[-empyre-] kicking off

Hi everyone, and thanks for the introductions, Melinda
I think that one of the things that goes on in a small country is movement across and between material disciplines and boundaries. Most artists I know in .nz introduce themselves with a list: artist, writer, musician, critic, teacher… this constant movement could be attributed to restlessness, but I think in fact the opposite is true. There is a conscious positioning on the borders. This also means that definitions of digital or new media practice in .nz are essentially fluid as well. In my own work I have focused on a connection between noise (in sound performance and in free improvisation) and a kind of visual and sonic aesthetic instability which I find apparent in many digital installations.  This is not a specifically .nz phenomena, but one that does occur frequently in a .nz context. So I have begun a project which looks at the possibilities for discussing digital installation by way of its instability. This is based on three assumptions. Firstly, that noise (error, glitch, frequency, pattern and randomness) is material, and as 'stuff' these noisy materials have a crucial role in our understanding of digital art installation. That digital installation is never a finite pure closed space (or system), and is constantly regenerated by it's viewers. And lastly that this digital material has specific affects and resonance which in some way distinguish it from previous (non-digital) media without fixing it into a single digital medium.  This highlights what the digital 'does' rather than what it 'is'. For me this is a theoretical project, one that feels located here, in nz … why I’m not sure, and maybe over the next month this will be something I find out. I think any pressures for a specific nationally determined aesthetic or practice find themselves tied up in drawing borders or boundaries … grouping works as in or out. Maybe there are some things going on here that are specific to our location: culturally, socially, politically and economically, but maybe not. My guess is that .nz digital and new media practice is more likely to be noisy than quiet, and up till very recently, more likely to be seen at international forums than here in nz.

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