[-empyre-] access to spaces to work in

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Fri Jun 25 03:46:56 EST 2010

hello all

just reading comments on "free culture," in relation to media arts or other practices, i am feeling compelled (also after Gert's activist posting on "A2K") to
throw in just a small comment on the need of space to experiment in, space and equipment and adequate logistics that enable people to come together
and try things out physically, perform, rehearse, build, project, write and compose in real-time processes of performance-making. I have often worked in spaces that did not
work for such, and almost none of the spaces, whether they worked for us or not, were ever free. 

Of course, as you mention, the media arts scene already works on a
particular ideal of autonomy inherited from various legacies of artistic
practice (avant-gardism, for some) and also from academic economies of
gifting (aligned here with science), so it's embrace of free is not so
surprising. It should also be acknowledged, however, that this is quite a
marginal example in the vast spectrum of 'culture industries' that are
encountering a drive toward free culture. It's even minor in relation to
contemporary arts. It's also extremely dependent on grants and funding

I was also curious to see how curators now think about spatialities, architectures and time in the new media arts, the installations, performances, events, and platforms (if online but also down-to the real spaces), how to provide for workspaces (they are not free either)? 

 i am beginning to read Beryl Graham and Sarah Cook, Rethinking Curating  Art after New Media.  Cambridge, Mass. MIT Press, 2010,  and there are some excellent insights there (re;  older spaces of the museums and galleries and their white cubes and black boxes and media lounges etc, and how do adapt them or change the curating methods)  , unfortunately the chapter on "time",  which is ostensibly including "performance" and "performance arts" is not much informed by any real knowledge (and the sources reflect this) of media-performance artists or choreographers  who work with real/virtual interface designs and develop resonant and responsive environments for performers to interact in. 

I wish to address some of these issues this summer, and thus mention a lab I am involved in (see below), for your interest.  I mention it because it took much careful planning to find a site that might enable us to do experimentation with some of the processes that were mentioned in this month's and last month's discussions and debates.  This site is not free, and small enrollments fees will be necessary, for access to knowledge and experimentation space, with tools. 

If others here have had different experiences, and found open space systems for performance (?)  please do let me know, and comment on how you deal with the operational and organizational logistics of rehearsing with software and performers. 

announcing::::::	 LIVE.MEDIA+PERFORMANCE.LAB   ::::::


August 16 - 22, 2010 

We are pleased to announce the first summer lab for interactive media in performance to be held August 16-22, 2010. Directed by Johannes Birringer and Mark Coniglio, the workshop offers intensive training and possibilities for experimentation with mixed reality and real time architectures, programmable environments, interactive design and the integration of time-based media into live performance and installation.

The workshop addresses emerging and professional art practitioners, scientists, researchers, and students from different backgrounds in performance and new media committed to sharing their interest in developing a deeper understanding of composing work focused on real time, interactive or time-based experiences and multidisciplinary collaborative processes (video, sound processing, projection design, lighting, choreography, and directing).

Résumé and informal letter of application are due by June 30, 2010. More information on this workshop can be found on the EMPAC website.


Johannes Birringer

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