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Moving Beyond Contemporary Conventions

As we edge towards the next quarter of the century, keeping track of new developments is as important as is spreading knowledge about past events. We reshape our view of the present after formulating new views and understandings of history. After following the development of art and culture in the context of the Internet since 1993 I am still fascinated: there seems to be no end to the sometimes surprising transformations in art and art criticism in this ever expanding field. The boundaries between media art and contemporary art, if they ever existed, are dissolving ever faster. Where will we go?

This website is undergoing overhaul. Information about past activities, texts, and audio are added over the next weeks.

(Picture: My workspace during the pandemic)

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Older Updates and 'newsletters' below:

 

 

2020 - Pandemic Times

After following the development of art and culture in the context of the Internet since 1993 I am still fascinated: there seems to be no end to the sometimes surprising transformations in art and art criticism in this ever expanding field. The boundaries between media art and contemporary art, if they ever existed, are dissolving ever faster.

still stephanie syjuco trip down market street 03D video still from Stephanie Syjuco's Spectral City (Trip down market street) (2018)

What to say about this year... It often seems like we are all just leaves drifting in the wind with no certainty where we will land. 2020 will either go into history as the lockdown year, or as the year the lockdowns began. The covid19 pandemic has turned the world upside down. So many of us have been affected badly. I find it hard to talk about work or the developments within art in this situation, yet still so much happened and continues to develop, especially it seems in the context of 'online culture'. Though art institutions have been slow to recognize the possibilities (and pittfalls) of the new networks, luckily many artists, critics and curators were not and they could easily switch off and online spaces. I feel honored to have been part of some of the events they produced. It made the pandemic and the lockdown somewhat easier to bear. Net artist Olia Lialina asked me to write a text for her exhibition HOSTED at Arebyte gallery in London. Dutch art magazine Metropolis M commissioned me to write a semi-review of INFORMATION, the legendary exhibition at the MoMA in 1970. In June I led a conversation (struggling with the Zoom interface) entitled Critical Coding with the artist-researchers Nancy Mauro-Flude and Winnie Soon for LIMA Online. Upstream Gallery in Amsterdam asked me to be the curator of their last online exhibition in September. This became Appearances, a poetic show I am quite proud of, with the artists Addie Wagenknecht, Annie Abrahams & Daniel Pinheiro, Amy Alexander, Claudia Del & Jaume Clotet, Evelina Domnitch & Dimitry Gelfand, Knowbotiq Research, Nancy Mauro-Flude, PolakVanBekkum, Stephanie Syjuco, Valentina Gal, and Winnie Soon. Also in September I joined Planet Art for GOGBOT in Enschede again, where I curated and moderated a small symposium. In between all this, and in between lockdowns, I managed to travel to Berlin this summer to see the lovely exhibition Eintritt in ein Lebewesen, curated by Tilman Baumgärtel. I want to thank all the people involved here for lifting my spirits in this tough year.

The year 2020

After following the development of art and culture in the context of the Internet since 1993 I am still fascinated: there seems to be no end to the sometimes surprising transformations in art and art criticism in this ever expanding field. The boundaries between media art and contemporary art, if they ever existed, are dissolving.

Jodi ICTI 0JODI - ICTI.me (2020) (Screenshot), part of We-Link, Ten Easy Pieces 

Summer 2019

After following the development of art and culture in the context of the Internet since 1993 I am still fascinated: there seems to be no end to the sometimes surprising transformations in art and art criticism in this ever expanding field. The boundaries between media art and contemporary art, if they ever existed, are dissolving. Let's enjoy this moment together.

 open space tim soutar 1970 editedEarly photo of the Open Space artist initiative in Victoria, Canada, an important hub in the history of telecommunication art.

