The most important project of MediaArtLab is the Media Forum, a festival consistently exploring contradictions and interconnections of cinema and video art. Internationally renowned stars, artists, filmmakers, and theorists took part in the Forum over the years. They discussed a very particular experience of a cinema hall that leaves audiences glued to a chair in the dark, passive, unable to tear her/himself from the screen. The opposite type of experience is watching video art in a gallery with an image surrounding the viewer, affecting all the five senses. In case of video art, one usually comes in to an exhibition hall when a piece is already playing, distracts to read its description, skips the middle and has no time to stay till the end, as there is a whole exhibition ahead. This very moment one becomes a perfect viewer who is free to choose and create her/his aesthetic experience, — s/he is not a consumer but a co-author.
This edifice of the opposition of authoritarian cinema and free-flowing video art came crushing in 2020 when both film and video art festivals shut down and moved online. It was only the Venice Film Festival that kept holding on to the sacred presence in front of the screen. However, with 25% occupancy, it only amplified the feeling of the industry’s surrender. It turned out that people watch both cinema and video the same way now: on a computer sitting on a sofa — all the differences lost its power and meaning. We now have the audience from all the corners of the world that we have never been aiming for — together with a tactile hunger and general screen fatigue. It seems that now is the time to talk about the art of moving images — what it has become and what it will be in the future.
Questions for discussion: How do we re-define our cultural life in isolation in the light of restrictions? How can we return to physical and public demonstration of films and video after countless online-shows? Will there appear new online-cinemas that expand our experience of the moving image and bring us back the experience of care and touch? Great epidemics, pandemics and wars have always come together with dramatic changes in art, what changes can we expect due to COVID-19? What representations of isolated body and sickness the moving image offered? What are the formal and imagined strategies adopted by the artists of the past and present to reflect on the conditions of the pandemic? Will we succeed in slowing down the flow of images that overwhelms us?
Moderator: Olga Shishko (Russia), curator, founder of MediaArtLab
Participants: Raymond Bellour (France), Boris Debackere (Belgium/Netherlands), Alexandra Dementieva (Russia/Belgium), Kathy Rae Huffman (USA), Erkki Huhtamo (Finland/USA), Olia Lialina (Russia), Bjørn Melhus (Germany/Norway), Shelly Silver (USA), Christa Sommerer (Austria) and Laurent Mignonneau (France), Pia Tikka (Estonia), Olesya Turkina (Russia), Miloš Vojtěchovský (Czech Republic), Peter Weibel (Austria).
Raymond Bellour (France), one of the most influential theorists of cinema and the moving image. He taught at the Department of cinema and audiovisual studies at the University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle, and he has also been a visiting professor at New York University and the University of California, Berkeley. He is the Director of Research Emeritus, Centre National de Recherches Scientifiques (CNRS), Paris. In 1991, with Serge Daney, he founded the “Trafic” magazine. He has written numerous books on film and literature and organized several solo and group exhibitions, such as the landmark “Passages de l’image” in Centre Pompidou (1989–90). He lives and works in France.
Boris Debackere (Belgium/The Netherlands), an artist and researcher lecturing at the Transmedia department of LUCA School of Arts (Brussels), head of V2_Lab (Rotterdam). Debackere received the Liedts-Meesen new media nomination (2010), won the Georges Delete Prize for Best Original Music and Sound Design (2014) and received the Ensor Sound Design Award (2015). He lives and works in Belgium.
Alexandra Dementieva (Russia/Belgium), an artist working with video art and interactive installations. Her works were presented at various institutions, including The State Hermitage (St. Petersburg), Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art, Centro de la Imagen (Mexico City), Neuberger Museum of Art (Purchase, New York), FILE Festival (São Paulo) and more. She is a professor at the Royal Academy of Arts in Brussels. She is one of the founders of iMAL – Center for Digital Cultures and Technology (Brussels). Since 2008, she has been an active participant of CYLAND MediaArtLab. She lives and works in Brussels.
Kathy Rae Huffman (USA), a freelance curator, writer and networker. An Associate Professor of Electronic Art at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) (Troy, New York) and curator for the Van Gogh TV Virtual Museum System. Together with Margarete Jahrmann, she created pop~TARTS for the Telepolis online journal. She co-moderates the female-only mailing list FACES. She lives and works in the USA, Canada and Europe.
