after an incredible, intense & inspirational long weekend at the magdalena aotearoa gathering, i have done my washing and vacuumed the house - which really needs a good dust; the freezer could do with defrosting and it is surely time i pulled the stove out from the wall & cleaned up all that ... stuff ... that's accumulated back there. this strange obsession with housework might have something to do with the deadline for my first assignment looming hugely over me. i have the books by my bed in the hope that some of the knowledge will leak into my head while i'm sleeping ... it is no coincidence that procrastination was the first 5-syllable word i learned as a child. it's impossible to focus on an assignment when the house is dirty.
On 20th April David Rokeby will be having a retrospective at Liverpool's FACT, and I have been invited by FACT to interview him - but where to start?
Maybe some bloggers here might have some thoughts on questions they are desperate to ask him? Perhaps one of his works particularly informed your own practice or stood out as a turning point in media arts? Maybe you've read something particularly compelling on his work? Or maybe you don't think he's the media arts forefather many believe? And what do you think about the idea of a retrospective? FACT state: "2007 being Liverpool's 800th birthday year, its theme is year of heritage, this retrospective is an important exhibition for the digital art world", do you agree?
VisitorsStudio is a Media Art project, in that it is “art through and with electronic digital media... a hybrid of electronically generated images, sounds, machine processes and possibilities for interaction”. In addition to this definition by media, and equally important to an understanding of the VisitorsStudio project, is how it corresponds with processes, and practices developed by an earlier generation of artists associated with the Fluxus movement who worked with mail art, happenings, performance, art-activism and live art. This text describes some of these connections with past works and then positions VisitorsStudio within the thriving territory of real-time art, software art, net art and participative and collaborative expression in contemporary ‘remix culture’.
Media Art, or what many call New Media Art is gradually changing our understanding, perception and relationship to Art, reshaping its culture. It has significantly introduced new technological elements to the contemporary experience of Art world-wide. These elements are new ingredients changing the flavour of art as we know it. The 'technology' used in Media Art is the interface to the art; it provides one of the contexts when engaging with the meaning of the work. These digital networks are nothing without the humans who creatively use the technology to create its real purpose and meaning, they give it breath.
I wrote the catalogue foreword for the NODE.London Season of Media Arts:
Media arts are popularly held to be difficult, or even impossible, to exhibit. This is not due to a lack of good work, venues or audiences - quite the opposite - but art of such an interactive, ephemeral, temporal, hybrid and often radical nature inevitably defies the easy contextualisation offered by conventional curation. It also defies easy definition by the conventional art-historical lexicon, necessitating extensive lists of characteristics as above; and even these are insufficient to encapsulate the range of work included in the NODE.London March 2006 season of media arts. Perhaps the real problem with Media arts, therefore, is also its most distinctive and productive attribute: that there is such a diverse profusion of practitioners, projects and places in which to discover them.
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Background image: Original photograph by Gregory H. Revera. Remix version by Olga P Massanet (Furtherfield). Both the original and remix are licensed under: CC BY-SA 3.0.