Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tag ties & affective spies is a critical approach on the social media of our times. What happens when we are “tagging” , “posting” and “sharing” our experiences and opinions in platforms such as those of Facebook, YouTube, flickr or del.icio.us? Are we really connecting and interacting or are we also forming the content and the structure of the social web itself? curated by Daphne Dragona

Iannis Xenakis's UPIC

UPIC is a computerised musical composition tool, devised by the composer Iannis Xenakis. It was developed at the Centre d'Etudes de Mathématique et Automatique Musicales (CEMAMu) in Paris, and was completed in 1977.
more info

you can download an OSC poly-temporal meta-sequencer version based on the UPIC here http://iannix.la-kitchen.fr/

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Olia Lialina and New Media Art Histories of the (so-called) net.art, Net Art and Web Art moments

My colleague Bruce Jenkins (formerly the curator of the Harvard Film Archive and currently on faculty with me in the Film, Video & New Media department at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago) asked me to recommend Web Art that could be included in his upcoming "Presenting and Preserving Moving-Image Media" course. I suggested he include a discussion of the work of Olia Lialina. In particular, her Last Real Net Art Museum project:


which in part hosts remixes of her MY BOYFRIEND CAME BACK FROM THE WAR project from 1996. The remixes function as a form of archiving and preservation in that they extend the life of the work by reworking this now historical New Media Art project. As such, this series constitutes a significantly dynamic and vital artistic use of archives and archiving.



directly addresses web-based exhibition of New Media Art as well as the legendary death or historical status of net.art. In particular, this issues are addressed through the online exhibition MINIATURES OF THE HEROIC PERIOD from 1998:


Her collection of texts in the "Texts on net.art, new media and digital folklore" section:


provides important views into these histories. From that section, her text "Vernacular Web" originally from 2005:


which was then updated and reversioned in 2007:


also considers New Media Art Histories and issues of historicity by unlocking ways in which artists and those who do not identify as artists have used the internet and the web over the last 15 or so years...

// jonCates

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

the troubled history of computer art 1963-1989

I came across a very interesting 2005 PhD thesis by Taylor, Grant D., "The machine that made science art: the troubled history of computer art 1963-1989"

abstract: This thesis represents an historical account of the reception and criticism of computer art from its emergence in 1963 to its crisis in 1989, when aesthetic and ideological differences polarise and eventually fragment the art form. Throughout its history, static-pictorial computer art has been extensively maligned. In fact, no other twentieth-century art form has elicited such a negative and often hostile response. In locating the destabilising forces that affect and shape computer art, this thesis identifies a complex interplay of ideological and discursive forces that influence the way computer art has been and is received by the mainstream artworld and the cultural community at large. One of the central factors that contributed to computer art’s marginality was its emergence in that precarious zone between science and art, at a time when the perceived division between the humanistic and scientific cultures was reaching its apogee. The polarising force inherent in the “two cultures” debate framed much of the prejudice towards early computer art. For many of its critics, computer art was the product of the same discursive assumptions, methodologies and vocabulary as science. Moreover, it invested heavily in the metaphors and mythologies of science, especially logic and mathematics. This close relationship with science continued as computer art looked to scientific disciplines and emergent techno-science paradigms for inspiration and insight. While recourse to science was a major impediment to computer art’s acceptance by the artworld orthodoxy, it was the sustained hostility towards the computer that persistently wore away at the computer art enterprise. The anticomputer response came from several sources, both humanist and anti-humanist. The first originated with mainstream critics whose strong humanist tendencies led them to reproach computerised art for its mechanical sterility. A comparison with aesthetically and theoretically similar art forms of the era reveals that the criticism of computer art is motivated by the romantic fear that a computerised surrogate had replaced the artist. Such usurpation undermined some of the keystones of modern Western art, such as notions of artistic “genius” and “creativity”. Any attempt to rationalise the human creative faculty, as many of the scientists and technologists were claiming to do, would for the humanist critics have transgressed what they considered the primordial mystique of art. Criticism of computer art also came from other quarters. Dystopianism gained popularity in the 1970s within the reactive counter-culture and avant-garde movements. Influenced by the pessimistic and cynical sentiment of anti-humanist writings, many within the arts viewed the computer as an emblem of rationalisation, a powerful instrument in the overall subordination of the individual to the emerging technocracy.