Erkki Huhtamo (Finland/USA), an internationally renowned media historian and theorist, specializing in the history and aesthetics of media arts, PhD. He is one of the founders of an emerging approach to media studies known as media archaeology. He works as a professor at the Department of Design Media Arts, and the Department of Film, Television, and Digital Media of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). He curated numerous exhibitions and festivals in Europe, the United States and Australia, including Museum of Contemporary Art KIASMA (Helsinki), Australian International Video Festival (Sydney), etc.
Olia Lialina (Russia), a media artist, new media theorist, one of the pioneers of net art. She has been actively working with net art since the 1990s and used herself as a model for a GIF-image. Her works were exhibited at the New Museum (New York), Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Whitechapel Gallery (London), HeK (Basel) and other institutions. She founded one of the first web-galleries, Art Teleportacia. She is a co-founder and curator of the “One Terabyte of Kilobyte Age.” She is a professor at Merz Academy (Stuttgart). She lives and works in Germany.
Bjørn Melhus (Germany/Norway), an artist producing experimental short films, videos and installations. His works were screened at Tate Modern and the LUX (London), the Museum of Modern Art (MediaScope) (New York), Centre Pompidou (Paris), among others. His works were presented at solo and group shows at the Whitney Museum (New York), FACT Liverpool, Serpentine Gallery (London), Museum Ludwig (Cologne), ZKM Center for Art and Media (Karlsruhe) among others. He participated in the International Istanbul Biennial (2003). Since 2003, Bjørn Melhus has been a professor of Fine Arts and Virtual Realities at the Kunsthochschule Kassel. He lives and works in Berlin, Germany.
Shelly Silver (USA), an artist working with film, video, and photography. Her films have been broadcasted by BBC (UK), PBS (USA), Arte (Germany), Planète+ (France) and others. Her works have been exhibited at festivals and institutions including Kunsthalle Wien, Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Modern Art (New York), The Kitchen (New York), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Tate Modern (London), The Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), The London ICA, Berlin Film Festival and others. She is Associate Professor of Visual Arts, School of the Arts, Columbia University. She lives and works in New York, USA.
Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau (Austria/France), internationally renowned media artists, researchers and pioneers of interactive art. Their interactive computer installations were demonstrated worldwide, including ZKM Center for Art and Media (Karlsruhe), NTT InterCommunication Center (Tokyo), Cartier Foundation (Paris), Ars Electronica Center (Linz). Among their awards are the World Technology Award (UK, 2001), the Ovation Award of the Interactive Media Festival (USA, 1995), the Golden Nica of the Ars Electronica Award (Austria, 1994). They are professors and head the Interface Cultures program at the University of Art and Design in Linz. They live and work in Linz, Austria.
Pia Tikka (Estonia), an artist, PhD, Research Professor at the Center of Excellence in Media Innovation and Digital Culture (MEDIT) at Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School of Tallinn University, key researcher of the NeuroCine project. As a filmmaker, Dr Tikka has directed the feature films “Daughters of Yemanjá” (1996) and “Sand Bride” (1998), her works are exhibited internationally. She has also been involved in various interactive media projects, such as the Academy of Finland-sponsored Enactive Cinema, winning such awards as the Möbius Prix Nordic prize for interactive storytelling (2005).
Olesya Turkina (Russia), a curator, PhD in Art History, Senior Research Fellow at the State Russian Museum, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences of the St. Petersburg State University, art critic, member of the Federation of Cosmonautics of Russia (since 1999). She curated numerous exhibitions dedicated to cosmos at various venues around the world, including The Pulkovo Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg), Calvert 22 Foundation (London). She curated the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (1999). Since the 1990s she has been curating video art exhibitions at the State Russian Museum and co-organizing international video festivals. She is the author of a number of publications dedicated to cosmos, including the book Soviet Space Dogs (London, 2014). She has worked with the Museum of Jurassic Technology (Los Angeles) on a series of films dedicated to cosmos and observatories.
Miloš Vojtěchovský (Czech Republic), an artist, curator and journalist. He explores the relationship between art and technology, ecology, audio art with an emphasis on community collaborative projects. In 1995, he took up the post of curator of the Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art of the National Gallery Prague. Along with Roman Berka and Pavel Bednář he founded the Intermedia Institute (2007), whose activities are overseen by the Czech Technical University in Prague (ČVUT) and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (AMU). Since 2019 he is a member of the Civic Association Vasulka Kitchen Brno. He lives and works in Prague, Czech Republic.
