Monday, March 23, 2009

Positions in flux: On the changing role of the artist and institution in the networked society

Friday, May 8th, 2009
Organised by Netherlands Media Art Institute (NIMk), Amsterdam
Symposium venue: Trouw Amsterdam Wibautstraat 131, Amsterdam

The symposium 'Positions in flux: On the changing role of the artist and
institution in the networked society' will center on some of the major
parameters for the current and future development of contemporary art.
In particular it will reflect on the aspect of cultural sustainability
of art projects, art and technology initiatives and art curating.
'Positions in flux' will give floor to international artists,
theoreticians, critics, cultural producers and aims to initiate a truly
critical debate. The symposium is designed for a broad audience working
in the field of contemporary culture and art, with a desire to
understand what comes ahead and how to respond to these changes on an
artistic or institutional level. 'Positions in flux' will provide a
platform and “thinkspace” for artists, cultural workers, theoreticians
and a broader public to envision the future in our field and to provide
us with the necessary information to make choices for a meaningful and
sustainable development of society and culture.

The symposium will be streamed from the symposium venue, Trouw
Amsterdam. Online audiences will have the opportunity to participate in
the debate in the live discussion forum. The results of the debate and
its main contributions are reviewed and published online on the new
Media Art Platform.

Speakers and panels
Please note that speakers and times are subject to change.

9:00 – 10:00 Registration
9:45 Welcome and Introduction
by Heiner Holtappels, director of NIMk and Susanne Jaschko, the
symposium's curator
10.30 – 12.30 Panel 1: Art goes politics
In this session we will discuss the potential of art to contribute to
global and local problems such as religious conflicts, environmental or
social crisis. Or is art constrained to raising awareness only? Should
art become an agency for political and social affairs at all? How to
successfully implement and conduct art projects in zones of crisis? What
does it take to successfully implement and conduct projects in zones of
crisis? How far do these projects benefit from the dubious attention of
the mass media?

Hans Bernhard (AT), artist, UBERMORGEN.COM
Wafaa Bilal, artist (IQ/US)
Knowbotic Research, artist group (DE/CH), artist in residence at NIMk 2008/2009
Moderated by Chris Keulemans, writer and journalist (NL) (tbc)

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch break
13.30 – 15.30 Panel 2: New territories and cultures of the digital
This panel will look at the geographical shift that media culture
currently undergoes and that will shape the future of this field. In the
past, Europe, North America and Japan were at the forefront of digital
production, design, art and technological research. Now that digital
technologies become available at lower prices and spread more widely on
the globe, new digital communities flourish. This panel looks
specifically at new initiatives and bottom-up organisations in other
parts of the world such as East Europe, the Middle East, Africa and
South America, trying to understand what characterizes these
initiatives. In how far do local and national cultures shape digital
culture? Do these initiatives share common experiences and challenges,
or is there no common ground to be found? Which kind of art arises from
these new nodes on the digital map? How can we support the growth and
establishment of these organisations?

Bronac Ferran (UK), researcher, consultant and founding member of bricolabs
Nat Muller, independent curator and critic (NL)
Marcus Neustetter, media artist, curator and co-founder of Trinity
Session (ZA)
Adam Somlai-Fischer, artist and architect, programme director of Kitchen Budapest(HU)
Moderated by Rob van Kranenburg, thinker, networker and author (NL/BE)

15.30 – 16.00 Coffee Break

16.00 – 18.00 Panel 3: Open Source – A scheme for art production and
This session deals with the concept of open source for art production
and its presentation. The open source movement is driven by the idea of
collective, process-based, sustainable production and improvement. In
software development this strategy has already proven to be valid;
however can this model be applied to other products such as artworks or
even exhibitions? In how far does the open source model differ from
other forms of artistic collaboration? Is there a new role model for
both the artist and the curator in the future? Which (economic) value
and impact has expertise in open source production? How could
institutions and organisations respond to this trend?

Marcos Garcia, director of Interactivos, Medialab Prado (ES)
Jaromil, and researcher at NIMk
Joasia Krysa, curator, founder of KURATOR (PL/UK)
Moderated by Susanne Jaschko, chief curator NIMk (DE/NL)

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