[-empyre-] +

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Wed Aug 6 01:45:13 EST 2008

Hi Marcus & all,

Thank you for your questions...

 >would you elaborate a bit on the reasons why you believe our world
 >still views traditional frameworks of 'fine art' as the main focus for
 >art engagement?

My earlier (possibly) polemical introduction to the list is informed by 
my experience as an artist, curator, coder and writer rather than as a 
theorist. I co-run the HTTP Gallery in London (http://http.uk.net/), 
which is a Furtherfield.org project. This connection with on-line 
communities via furtherfield.org since 96 is what informs and shapes the 
curation of projects, events and exhibitions in the gallery.

Perhaps the 'fine art' world has trouble seeing the difference between 
media art and the digital work created under the umbrella of the 
'Creative Industries'. It seems to me that media art is suffering from 
the same issue as it ever has. Due to its hybrid nature (art process and 
technology) it does not seem to belong to one culture or another.

Ironically, we are experiencing a constant, regular growth of visitors 
to the space to view the work exhibited. In fact, it is an exciting time 
for us. Yet, at the same time the 'fine art' world as a whole, still 
seems wary of taking on media art and its culture generally, in contrast 
to the expanding audiences who are interested. It has been a struggle, 
but we are gradually tapping into some of the 'fine art' frameworks. 
Fine art periodicals especially have had problems with coming to terms 
with media art. Sometimes it has felt as though some reviewers who write 
for 'fine art' magazines just cannot deal with the subject matter or 
context(s) at all. I remember having an argument through email with one 
of the most well known reviewers for Time Out, when we were trying to 
get them interested in an exhibition at the time. They simply said “I'm 
sorry, but this is not art”. Yet, there has been small successes such as 
Artist Newsletter commissioning writers such as Charlotte Frost to write 
an extensive article with interviews about media art groups and 
galleries for a more traditional 'fine art' reading audience.

I will stop for now because there are other things that I wish to 
discuss in more detail, such as sustainability, ecology, collaboration, 
claiming the cultural interface and more...I will also get back to some 
of the other questions that Marcus has asked me later. And I also want 
to respond to other contributions so far :-)

wishing you well.


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