Peter Weibel (Austria), an artist, art and media theorist, and curator. Weibel was Austrian commissioner at the Venice Biennale (1993–99), artistic director of the International Biennial Seville/Biacs3 (2008) and the Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art (2011). Since 1999, Weibel has been Chairman and CEO of ZKM Center for Art and Media (Karlsruhe), and, since 2017, director of the Peter Weibel Research Institute for Digital Cultures at the University of Applied Arts (Vienna). His recent awards include Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art 1st Class (2010), Oskar Kokoschka Prize (2014) and Austrian Art Prize for Media Art (2017).
Together with the growth of the Internet, the end of the 20th century brought us new forms of art that explore how technologies have changed our world and, more importantly, how a human being has changed. A human being who sits in front of the screen, choosing and transforming content that s/he is dealing with her/himself, thus creating new virtual reality. S/he suffers from digital noise, information overload, that her/his body and mind are not used to. It should come as no surprise that this new art could only exist in the digital sphere and deploy most experimental developments as its instruments. And it is just as logical that museums and galleries were not ready to deal with the artworks that did not exist anywhere but online with its basic terms being foreign to art critics.
MediaArtLab came to be as a platform that started to look for a way to communicate with such art, to explain it to the audience, to help professionals speak the same language with artists, who use radically different aesthetic criteria. Yet, twenty years later, it seems that this new media art got familiar to the viewer and that the artists’ enthusiasm faded, too, as those innovative technologies are not so innovative anymore. Now it is professors and bloggers who investigate their influence on the world, while daring visual art projects became part of commercial programs of Google and popular video games.
Then along came the year of 2020, and all of our lives went online. Everyone got interested again in the way the digital world has changed our mind. Total meltdown caused by an overwhelming amount of interesting content that you do not have time to consume (but certainly somebody else does) gets mixed with enthusiasm fueled by the museums that never close and festivals that never end. At the beginning of the year the main activities for museums were online-openings and virtual tours, by the end of it the shows are created especially for digital platforms. It turned out that it is even convenient to move from an artist’s studio in São Paulo to a site-specific project in Nairobi. So, maybe, let’s forget the exhibition halls? It is evident that nobody is going to give up those advantages and opportunities when everything is back open.
We feel that it is emblematic to celebrate the anniversary of MediaArtLab with a discussion on the subject that was topical the year it was born and became pretty much the most crucial for art today.
Questions for discussion: How does the media affect our ability to communicate without distorting meaning? What limitations can we never overcome neither in virtual reality nor in imaginative spaces? What is going to happen to the freedom of expression and creative will on the Internet of late capitalism in five or more years?
Moderators: Anna Bouali (Russia), curator, producer for MediaArtLab; Arjon Dunnewind (The Neterlands), artist, researcher, founde of the IMPAKT Festival.
The roundtable brings together those artists who were among the first ones to wrap words and artistic intuition in the forms of new media: Luchezar Boyadjiev (Bulgaria), Dmitry Bulatov (Russia), George Drivas (Greece), Marina Gržinić (Slovenia), Martin Honzik (Austria), JODI (Belgium/The Netherlands), Almagul Menlibayeva (Kazakhstan), Olga Shishko (Russia), Alexey Shulgin (Russia), Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits (Latvia), Andrey Velikanov (Russia).
Arjon Dunnewind (The Netherlands), a founder and director of the IMPAKT Festival (since 1988) and the IMPAKT Foundation (since 1993). In the early 2000s, he started the internet art platform IMPAKT Online, and in 2005, the IMPAKT Works residency program. He curated exhibitions and screening programs for the NCCA in Moscow, Russia, RURU Gallery in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Transmediale in Berlin, Germany, among others. He worked as an advisor for the Dutch Film Fund, the Dutch Mediafonds and Fonds BKVB. In 2016, he was appointed as a member of the advisory board “Visual Arts and Heritage” of the Mondriaan Fund. He lives and works in the Netherlands.