Though I have not updated this site in a while I have still been busy. First and foremost the research project around the late Robert Adrian's The World in 24 Hours is culminating in a panel presentation and exhibition at this year's Ars Electronica Festival. On Thursday September 5th in the afternoon there will be a special focus conference on the deep history of media art, with special attention for networked projects. I will be interviewing the legendary Bill Bartlett, organizer of Interplay, the first online conference for artists in 1979, live on stage. Bill Bartlett worked from the artist initiative Open Space in Victoria, Canada. Materials from the Open Space archive relevant to The World in 24 Hours will be presented in Ars Electronica's 40 Years Lounge, an exhibition dedicated to especially networked art in light of the Ars Electronica Festival's 40 years anniversary. I am thrilled this is all coming together and thank the Stimuleringsfonds voor Creatieve Industrie for having made my research possible! Other things I have been working on have come to their conclusion. The Dutch Digital Art Canon, for which I was an advisor, for example was launched in March this year during the annual Transformation Digital Art symposium at LIMA in Amsterdam. Unfortunately I could not be there because I was in New York giving a presentation in light of Rhizome's Net Art Anthology project. My presentation resulted in The World in 24 Hours becoming part of the Net Art Anthology. The text I wrote for the impressive Net Art Anthology catalog/book also refers to Adrian's seminal work. You can order this packed book from the Rhizome website. Besides also writing I have also given a lecture in V2_'s media art for beginners course, where I discovered a new hunger to learn about all things media art and net art related. Students came from across the country! It was great to see such enthusiasm, and I thank Alex Falk and Arie Altena from V2_ for organizing this, and artist Jan Robert Leegte for his great artist presentation during the event.

Fall 2018

After following the development of art and culture in the context of the Internet since 1993 I am still fascinated: there seems to be no end to the sometimes surprising transformations in art and art criticism in this ever expanding field. The boundaries between media art and contemporary art, if they ever existed, are dissolving. Let's enjoy this moment together.

P1020773 0The hall of the ORF studio in Linz, a design by architect Gustav Peichl in 1972, where the original The World in 24 Hours by Robert Adrian took place. The first Ars Electronica festivals also took place in this building, namely in one of its live TV studios.

Fall 2017

After following the development of art and culture in the context of the Internet since 1993 I am still fascinated: there seems to be no end to the sometimes surprising transformations in art and art criticism in this ever expanding field. The boundaries between media art and contemporary art, if they ever existed, are dissolving. Let's enjoy this moment together.

 weltin24stunden2 0Ars Electronica, Linz, performance shot of The World in 24 Hours (1982) by Robert Adrian X et al.

2017 has brought some new perspectives and more developments in the recognition of science and technology as major influences in art and culture. There is a growing interest in the history of art, science and technology on the one hand, while the interest for art involving new technologies keeps gaining momentum on the other. My work as advisor for Rhizome's Net Art Anthology has made me re-visit some works from the past. Getting Automatic Rain, a small work by JODI from 1995, restored brought some challenges around migration and emulation of software to the light. A much bigger challenge however was (and is) reviving one of the earliest network performances ever. Since the beginning of this year I am doing research into a possible re-enactment of The World in 24 Hours by Robert Adrian X. It is a vast research project involving interviews with all participants of the 12 nodes in the network from 1982 and an investigation of possible re-enactment strategies, involving a new generation of artists and various alternative network practices. For the latter I have given a presentation at the Dutch hackercamp SHA2017 and I am preparing a revised version of this presentation for Radical Networks in New York this October. I received the necessary and most welcome funding from the Stimuleringsfonds voor Creatieve Industrie. The project will continue well into 2018, as we may or may not realize a re-enactment at Ars Electronica next year. Given the huge difference in technological and cultural context between 1982 and 2018 this is not a given. Expect some writing from me about this topic the coming months. Besides this fascinating work I am also still acting as advisor, juror and moderator at various events. I compiled the symposium for GOGBOT 2017 and proved it is possible to find amazing female speakers for tech events. Professor Dynamics Amina Helmi from the university of Groningen, detector engineer Liz George from ESA and artist Daniela de Paulis gave interesting presentations, next to philosopher, 'denker des vaderlands', René ten Bos. More recently I moderated the Feedback symposium at West in The Hague, about media theorist Marshall McLuhan, together with artist and curator Baruch Gottlieb. I also recently started as an advisor for a wonderful new project by LIMA with the working title Dutch Digital Art Canon. More big news for next year will come up soon.

End of the Year 2016, Beginning of 2017

published: November, 2016

After following the development of art and culture in the context of the Internet since 1993 I am still fascinated: there seems to be no end to the sometimes surprising transformations in art and art criticism in this ever expanding field. The boundaries between media art and contemporary art, if they ever existed, are dissolving. Let's enjoy it together.

