwards has been 'undervalued' and only in recent years has begun to enter collections and be preserved to tell a more inclusive history.


We already had moments in the 60s/70s when conceptual, digital, and other practices existed side by side  (I'm thinking of the New Tendencies exhibitions) and digital work then dropped out while conceptual art became a dominant narrative. We are just beginning to rewrite forgotten histories.


There have been artists who have been recognized by the art world who have also engaged with digital media, which immediately put their work into more of an institutional context. With all due respect to their work, would you think a digital art history that consists of Jenny Holzer's web-based work, Laurie Anderson's VR projects, Jeff Koons AR piece and Cindy Sherman's selfies is a good representation of digital media art practice?


I believe that younger generations and artists have a lot to learn from early digital art and networked practices. Judging from the responses of many young artists and my students they love that art and still get a kick out of and are inspired by the net art of the 90s which helps them to make sense out of and understand today's 'post-Internet' practices.


Christiane




________________________________
From: Curating digital art - www.crumbweb.org <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of melinda rackham <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, December 15, 2017 7:44:37 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: New Media Public Art Conversation

good point Sean

but when i think about it a lot of that work was made specifically to have instant access to an audience and route around the artful institutions of curation and collectability, in a post punk DIY way.. It wanted to utilise windows of opportunity, software glitches or exploit hardware , stretch new programming languages, it was 'of the moment' unconcerned with longevity. personally one 1998 very beautiful web-work only exits in my memory while older very basic HTML have mostly survived.

I recall John Klima in an -empyre- forum  maybe 15 years ago, proposing that updating his web work would be his superannuation— that future hasn't arrived for 99% of those artists or artworks.  art careers are mostly made by those who come to formats/technologies when they become unexperimental, safe, mainstream, have an invested stable critical mass. Pioneers if you can bear to use that word - perhaps players is a better description - moved sideways to continue playing or went off elsewhere. There are of course a few exceptions who've adapted and grown their experimentalities into monetised art products.

there have been a lot of conversations on archiving/migration/duplication over the past two decades, and i’ve shifted from pro to no. Coming from a conceptual and political haertland, some artists have taken their work offline to deliberately disappear it. Simon mentions Alzheimers - Amanda mentions the end game of capitalism, both lossy states. To me now conservation is a  broadly cultural  lament. digital loss and ephemerality feel a bit like the scattered photos of teenage years - of bad perms and forgotten love interests.

maybe it's only productive to sentimentalise those follies cloaked under ivy to prevent them from fading from glory in our own minds, rather than as useful to another generation who could never even imagine what it was like before ubiquitous connection.

