Thursday, July 10, 2014

[Yasmin_discussions] Fwd: Are there masterpieces of new media art


on page 26 of the book ( ) in chapter 2 that
you authored
you make the flat statement:

" A somewhat smaller problem confronting preservation is that new
media art has no universally recognised
"masters' "masterworks' or 'movements'. There are artists who have
been exhibited more than others
but there is no Rembrandt of New Media art'- as you point out this has
significant impact on conservation
and archiving strategies that are elaborated in chapter 5, 9 and 13
and feeds into your social memory theme

in a meeting in holland in 1996 i think we had a meeting of a number
of people including jurgen claus,otto piene
annick bureaud and others and we hashed this 'are there masterpieces
of new media art' topic and
agreed that there were however key works that somehow in our memory
were turning points- annick
already to her watching charlotte morman levitating during art
transitions at mit , but as someone
who has served on numerous ars electronica and other juries i can
remember the delight we had when
works like rokeby's "very nervous sytem', sommerer.mignoneau
interactive plants, char davies ephemere,
kac's genesis, jeffrey shaw's legible city just to name a few emerged
in the exhibition landscape

one of the interesting aspects of new media art it seems to me is that
the works cross link in
the history of art, the history of technology and the history of
science so that a key work can
be remembered because it broke a technical impediment and led to
artists mastery over medium=
certainly in shaw's legible city, the aha was the break from the
keyboard interface and the idea of bicycling
around a virtual space-if you think of much of the key work by the
vasulkas= the achievement is a combination
of key work in art and key work in interactive technologies- similarly
oron catts and iona zurr's semi living
worry dolls - are interesting both because of their place in art
history but also in the cultural appropriation of science

in some cases the key work that innovative technologically at the time
gets overtaken because the
technology is superceded - the kinect and wii make irrelevant to some
extent some of the key techological
aspects of early key works= as annick noted she is working on the
history of art and the french minitel
which the internet made obsolete as a technical solution but that
doesnt mean that that key minitel art work isnt
still significant in the history ofart/science/tech and certainly in
our social memory of the times those works are still important to

i think the concept of key works rather than masterpieces is
consistent with out post-modern non canon building sensibilities
and can provide guidance to conservator and curators on which work to
archive first- and that this needs to be in
the framework of the history of art+science+technology not just the
history of art - this is problematical of course- in
san francisco the computer history museum, the SF museum of modern art
and the academy of sciences have
curators formed in very different ways, and art historians or curators almost
never talk to science historians or technology historians and curators

roger malina
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