Luchezar Boyadjiev (Bulgaria), an artist, curator, lecturer, and a founding member of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Sofia. He works with installation, photography, drawing, objects, text, video, and performative lectures. His works were shown at MOMus Contemporary (Metropolitan Organization of Museums of Visual Arts of Thessaloniki) (2020), Sofia City Art Gallery (2018), Ludwig Museum (Budapest, 2016–17), Guangdong Museum of Art (Guangzhou, 2016–17), Zhejiang Art Museum (Hangzhou, 2016–17), Pera Museum (Istanbul, 2016), SALT (Istanbul, 2013), etc. He lives and works in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Dmitry Bulatov (Russia), an artist, art theorist, curator for the Baltic Branch of The State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts (NCCA Kaliningrad), organizer of multiple exhibition and editorial projects in the field of art&science and new media. His works were exhibited at different exhibitions and festivals around the world, including the Venice Biennale (2001, 2003), Ars Electronica festival (ORF, 2002) and others. He is a member of editorial boards of “DOC (K)S” (France) and “NOEMA” (Italy) magazines. He was awarded the Innovation Prize (Russia, 2008, 2013). In 2014, he was nominated for the Golden Nica of Ars Electronica festival (Austria) in the section “Visionary Pioneers of Media Art.” He lives and works in Kaliningrad, Russia.
George Drivas (Greece), a video artist and photographer. He participated in the Contemporary Art Biennial Sesc_Videobrasil (São Paulo, 2019–20), documenta 14 (Kassel) and represented Greece at the Venice Biennale (2017). His works were shown at such venues as MAXXI (Rome), the National Museum of Contemporary Art (Athens), Centre Pompidou (Paris) and such festivals as Athens International Film Festival, Transmediale Festival (Berlin), FILE Festival (São Paulo) and more, where he received multiple awards, including awards of the London Greek Film Festival (2010), the Moscow International Film Festival (2006). He lives and works in Athens, Greece, and Berlin, Germany.
Marina Gržinić (Slovenia), an artist, media theorist, art critic and curator. Since 1982, Gržinić has collaborated with Aina Šmid. Together they produced over 40 videos, various artworks and documentaries, productions, and media installations which were presented in more than 100 video festivals in the world and have received several major awards for their video productions. She was an artistic director of the 4th International Video Biennale, Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana (1989). She is a doctor of philosophy, a researcher at the Institute of Philosophy of the ZRC SAZU (Scientific and Research Center, Slovenian Academy of Science and Arts) in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria. She lives and works in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Vienna, Austria.
Martin Honzik (Austria), an artist and director of Ars Electronica’s Festival, Prix and Exhibitions divisions. In 1998–2001, he was a member of the production team at the OK Center for Contemporary Art, an experimental laboratory for research in contemporary art, then he worked at the Ars Electronica Futurelab (2001–05). Since 2006, Martin Honzik has been director of the Ars Electronica Festival and the Prix Ars Electronica and in charge of the exhibitions in the Ars Electronica Center as well as Ars Electronica’s international exhibition projects. He lives and works in Linz, Austria.
JODI (Belgium/The Netherlands) is the duo of the artist collective – Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans who are pioneers of web art. JODI’s work is featured in most art historical volumes about electronic and media art and has been exhibited widely at venues such as documenta X (Kassel), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), ZKM Center for Art and Media (Karlsruhe), NTT InterCommunication Center (Tokyo), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Center for Contemporary Arts (Glasgow), Guggenheim Museum (New York) and Museum of the Moving Image (New York) among many others. They received a 1999 Webby Award. In 2014, JODI was awarded the inaugural Prix Net Art Award by Rhizome. Both Heemskerk and Paesmans live and work out of the Netherlands.
Almagul Menlibayeva (Kazakhstan), an artist who works mostly with multi-channel video, photography and mixed media installation. She has been exhibited widely at venues such as Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst – M HKA (Antwerp), Queens Museum (New York), Stenersen Museum (Oslo), ZKM Center for Art and Media (Karlsruhe), University of California (San Diego), Center of Contemporary Art – Zamok Ujazdowskie (Warsaw), Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma (Helsinki), Museo Universitario del Chopo (Mexico City), Kulturzentrum bei den Minoriten (Graz), Queensland Art Gallery (Brisbane). She lives and works in Germany and Kazakhstan.