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First two pages of my interview with Jonas Lund in Kunstforum 243: Postdigital 2 (Nov 2016)

 

After a very busy summer with lots of travelling autumn seems to bring calmer times. I gave a presentation at Nieuwe Vide in Haarlem in the WIFI, Connectivity and Digital Utopia exhibition. After a long delay the Kunstforum Postdigital specials finally came out, with my essay Post-Screen and my interview with Jonas Lund in Postdigital 2. You can read the English version here. On Friday the 25th of November I am the host of the Crypto Design Challenge Award Show at Paradiso in Amsterdam. Somewhere around new year I plan to go see the first large solo exhibition by the artist duo Evelina Domnitch and Dmytri Gelfand at Le Lieu Unique in Nantes, which runs until January 8th 2017. Then I hope to see you at Transmediale in February, which promises to be a very special 30 year birthday edition! I am particularly looking forward to seeing the exhibition Alien Matter curated by Inke Arns. In between I work on new interviews, developing plans for new events and, last but not least, restarting my PhD. Hopefully, with the Dutch elections happening in March, there will be enough peace of mind for all of us to realize our hopes and dreams.

Winter 2016 - The start of a new year - news

 bitcoinmine jaromilDebraSolomon Florian Weigl 1
Jaromil Rojo and Debra Solomon, Entropical, Zone2source, Amsterdam, 2015. Photo courtesy Florian Weigl.

These are interesting times: the year starts off with many exhibitions focussing on the crossover field of art, science and technology. The often criticized gap between the contemporary art field and that of media art (or AST, Art, Science and Technology) seems to be closing. The question is what this will mean for the acknowledgment of earlier work in the latter field. There is a lot of catching up to do! Luckily there are many occasions to talk about classic and new works this year. February is packed with events where we could meet and discuss. First up is Transmediale from 2 till 7 February. On February 5th I will be joining the Telekommunisten in their Panic Room session. There will be many other interesting sessions to follow, like for example that on the Tactical Media Archive. A few days after Transmediale TEC ART opens in the 'institute for avantgarde recreation' WORM, Rotterdam. Part of the opening is a public presentation and debate about what art and life would be like in a Post-Singularity world. The next morning, on Thursday 11 February at 11.00, I will be in an hour long discussion with cultural sociologist Pascal Gielen in the Reflections series at Art Rotterdam. The Sunday after that, on Valentine's Day, I have been invited to speak about the value of art in a mini-symposium at Zone2source, for the exhibition of Entropical by Jaromil Rojo and Debra Solomon. Other speakers include Merijn Oudenampsen and Koert van Mensvoort. Last but not least the topic of conservation is to be addressed at Transformation Digital Art organized by LIMA on 18 and 19 February. I will present a brief introduction to art in networks on the Thursday evening in a session with also Rafaël Rozendaal and Eric Kluitenberg.

Spring 2015

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      Image created through Artomat, an online art generator by Electroboutique

The coming months are filled with writing and a few appearances in panels and talks. I am working on an essay for the German magazine Kunstforum for their Post-Digital theme. For that same magazine I am preparing an interview with Jonas Lund. On May 22nd and 23rd you can find me in MAMA in Rotterdam for a two day event around art and the Internet. I will be in a panel discussing what Post-Internet art and its potential for addressing the merging of digital and analog culture with Florian Cramer and Geert Lovink the first day. The discussion will be moderated by Michelle Kasprzak, curator at V2. That same afternoon I will moderate a discussion between Jonas Lund, Rafaël Rozendaal and Joel Holmberg. A week later, May 29th, I will conduct an onstage interview with Electroboutique at the Twente Biennale.

Looking back at 2014 and what happened in early 2015

published: January, 2015

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(Installation by Simone C. Niquille in the Born Digital exhibition at the MOTI, Breda. Till June 2015)

The 21th of March 2015 I moderated a panel about art after the Internet at the Museum of the Image (MOTI) in Breda. I will also give a brief talk there. All this takes place in the Born Digital exhibition. But my year started with a trip to Brussels on January 28th, where I will speak at a panel organized for the Data Privacy Day, in connection with the Faceless exhibition. More work and publications are being prepared, on which I will post an update later. 

Caricatures of Knowbotic Research: jodi

published: October, 2002

In 2002 the Dutch Belgian artist duo Jodi (Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans) had their first big solo exhibition at Plug-In gallery in Basel. In preparation of the text I met up with the artists, and it became clear they wanted me to write a light text. They came up with the title themselves: Caricatures of Knowbotic Research. Knowbotic Research is a German-Swiss electronic art group, known for their extensive collabortions with media art labs and technologically complex works.