M

> On 15 Dec 2017, at 7:29 am, Sean Cubitt <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> Hi Simon, Amanda
> greetings from icy Boston MA
>
> As someone who contributed probably to that ‘inappropriate documentation’ a little thought on the archive and the experiential. What we reviewers and critics like to do is parade our concepts: this has become increasingly the case I think as a distant observer of artworld publications. Good clean fun if you’re in the game, but lacking the archival outcome of documentation
>
> When we write, there’s a good rule of thumb: that a dscription of the experience of the work is a great place to start, which too many times we leapfrog. The look and feel sentences are crucial to future readers (and to many contemporaries who may not be able to visit a site-specifc or temporary installation). A verbal sketch of size, volume, colour gamut, location, interaction is at least as valuable as the conceptual elements (though these too form part of the archaeology of the present: I don’t want to disparage my own profession too much)
>
> Archives like Rewind collect documents and oral histories as well as what we can save of the early electronic arts. Simon reminds us that what Amanda aptly names ‘experiential’ works need us writers too to supply some sense of the smell, tactility, heat signatures and audiovisual actuality of the things and events we experience
>
> Archiving starts today
>
> sean
>
>> On 14 Dec 2017, at 16:44, Amanda McDonald Crowley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>> Interesting thoughts Simon,
>>
>> I am not sure that it is quite an existential threat, as a curator, as you
>> might think. Particularly as New Media Curators, many of us think of
>> ourselves as curating platforms that are experiential, rather than
>> collections of objects or works. (Apologies to my museum curators on this
>> list, and for this very broad generalization.)
>>
>> Though I was having an email conversation with my colleague Fran Illich
>> recently about the archive. As you are right, many of the projects I've
>> developed and institutions I have led have had their primary documentation
>> on the interwebs rather than in printed publications. So, like you as an
>> artist, a lot of the projects I have developed as a curator also no longer
>> exist. Internet platforms become obsolete, hard drives die, new people
>> choose new ways to document histories and archives. So yes: like you, I
>> have also gotten used to the idea of losing stuff; and I agree that it
>> feels a bot like losing bits of yourself.
>>
>> Today, sitting in the USA as the FCC overturns Net Neutrality rulings, I
>> fear that you're right. The internet, at least as we know it, might indeed
>> be gone sooner than we think.
>>
>> Amanda
>>
>>
>>> On Thu, Dec 14, 2017 at 4:31 PM, Simon Biggs <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>
>>> Until a few years ago I spent a good part of my time each year migrating
>>> old projects to new versions of the platforms they were produced with, to
>>> ensure they remained technically contemporaneous.. I’ve stopped doing that.
>>> I don’t have the time and the changes in the platforms have become to
>>> radical to migrate between. Some platforms simply don’t exist anymore and
>>> there is no proxy for them. I do keep old hardware and OS environments,
>>> with relevant software, to run legacy works - but gradually the computers
>>> die as the batteries give out and other critical elements retire
>>> themselves. There are quite a few of my works I’ve not seen for some years.
>>> for me they are just memories and some inappropriate documentation. For
>>> others they aren’t even that - they may as well have never existed.
>>>
>>> I guess I’ve got use to the idea of losing stuff. It does feel a bit like
>>> losing bits of yourself though. Is this what Alzheimer’s is like?
>>>
>>> Perhaps when the internet is gone (it will be, sooner than we think) we
>>> will suffer a form of collective Alzheimer’s. Many of us invested a lot,
>>> individually and collectively, into the net.
>>>
>>> As a younger artist I celebrated the temporal and fleeting character of
>>> media art. It was part of the rationale for the work - it had no future (a
>>> bit like the World at the time) and thus couldn’t be commodified (of course
>>> some artists work was commodified). My current work is no different though.
>>> I’ve either not learned from my mistakes or I am simply stuck in my ways,
>>> as I continue to work with systems that regularly become redundant. It is
>>> the nature of media art and if you are going to work in this field you have
>>> to live with that - indeed, you need to make it a feature.
>>>
>>> Whilst this is troubling for the artist I imagine for the curator it is an
>>> existential threat.
>>>
>>> best
>>>
>>> Simon
>>>
>>> Simon Biggs
>>> [log in to unmask]
>>> http://www.littlepig.org.uk
>>> http://amazon.com/author/simonbiggs
>>> http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/staff/homepage.asp?name=simon.biggs
>>> http://www.eca.ed.ac.uk/school-of-art/simon-biggs
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>> On 14 Dec 2017, at 21:34, Mike Stubbs <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> co-design
>>>> better contracting and understanding of contracts (both sides)
>>>> stop using the term perpitutity
>>>> acceptance of temporality
>>>> a plan for legacy or limited duration
>>>> budget accordingly
>>>>
>>>> id love rafas input here ?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> On 13 December 2017 at 20:18, Diamond, Sara <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> Hi Paul,
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Thanks for responding.  These stories are hair raising. What do you
>>> think
>>>>> would be a solution?  Shorter term exhibitions that then can be
>>>>> decommissioned elegantly?  Required budget for maintenance?  Whose
