I have spent the last year working as a 'partner journalist' on the Media Mates scheme, a project designed in order to engineer coverage of new media art in the North. One of my articles, a self-reflexive look at my role as critic and the scheme itself is in this months a-n, but you can also read it here:
On the 5th of April I spent an hour interviewing an artist who has had a profound impact on the field of new media art (in advance of his UK retrospective ‘Silicon Remembers Carbon’, at FACT in Liverpool). The artist, David Rokeby, has produced works such as Very Nervous System (1986 - ), the Giver of Names (1991 - ) and n-Cha(n)t (2001), which have set a precedent in audience interactivity – not to mention code writing as artistic practice – which many new media artists, curators and critics across the globe are still digesting, yet I was unable to get the interview published in print.
I was recently comissied by Helen Sloan, on behalf of ArtSway, to write the following text on work by Stanza for the New Forest Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
Biocities (2003) and Inner City (2002) are audio-visual, interactive, digital paintings. They form part of Stanza’s Amorphoscapes series (which he has been working on since 1997). Unlike existing web-based incarnations, these are limited-edition touch-screens which better demonstrate Stanza’s uncompromising ability to craft technology. These works are exquisitely executed. Aesthetically and technologically they are flawless, standing out vividly against a backdrop of new media art which can be clunky and ill-defined. Even to the untrained eye, or those uninitiated in new media arts, Stanza’s skills and outputs as an artist working with electronic technologies are apparent.
On 20th April David Rokeby will be having a retrospective at Liverpool's FACT, and I have been invited by FACT to interview him - but where to start?
Maybe some bloggers here might have some thoughts on questions they are desperate to ask him? Perhaps one of his works particularly informed your own practice or stood out as a turning point in media arts? Maybe you've read something particularly compelling on his work? Or maybe you don't think he's the media arts forefather many believe? And what do you think about the idea of a retrospective? FACT state: "2007 being Liverpool's 800th birthday year, its theme is year of heritage, this retrospective is an important exhibition for the digital art world", do you agree?
Open Access All Areas: an Interview with James Wallbank
By Charlotte Frost
From an early interest in recycling ‘obsolete’ computers, James Wallbank’s mission to demystify the black box of technology has grown into a desire to ‘open source’ creativity in general and media in specific. Here he talks to Charlotte Frost about Access Space, a community media space he co-founded and runs in Sheffield, and their travelling Grow Your Own Media Lab project
I will be presenting a paper entitled:
'New Futures in Net Art: Discovering Emergent Art Historical Technique in Net Art Contextualisation'
at the CHArt TWENTY-SECOND ANNUAL CONFERENCE: 'FAST FORWARD: Art History, Curation and Practice After Media'
In 1997 the artist Vuk Cosic signalled a selection of monographs missing from art history departmental libraries the world over by creating an online catalogue of fantastical publications on Net artists. The irony was not lost on the Net artists, that is, that not only were these works as-yet-unpublished, but there was a strong chance books of their kind never would be. While this (now classic) work of Net art has in general been understood to signify the massive art historical deficit that has burdened the field of Net art from the start, I shall demonstrate in this paper that Net art practice does not simply elude art history, but conversely, adumbrates the development of emergent art historical methodology.
I am just back from the 32nd AAH conference which was held in Leeds (5-7th April).
It was a really good conference with the usual problem of multiple concurrent sessions with really interesting themes and speakers.
I enjoyed a couple of presentations in the sessionThe Artist Interview: Contents and Contentions in Oral History/Art History which included a paper called: 'Finding Homometric Equilibrium: Robert Morris and the E-Interview' by Brian Winkenweder. This paper was of particular interest to me because it was a study of the use of email as a creative contextualising medium by a non-internet-based artist (Robert Morris). Brian Winkenweder made the point that email can be used as a performative space and that the interview itself becomes like a collaborative artwork produced by interviewer and interviewee. He reiterated this point by making the presentation of his paper extremely performative, and this picked up a thread that continued in other sessions. It was useful to hear of an artist using email in this way despite not being net-based and it was also good to encounter the theorisation of such practice.
I will be presenting a paper entitled: 'New Futures in Net Art: Discovering Emergent Art Historical Technique in Net Art Contextualisation' at the Association of Art Historians' Annual conference in Leeds on Friday 7th April.
This paper focuses on the evolution of the practice and products of the art historian exemplified in approaches to the historicisation of the Web-based, niche movement of Net art.
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