[-empyre-] media art as phenomenon

Timothy Murray tcm1 at cornell.edu
Tue Nov 9 03:04:51 EST 2010

>Hi, Li Zhenhua,

We are deeply appreciative that you have taken 
the time to join us for this discussion on 
-empyre-.  I want to make sure that our -empyre- 
subscribers understand the importance of your 
role in China as the leading curator of new media 

I've been very interested by your posts.  The 
first reminds me of the first conversation I had 
with Feng Mengbo (I think it was in 2000) when I 
asked him if he would be interested in donating 
his CD-Rom (I think it was 'Quake') to the Rose 
Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, which I had 
just begun building at Cornell University.  The 
Archive already included a very broad 
representation of art on CD-Rom (mainly from the 
exhibition, Contact Zones: The Art of CD-Rom 
(http://contactzones.cit.cornell.edu/), which I 
curated in the late 90s.    What I found 
interested is that Feng had already decided at 
this relatively early moment for Asian new media 
art to capitalize on the medium by releasing his 
CD-Rom as a limited series (I believe the series 
could have been as small as 5, but maybe as large 
as 10).   At the time, I found it curious that an 
artist would spend so much time and effort to 
make an interactive piece that would merely sit 
in a collector's vault.  But that was the moment 
of the beginning of the rise of the contemporary 
Chinese art market.  I would be very interested 
to hear your thoughts about marketing new media 
art, especially in relation to your very large 
exhibitions, which I have valued for making such 
art accessible to the largest audiences possible.

For readers who are interested in broad 
perspectives on Chinese new media art, I also 
would be happy to share with them two of my 
pieces, one on archiving Chinese new media art 
and another on Chinese new media projects that 
incorporate the discourses and vision of Chinese 
history in the special issue of Neural 29 on 
"Digital China": 

Thanks, as well, to Melinda for organizing such 
an important topic of discussion for this month.



>hi all,
>this moment I had a chat with Feng Mengbo and 
>Wang Chunchen (curator of the CAFA museum), most 
>of our topic is focus on whether media art is a 
>specific medium or a new phenomenon, through the 
>dicsussion, we start to realize media art is 
>again a new trend for the art world, and I have 
>to say so many of media art related topics are 
>just follow the trend, rather than a true 
>specific topic.
>why I am saying this, it's because I would need 
>to understand to not confuse people with what I 
>try to approach, media art related issues are 
>related base on a certain understanding of what 
>media art means and how is function 
>internationally, why internationally? because 
>media art could have a national trace or history 
>but an international knowledge base and medium 
>based thing.
>so, if we talk about china the general culture 
>scene is fine, but if we talk about media art in 
>china, I would suggest people start to think 
>about translate my research on the media art 
>education from Hang Zhou and media art 
>integrated contemporary art in Shanghai, to have 
>a basic understanding, which is not the only 
>one, but something could easily help with the 
>idea we discuss....
>wish you could understand chinese for the interviews:
>shanghai research
>hangzhou research
>Li zhenhua | óõêUª
><mailto:bjartlab at gmail.com>bjartlab at gmail.com
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Timothy Murray
Director, Society for the Humanities
Curator, The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell Library
Professor of Comparative Literature and English
A. D. White House
27 East Avenue
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853

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