Thursday, September 29, 2011

[Yasmin_discussions] ISEA

This has been an amazing discussion, and in a way it supports my paper's assertion that the distance between Turkey and North America (culturally) is large enough that many artists working in the other country often show cognitive dissonances or evidences of ontological shocks to the system.

I think that people have been nailing the issues really well, and in my working with Turkish artists extensively over the past couple years, and meeting Basak Senova three years ago, I went from absolute culture shock in living in the culture with few Westerners during a project in 2010 to ongoing pieces, currently "My Day/Your Night" facilitated by Morehshin Allyahri, which is an interpretive project where Persian and American artists operate through a Turkish interpreter to create bodies of work. Over these two years, I'me been studying Turkish Media Art, and Burak Arikan has been doing great work in cataloguing them.

What can be said about all this? There is a great interview with basak Senova in Ozkal/Pederson's book/social network project, "Gun" (Meaning day) that concisely maps out the landscape and differences with Turkish Digital Media. She outlines the idiosyncrasies of expression in Turkey, the cultural differences, and the access to technology, and that although there is a great diversity, that the same institutions keep hosing workshops and events, which seens like a frustration to her. I believe that the project will be available more widely as the initial edition was 100. I recommend it highly.

As for ISEA:
My perspective comes is bifurcated - as someone familiar with the Istanbul scene on a personal basis, and as someone who is a long-term ISEA attendee. In thsi sense, perhaps my perspective is just more pronounced, as it seems that attendees were torn between the city, the Bienalle, and the conference. I think that the conference at the Sabanci Center, as I never took the bus to the Communications Center, showed the challenges of istanbul aptly in being distributed and often not having enough room for the audience. However, I felt that the programming was very good, showing new trends in urbanism, locative media and AR, as well as wonderful panels of digital feminism, soundwalks, and a lot more.

As for myself, I spent some time visiting local universities and having conversations with artists in the local LGBT community, which was amazing. I hope to continue my agenda of promoting Turkish culture in the US through various projects, but at this point, I almost feel that this trip, as with allmy trips leave me so full, that it takes time to digest, and it often takes months.

Patrick Lichty
Asst. Professor
Dept of Interactive Arts & Media
Columbia College Chicago
916/1000 S. Wabash Ave #104
Chicago, IL USA
"Sometimes you do things not for the logic of them, but only for the fact that it is the right thing to do, and that is all."

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