Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Re: [Yasmin_discussions] arts and sciences: re-drawing boundaries

Dear Lanfranco

Thank you for the long answer to my questions and the in-depth description
of your actions, achievements and plans with LEA.

What you are describing as the process with the artists looks to me ...
the usual curatorial process with artists that are alive (= not dead), who
are creating a new work that, as a curator, you are supporting. I don't
see any difference or specificity here and it is exactly the kind of
things I am doing when I curate a show.

You write : "I don't think that old and traditional categories of
'exhibiting' and 'documenting' apply any longer."

I do not agree with that statement. I agree that some of the boundaries
are bluring or are elsewhere than where they were before, but I do think
there is a difference between let say Edunia or Alba by Eduardo Kac and
the documentation about those works. Likewise, there is a difference
between a performance and the documentation about the performance. Those
categories disappears only for some kind of
digital-new-media-technoscience-artworks, not all of them. Hence
remediation or transmediation do not apply on an equal basis for all "new
media" artworks.

But I totally agree when you write that : "The beauty of the medium
(Internet) I found is that it allows to blur these boundaries - to be at
the same time exhibition, catalog and archive and to leave to the viewer
the perception of its structures favoring one over the other."

About the other points you are raising :

You write :
"a) the exhibition pages and all their dissemination and visibility
structures could be defined as artworks in themselves"
This reminds me of the heated debate in the contemporay art field of the
(physical) exhibition being the creation and the curators being (almost)
artists (and sometimes considering themselves as more important than the
artists and artworks themselves). Are we bringing to the
digital-technosciences field this debate ?
My point of view here, is that curating a show is also "designing" the
presentation of the works (in French we say "scenographie" like "stage
design") and this has been often (not always) not fully addressed online :
the content was considered as what mattered. I think now, what Neural, You
and others are doing is adressing the issue of how to design online
exhibitions that are more than a list of links.

About transmediation : I don't think it is exactly the same as moving a
sculpture from one physical space to another. And I don't believe in the
same possible experience for the audience in different media (or why would
you bother to build the physical thing when the concept would be enough
?). All works are not equal in this process.
I also think that we should be carefull with an "all-screen" domination
that will solve all issues. But don't get me wrong, those issues are
exciting, doing it well is a real challenge that I am trying to achieve.

About your project with Judit Hersko, you write :
"So the difficulties we are facing here are several:
a) relating the previous online show to the physical space
b) linking the new piece which is an outdoor piece in a different location
to the internal pieces in the gallery
c) transferring the new artwork in an online presence
d) consider how the new context will affect the artwork itself and its

This is exactly the agenda ! And it could be the program of a nice
conference or workshop ;-) Is there anything planed at ISEA around this ?

There would be much to write about your long email but I suspect I should
stop here or the moderator is not going to approve my post !


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