RE: [-empyre-] net art, curating and power

Im I being recieved?? just a check,
Im a lurker for sure and just checking to see if its working.
So that I might share some info with you all.

> Christiane writes:
>>What attracts me to curation of new media and net art is precisely the
>> diminishing authority of curatorial oversight -- I'm far more interested in
>> a collaborative process.
>>Bottom-line: openness to group collaboration, continual revision and
>> momentary existence are high maintenance and require a serious commitment
>> on the museum's end (something that, from my experience, still has to
>> develop).
> Thanks so much, Christiane, for your concise and helpful overview of the
> opportunities and challenges associated with curating new media in a museum
> context.  I've run into many similar issues in discussing curatorial
> projects with larger museums, which have frequently been less than
> enthusiastic about altering traditional spectatorial patterns to display
> CD-Rom and (this is changing very rapidly in the States now that
> some of the more established venues, such as the Walker, Whitney, and San
> Francisco Museum of Art stepped up to the plate with curatorial resources
> for new media).  But overall I think there's been a pattern of reluctant
> involvement that has less to do with computers than with electronic art writ
> large, and stems from institutional ambivalence about electronic
> installation and video art within both the museum and academic (art
> historical) communities--and even within the film community.  I think
> Christiane is correct to locate a lot of this ambivalence in relation to the
> complicated nature of support (you can't just hang a monitor on the wall
> without maintenance).  And this is why annual and biannual exhibitions such
> as ISEA and Ars Electronica have been so important to artists and curators
> alike.
> But of course it's also related to shifts of curatorial charges, as
> Christiane says, that occur when work either is continually evolving on-line
> or not initially designed for preservation.  This has occurred in my primary
> curatorial venue as well, the Cornell Library, since many traditional
> humanists resist the institution's commitment to digitalization and all that
> entails (again out of concern that the status of the
> traditional collectible, the book in this case< might be eroding).  Thus the
> complexity outlined by Christiane of making work accessible for unsuspecting
> publics through educational and curatorial programs, which sometimes lead
> the viewers "off-site" via webcams or virtual seminars. I also very much
> understand Christiane concern about the time involved in maintaining ongoing
> projects; particularly since so many of us involved in curatoring new media
> do this alongside many other institutional
> responsibilities in the art and educational worlds (and I endorse these
> split commitments because they frequently result in the kind of
> intellectual and artistic fluidity and flexibility that marks the
> collaborative enterprise).
> One cultural aspect of "new media" that I've found particularly
> invigorating is what I call the "levelling out" of artistic hierarchies. In
> its initial stages, at least, and digital art tended to circumvent
> or bypass traditional venues and procudures of exhibition and endorsement
> (the gallery-museum nexus).  Although a couple major centers of production
> and display took on the aura of the established museum (ZKM), others
> remained liminal (such as Oboro in Montreal) or spaces of temporary
> production and installations (such as Artspace in Sydney) or projects of
> public displays the likes of which grace Tokyo.  After I put together
> "Contact Zones" a few years ago, I became very excited by the fact that the
> show brought works by established artists such as Keith Piper, Takahiko
> Iimura, Christine Tamblyn, Jean-Louis Boissier, and artists sanctioned by
> the resources of ZKM together with a huge array of younger, less
> established new media artists, some of whom produced their work in home,
> school or art center labs.   The ability of artists to distribute their own
> work via listserves and other alternative networks opened up a loose network
> of artistic interaction, one that catalyzed the kind of
> collaboration which, like Christiane, I find so energizing.  This has been
> particularly important across geographical and economic lines which is why
> I'm looking forward to Priamo's postings (which should come within the next
> day).  Sustenance of this kind of "levelling" is also something to which
> Arthur, Marilouise, and I are committed when we plan issues of CTHEORY
> MULTIMEDIA.  The difficulty is, of course, that this guarantees very little
> financial return to the artists for development of more work.
> It is very exciting that so many important museum venues are now endorsing
> new media (one thinks of Kiasma, Centre Pompidou, MCA in Sydney, Museum of
> Contemporary Art in Montreal, etc.).  Anyone who's had the pleasure of
> experiencing Christiane's projects or the recent Whitney installation of
> "Listening Post" by Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin can certainly appreciate the
> result of endorsement and exhibition of this work in large and well equipped
> venues.  But my hope is that the sudden restriction of public funds for
> digital development in areas where so much early development occurred
> (particularly Australia, Western Europe, and Canada) will not result in a
> reliance of artists on only the more traditional museum domains where more
> traditional notions of currency and public recognition still matter deeply
> (one well known venue, for example, which Priamo and I approached to tour
> Contact Zones turned down the show because the it included too many
> "unrecognizable" names; whereas Priamo and I were thrilled by the freshness
> and edgyness of that very same work).
> One other venue of curatorial practice, which Norie and I will discuss next
> week, is the extended classroom which itself can serve as a (temporary) site
> of new media installation and discussion.
> Thanks again, Christiane, for your thoughtful comments.  Let's hope we can
> start a dialogue with the Empyre lurkers out there!
> Timothy Murray
> Professor of Comparative Literature and English
> Director of Graduate Studies in Film and Video
> Curator, The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell Library
> Co-Curator, CTHEORY Multimedia: 285
> Goldwin Smith Hall
> Cornell University
> Ithaca, New York  14853
> office: 607-255-4012
> e-mail:
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum

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