[spectre] Re: the media art center of 21C [u]
Geert Lovink [c]
geert at xs4all.nl
Sun Sep 4 07:47:02 CEST 2005
> andreas wrote:
> - what you call 'the ghetto' is seeing an increasing number of works
> by former 'media artists' being commissioned and presented by
> 'regular' art institutions; we can argue whether the rules are
> changing, or whether there is a higher number of exceptions than there
> used to be, but on the whole the world beyond the ghetto is becoming
> much more accepting of 'ghetto-work'.
I do see more and more new media artists/workers leaving the ghetto. I
also see that the ghetto, worldwide, is still growing, which is perhaps
a good sign for those who believe in the Great Case of Electronic Arts,
but not for those who have to live inside an overcrowded ghetto (or
should we write more properly: a network of ghettos?).
> - 'culturally conservative'? where? and what does it mean? the
> netherlands may give reasons for worry, but in germany for instance
> things have not gotten any worse than they used to be. again, i would
> challenge you to be more precise in what you mean, and i would
> maintain that in most places there are funded opportunities to do more
> 'culturally progressive' things now than there used to be, 10 or 20
> years ago. - what kind of experiments do you mean that are less likely
> today, than when?
look at the videos that run in bienales, museums, galleries and
exhibitions. visit the venice bienale, for instance (i did last month).
half of the art of art works there is video but none of them are
experimental or self-reflective. they are nice and some shocking
pictures. it's art that uses a documentary style in order to present
itself as uncompromised (not edited, no special effects etc.). that is
what I call conservative. new media art, at its best, is aware of the
materiality of the technologies it is utilizing, and explores its
underlying architecture. The 'contemporary arts' version of video is
techno-naive, and sometimes worse: it's just badly filmed and edited,
and then tries to sell this clumsy work as sublime superiority over new
> the point i am trying to make is this: just think of 'media art' as an
> area of artistic production, and there are so many facettes to it,
> that it is simply meaningless to try and define trends. anybody who
> insists on a more homogeneous image of 'media art' is invited to look
> at 1000 submissions to the transmediale award competition with us this
> month. i'll be more than curious to hear about the trends that you
> will spot. normally, you just see many people running in many
> different directions ...
That difference in work can also be seen as a problem of the sector,
not as its strenght... I am working at three (!) year old school,
interactive media (HvA) in Amsterdam, which already has 600 students.
They all make 'different' work. The spectacular growth of the number of
courses, however, does not translate into better or more interesting
works, and we all know the quantity and quality story. Quantity does
not translate into sustainable models how new media centres and media
labs could be run. That's why we have this debate here. Andreas, if
there were no trends we would not have anything to discuss. The fact
that they may be contradictory should only encourage us to dig a little
bit deeper and not use the cultural difference argument too much
because that easily leads to liberal indifference.
More information about the SPECTRE