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Catalogue cover of install.exe, ed. Tilman Baumgärtel 

The Best of 386DX

published: October, 2001

This review of Alexei Shulgin's music and data CD was originally written for Rhizome in 2001. For those unfamiliar with the 'band' or the name, a 386DX is an old type computerchip, the Intel 80386 developed in 1985.

386DX The Best Of 2000

 

The Interior of Net Art

published: January, 2002

tina laporta

 

The question of how to exhibit net art came up strongly in 1997. It became clear that some works were actually interesting for a traditional, offline art audience. In the beginning it seemed that exhibiting net art in a physical space was an anomaly, something contradictive to the nature and background of the attitude from which net art sprung. The online communities a lot of net art came out of refused to think of solutions for physical exhibitions, like they also found it very difficult (with some exceptions) to find a way to deal with question how to sell a net art work.

When I was approached by one of the net communities' most notorious members Frederic Madre to write a text for a tongue in cheeck woman's magazine I decided therefore to write a piece that was half satire half serious about how to deal with net art. In some sense one could say the text is metaphorical. By ridiculing the style of the average woman's magazine I compare the desire to own any art work (and also to exhibit it) to certain bourgois tendencies to use art in a semi-decorative way. We could ask ourselves whether our desire to own and present an art piece is ultimately more then a wish to exhibit our own cultural awareness in a fashionable way, like the American artist Cary Peppermint jokes in this text. The intangibility of most new media art and the impossibility to set limits to certain works force us having to face what exactly it is we want from art. Many do want something of art that seems missing: something to surround oneself with. Let's dive into the interior design of net art.

What are Words Worth

published: July, 1997

This early article appeared in Mute magazine, and shows some of the discourse and thoughts on cyberfeminism that were going around at the time.

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From net.art to net.radio and back again - rediscovering and enlarging the entire radio spectrum

published: August, 1998

Published in Ars Electronica Catalogue 'Infowar'

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Webcasting has been one of those hot words on the internet the last year. Funny thing is however that it never got the attention or discussion that for instance hypertext had. It seems like the term from the beginning was perceived as a balloon, a bubble of hot air, ready to explode and proof obsolete any moment. The reason for this is not its lack of potential. The reason is its lack of potential for the kind of marketdomination and power massmedia conglomerates like to have. Or in short: it is not as profitable as was hoped. The goldmine many look for when it comes to undertaking on the internet is not one that easily shows its treasures. The internet is still about developing new paths, and these paths extend into the offline world most literally with webcasting. This makes webcasting one of the ultimate platforms for experimental artforms now.

No Ego: Thoughts on preserving the exchanges between artist and audience

published:May, 2004

This text was originally written for the symposium '404 Object Not Found' on preserving new media art, organized by Hartware in Dortmund, Germany, 19-22nd of June 2003. It was later modified a little and has appeared in edited form in the Belgian art magazine 'A Priori' in autumn 2004. This text is actually still in development, or at least its topic and line of thinking is. |Intro: translation, art as conceptual space and art as experience

Constructing Media Spaces - The novelty of net(worked) art was and is all about access and engagement

published:January, 2005

This text combines two  thoughts: what new art practices did the internet 'spawn' and how did these art practices deal with public space? It appeared in the book and on the website of mediaartnet.org, an extensive archive on media art supported by the ZKM in Karlsruhe. Due to transition from Word file to HTML document the footnotes are missing in the text. This will hopefully be corrected in the near future.

NET ART: BUILDING SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING Self Education, Collaboration and Networking

published:June, 2005

Chapter from the book aRt&D, Research and Development in Art, published by V2_NAi in Rotterdam in 2005. The text gives a rough introduction to the development of net art, pre- and post-: the issues artists on the internet had to deal with and the context they worked in. Due to transferring the text from Word file to HTML document the footnotes are missing.

jodi oss 

                           

Kunst tussen Taal en Teken: Jodi

published: Juli 2010

Enigzins impressionistische tekst over het werk van Jodi, het kunstenaarsduo Joan Heemskerk en Dirk Paesmans. Het is geschreven voor het literaire tijdschrift De Gids. De tekst dient oa als introductie voor het werk van Jodi die in de herfst van 2005 een expositie zullen hebben in Montevideo te Amsterdam.

joan en dirk

Dutch, slightly impressionist text about the artist duo Jodi, written for the literary magazine De Gids. It also serves as an introduction to the work of these artists who will have a major exhibition in Montevideo (Amsterdam) autumn 2005.