>>>>> responsibility is this?  How do you manage (and your family!) platform
>>>>> change?
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Interested to know....
>>>>>
>>>>> DR. SARA DIAMOND
>>>>> PRESIDENT & VICE-CHANCELLOR,
>>>>> O. OF ONT., RCA
>>>>> T 416 977 6000 x300
>>>>> E [log in to unmask]
>>>>> OCAD UNIVERSITY
>>>>> 100 McCaul Street, Toronto, Canada, M5T 1W1
>>>>> www.ocadu.ca<http://ocadu.ca/>
>>>>>
>>>>> http://facebook.com/ocaduniversity
>>>>> http://twitter.com/OCAD
>>>>> https://www.instagram.com/ocaduniversity/
>>>>>
>>>>> IGNITE IMAGINATION!
>>>>> OUR MANDATE IS NOT SIMPLY TO IMAGINE THE FUTURE,
>>>>> BUT TO HELP CREATE IT.
>>>>> ________________________________
>>>>> From: Paul Brown <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>> Sent: December 4, 2017 6:50:50 PM
>>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>>> Cc: Diamond, Sara
>>>>> Subject: Re: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] New Media Public Art Conversation
>>>>>
>>>>> Hi Sara
>>>>>
>>>>> 3.  What makes a new media public art work fail?
>>>>>
>>>>> In my experience - as someone who has made several major public art
>>> works,
>>>>> some dating back to the 1960’s - is that it’s fairly easy to get big
>>> chunks
>>>>> of upfront money to commission a public artwork but very difficult to
>>> get
>>>>> recurrent funding to maintain them.  This is a particular problem for
>>>>> non-static artworks and it’s also true for most art projects not just
>>> ones
>>>>> in the public domain.  I am full of respect for Changi Airport’s policy
>>> in
>>>>> this regard - they have a number of extremely complex artworks that are
>>>>> rarely out of order:
>>>>>
>>>>> http://www.changiairport.com/en/airport-experience/
>>>>> attractions-and-services/kinetic-rain.html — this is just one of
>>> several.
>>>>>
>>>>> My own worst experience is with the artwork pictured below.  During the
>>>>> commissioning process the local council public artwork managers insisted
>>>>> that the building developers included a clause in the eventual building
>>>>> managers contract insisting they take out ongoing maintenance cover for
>>> the
>>>>> work.  It now turns out that they didn’t and the artwork has stopped
>>>>> working (after 5 years) with no plans to repair it.  I am, of course,
>>>>> disappointed but there’s nothing I can do about it.
>>>>>
>>>>> My partner Wendy Mills has made many public artworks that are now
>>>>> decommissioned or in storage like this one:
>>>>>
>>>>> http://wendy-mills.com/public/occasi.htm
>>>>>
>>>>> … and my son Daniel has similar experiences as for example with his
>>> Video
>>>>> Wall Installation for W Hotels
>>>>>
>>>>> http://danielbrowns.com  — and scroll down or search for “W Hotels" to
>>>>> view.
>>>>>
>>>>> If you’d like to know more please get in touch.
>>>>>
>>>>> All best
>>>>> Paul
>>>>>
>>>>> The image was rejected by the listserv so use this link instead:
>>>>>
>>>>> http://www.paul-brown.com/GALLERY/PUBLICAR/fourdragons-01.HTM
>>>>>
>>>>> Paul Brown, Four Dragons, LED display, 1750 x 1750 mm, 2012
>>>>> Art Management: Brecknock Consulting
>>>>> The time-based version is here<http://www.paul-brown.
>>> com/GALLERY/TIMEBASE/
>>>>> fourdragons/index.html>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> ====
>>>>> Paul Brown
>>>>> http://www.paul-brown.com == http://www.brown-and-son.com
>>>>> UK Mobile +44 (0)794 104 8228
>>>>> Skype paul-g-brown
>>>>> ====
>>>>> Honorary Visiting Professor - Sussex University
>>>>> http://www.cogs.susx.ac.uk/ccnr/research/creativity.html
>>>>> ====
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>>
>>>> @MikeStubbs
>>>> Director
>>>> FACT
>>>> www.fact.co.uk<http://www.fact.co.uk>
>>>>
>>>> 88 Wood Street
>>>> Liverpool L1 4DQ
>>>>
>>>> + 44 (0) 151 707 4444
>>>>
>>>> skype name: mikestubbs45
>>>>
>>>> -------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> -------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> *?Wu Tsang: ?*
>>>>
>>>> *Under Cinema* <http://www.fact.co.uk/undercinema>
>>>>
>>>> *26 October 2017 – 18 **February 2018*
>>>> -------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> *Future Aleppo <http://www.fact.co.uk/projects/future-aleppo.aspx>*
>>>>
>>>> *9 November 2017 - 7 January 2018*
>>>> -------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> -------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> *The contents of this email and any attachments are intended solely for
>>> the
>>>> original recipient(s). If you have received it in error please contact
>>> the
>>>> sender immediately by returning the e-mail or by telephoning a number
>>>> contained in the body of the e-mail, then please delete the e-mail
>>>> immediately without disclosing its contents. No responsibility is
>>> accepted
>>>> for loss or damage arising from viruses or changes made to this message
>>>> after it was sent. The views contained in this email are those of the
>>>> author and not necessarily those of the authors employer or service
>>>> provider.*
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Amanda McDonald Crowley
>> curator/ cultural worker
>> publicartaction.net
>>
>> instagram/ twitter/ facebook
>> @amandamcdc
>>
>> Current Exhibition:
>> MaryKate Maher, View Finder <http://publicartaction.net/view-finder-2/> at
>> Little Metal Print, Nov 3 - Dec 3, 2017
>>
>> Recent Writing:
>> Grow Food Make Ar
>> <http://www.voca.network/blog/tag/amanda-mcdonald-crowley/>t, Juanli
>> Carrión's OSS Marble Hill on Voices for Contemporary Art blog
>>
>> Public Art Projects:
>> Soundview Market Place <https://www.facebook.com/soundviewmarketplace/>
>> with YMPJ <http://www.ympj.org/>, Bronx NYC
>> Agrikultura <http://agrikultura.triennal.se/>: art + agriculture in
>> southern Sweden
>> Swale <http://swaleny.org/>: Mary Mattingly <http://www.marymattingly.com/>'s
>> floating food forest on NYC waterways

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