Alexey Shulgin (Russia), an artist, pioneer of interactive art in Russia, musician, photographer, curator and web designer. He works with video and media art. He is one of the founders of the Electroboutique gallery. He performs in 386dx duo, where his partner is a computer. In 2002–05, he was a curator for an international festival “software art Read_Me” (Moscow-Helsinki-Aarhus-Dortmund). He is a laureate of the Kandinsky Prize in the nomination “Media Art” (2009). Since 2009, he has been teaching media art at the Rodchenko Art School. He lives and works in Moscow, Russia.
Rasa Šmite and Raitis Šmits (Latvia), artists and researchers working at the intersection of art, science and emerging technologies since the mid-1990s. They are key founders of RIXC Center for New Media Culture in Riga, curators of RIXC Gallery, organizers of RIXC Art and Science festival, and chief editors of Acoustic Space. Rasa Šmite, PhD, is Professor in the New Media Art programme at Liepaja University and Senior Researcher at Art Research Lab (MPLab.lv). Raitis Šmits, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Art Academy of Latvia (2015). Their artworks were shown in Ars Electronica Center (Linz), HeK (Basel), Van Abbe Museum (Eindhoven) and others. They received Prix Ars Electronica (1998), National Award of Excellence in Culture (2016). They live and work in Riga, Latvia.
Andrey Velikanov (Russia), a philosopher, art theorist, artist, laureate of multiple video and net art festivals. He had solo shows in the galleries of Berlin and Moscow. He was awarded prizes of international media art competitions: Ostranenie (Germany), DADANET (Russia), Art on the Net (Japan), TrashArt (Russia), Southwest Interactive Festival (USA), Split (Croatia). He designed a series of lectures and seminars on philosophy of art that were presented at National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow), Russian State University for the Humanities (Moscow), MediaArtLab (Moscow), Garage Museum of Contemporary Art (Moscow) and more. He lives and works in Moscow, Russia.
Moscow Department of Culture
MANEGE. Museum and Exhibition Complex
Open school MANEGE/MediaArtLab is an innovative project for Russia to prepare new generation of contemporary artists and curators as well as sophisticated spectators able to feel and understand the art deeply. The backbone of the education is a cross-disciplinary approach with practical, exploratory nature.
School departments and programs:
Open school MANEGE/MediaArtLab is a kind of laboratory, flexible structure, which comprises intensive theoretical and practical work with up-to-date ideas, issues, and projects in the field of modern media culture.
The work of the faculty is organized around some topic divergent for each group of students. The major of educational and research work will be visual, performative, and audio practices as well as projects at the junction of science and art. Thus, Open school MANEGE/MediaArtLab 2013-2014, called «Visual experiment», is devoted to the subject of moving image and new visuality. We are planning to create an institution providing young artists with the possibility to study the whole variety of progressive technologies and to capture the most important tendencies.
Our main goal is to introduce theoretical, technological, and conceptual base in the field of contemporary visual and media culture. This knowledge can be applied by students during the preparation of their personal or group projects.
The main part of the education is realization of students’ projects with its intervention into city life, mass media, and the Internet, as well as inclusion into exhibition projects by Museum of screen culture MediaArtLab and other Russian and foreign institutions.
For additional info please contact:
More than 10 years International Symposium Pro&Contra of Media Culture sets as its main object discovering of connections between art, science, politics, economics, technologies, design and architecture. Also we present the most interesting works at the border of contemporary art and social practices, science, digital art and design, performance and software engineering, animation and media architecture. Each year we select different subjects, projects, artistic strategies and tools to be analyzed in great variety of formats including theoretical discussions, innovation projects presentation and review, competitions of young artists’ pieces, movie and video screenings of festival programs, premiere screenings, etc.
Author of the project: Olga Shishko
Curators of the thematic blocks:
First semester: April to June 2014
Second semester: September to December 2014
Venue: Central exhibition hall Manege
Coordinators: Anna Buali, Julia Grachikova, Elena Klabukova, Olga Lukyanova, Elena Rumyantseva.
The ability to change, mutate and combine is the specific characteristic of the XXth century art. The world is changing at a constantly growing pace and art develops even faster at times. It seems as if not only spectators but also professionals not always can follow the emergence of art’s new forms. As of now, digital media stopped simply representing reality, instead they generate reality on their own, and create new relationships between artists, their toolkits and spectators.
