[spectre] Re: SPECTRE Digest, Vol 31, Issue 11
simon at littlepig.org.uk
Thu Sep 8 15:20:19 CEST 2005
Different instutitional roles need to be fulfilled by different types of
institutions. Collecting, maintaining and exhibiting work is a very
particular job and the museum/archive model is a well tested solution.
Research and development has commonly been undertaken within academic
structures and thus these are often appropriate for that. Funding and
promotion have their tradiitonal systems, depending on how art, money and
patronage fit together in specific cultures (both the State and private
enterprise have their roles here).
When we first initiated ANAT (a model of the 80's; "we" including Louise
Dauth, Peter Ellyard, Stephanie Britton, etc) one of the key determining
"design" considerations was that it would not be nor would it become a
centre or institutionalised organisation. The debate was focused very
clearly on the "network" model, with the primary function being that of
facilitation. Twenty years later I think we can see this was a successful
approach to address the very specific role ANAT was asked to fulfil.
Seeking to put all these roles together into a single organisation is
unlikely to be successful. Firstly, it would have to be large and thus
inflexible - not an attribute best suited to a rapidly changing field of
activity. Secondly, some of the roles are mutually exclusive of one another
- seeking to preserve works, produced in the same institution, that are
often made in order to self-destruct, for example, would seem problematic.
Best to leave these two functions separate, the artist seeking to make work
that has no future and the conservator seeking to save them for posterity.
The same can be said for a seperation between where new cutting edge work is
made, seeking to dispose of previously defined taxonomies and discourses,
and where that work is codified and contextualised into discourse and
Thus it could be argued that there cannot be an ideal media arts centre for
the 21st Century, only diverse organisations founded on various models of
more or less appropriate form to their function.
On 08.09.05 12:57, "spectre-request at mikrolisten.de"
<spectre-request at mikrolisten.de> wrote:
> Hi Annick,
> A breath of freah air.
> I agree with you - I am too busy to get involved in this discussion at
> the moment but you have raised a very important point. I also think that
> people are (as usual) aiming a bit too large, almost like pyramid
> building - we need smaller groups, and plenty of them all linking. Get
> rid of big, fat buildings, institutions taking up all the resources,
> it's difference that creates change, not just need ;-)
> http://www.http.uk.net/ (HTTP Gallery London)
>> A quick note after having read all the post and after having
>> "experienced" this year Ars Electronica.
>> We tend to think that there is one single kind of institution that
>> could fullfill the needs and goals in media art, so to speak one kind
>> of "media center". This is the model of the 90s (AEC, ZKM, V2, ICC,
>> etc.) where creation (experimental), lectures (conferences) and
>> exhibition and sometimes collection go into the same building.
>> It seems to me that now as media art is part of art in general, as it
>> is growing into very different kind of practices, one single kind of
>> institution may be cannot fullfill all the goals and audiences and
>> there is probably a need for different kind of institutions :
>> - one that would keep the "old stuff" (museum-like, could be in
>> "regular" contemporary art museum, but it is not). Why keep the "old
>> stuff" ? because the coming generations have not seen it when it was
>> created and might enjoy too and learn from it
>> - one that would deal with large audience and also with "education" in
>> "new media art history". It is starting in some way but it has to be
>> enlarged. How ? Where ?
>> - one that would be more experimental and cutting-edge but today there
>> is no longer one aspect (if there has been any in the past !).
simon at littlepig.org.uk
Professor, Art and Design Research Centre
Sheffield Hallam University, UK
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