The tendency for continuous change had begun with the experiments of various avant-garde artists and artistic movements in the early XXth century. Those ideas gain new meanings in our time. Tatlin, Malevich, Kruchenykh, Rodchenko, and other representatives of the Russian Avant-Garde inspire fresh ideas in the new technological reality. Breaking of borders, combination of different forms of arts, and utopian dreams of thoroughly new artistic practices determine the program of the “Projections of the Avant-Garde” educational cycle.
Schedule of the program “Projections of the Avant-Garde”
Organizer: MEA Manege
Co-organizer: Centre for Art and Culture MediaArtLab
«Media Library: a new educational centre, museum collection and digital archive»
29 — 30 November 2012
Place The Central Manege, Media Gallery,2-nd Floor
Support by The French Embassy and the French Institute, the Embassy of Finland, the Polish Cultural Centre, the British Council, Mondrian Foundation, Holiday Inn Lesnaya, National Cenre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA), Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA), the Buro Tolpin Peter Architects
Etienne Sandrin — the Pompidou Centre (France), Perttu Rastas — the KIASMA Museum of Contemporary Art (Finland), Piotr Kraevsky — WRO Art Center (Poland), Mike Sperlinger — the LUX Centre for film, video and digital arts (UK), Kate Jennings — the TATE (UK), Aleksandra Obuchova — the Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture (Russia), Anna Gor — the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (Russia), Olesia Tyrkina — the State Russian Museum (Russia), Joseph Backstein — Commissioner of the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (Russia), Olga Shishko — the Museum of screen culture MediaArtLab (Russia) and Peter Tolpin of the Buro Tolpin Peter Architects (Russia)
Special Guest Film director and Artist — Peter Greenaway (UK — Netherlands)
The issues in focus
The conference will bring into focus various questions connected to formation and use of media libraries as new centres for education, digital arrchives’ storage, video and digital artworks collection.
Subject 1: Media Library as a public space and a new education centre
Subject 2: Museum collections and the future of digital archives
Language of presentations:
Presentations may be made in English or Russian.
The importance of media culture and media art presentation is imposed by the fact that they are often most finely and sensitively attuned to the state of contemporary society and contemporary culture. Unfortunately, not all exhibition spaces and museums (major Western media centres excluded) posess the necessary facilities and resources or methods of working with media art. Since 1990’s media libraries and virtual collections presented online are its most actual form of presentation both in Europe and Russia. Both forms of presentation of this art form are innovative for Russia.
Today media libraries as the new live centres for education and culture are replacing traditional libraries, that are fast becoming obsolete in the «digital society». At the same time media libraries continue their ancient tradition and are the direct descendants and heirs to libraries’ main fuctions. They take over both «analogue» and digital storage funds, constantly adding to their functions with contemporary tools for archival data representation.
The Media Library of the MediaArtLab Screen Culture Museum — a joint project with the Manege Central Exhibition Hall — has been compiled in more than ten years’ time — at the moment it has accumulated, archived and annotated more tham 2000 works of media art (http://www.mediaartlab.ru). In 2001 MediaArtLab has organized an international Access to Excess conference where archiving and presentation of media art were thoroughly discussed.
Museum collections and the future of digital archives
Cataloging media art
While creating a database for the MediaArtLab audiovisual archive — an online archive of video art, interactive and web-art projects — we have keenly defined the key problem for this kind of projects. What exactly is to be archived and preserved — a work as a whole, as completely as possible, or its description only, which seems to be a more convenient solution, if the work in question incorporates «real» elements and direct social contact? Or should we preserve a technical copy as an accurate reproduction in a more current technical format? What is to be considered a fair copy? How do we represent media created works in the future?
Contemporary art, especially the part that works with new technologies is an absolutely new cultural phenomenon that differs fundamentally from the traditional ones, mostly in its temporary aspects. Thus expert research of the development of technologies as such is needed, for their modifications bring changes in technical orientation and material aspects of the art itself daily.
What follows is that traditional cataloging of contemporary art, meaning a critical analysis from a historical (temporary) perspective will be made especially difficult in future due to the loss of the object of description — the artwork — itself. It will become anattainable for a critic as the technique of its creation is lost. In this situation the professional work in marking, describing, cataloging and preservation of media art should take place, paradoxically, already at this moment.
Registration + 7 (495) 645 92 72 [email protected]