[NetBehaviour] Critical review: Digital Analogue. Pioneers of New Media.

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Mon Feb 17 23:03:42 CET 2014

Hi Laura,

Thanks for posting this to netbehaviour. I will read it tomorrow morning 
when I am more awake ;-)

wishing you well.

> Personally, I suggest a revision around questions such as ethics, 
> deontological code, professionalism, permission and authority in 
> curatorial models and participatory practices in art, science and 
> technology. Regarding the curating model used in the exhibition 
> Digital Analogue: this is not what I do, this is not my curatorial 
> line, this is not my work, and this is not curated by me. Actually, 
> the participatory models of curating new media art have created new 
> structures where to engage curators, theorist and artists in a hybrid 
> form of exhibition, workshop, and live performance. Models that are 
> constantly against the mainstream and the policies of power supported 
> by authority and based within the ego of the artists: elitism and 
> paternalism. Another point to consider is that the exhibition Digital 
> Analogue has a lack of investigation, the research is weak, doesn't 
> achieve the standards of the experienced d.i.y. artists, the art 
> electronic avant-garde and the art --science -- technology experts, 
> curators and artists. There is a lack of coherence, strength and 
> unity. Although is a very good local exhibition and a potential 
> project for the future, it is a very paternalist project, too. Tired, 
> exhausted and discomforted to defend machismo, it is criticized works 
> like this.
> Once surpassed the borders of curatorial mainstream inside the 
> whitecube, those who work worldly local and with deep meaning for life 
> and social contribution, are hard-working and developing networks with 
> very low budgets and financial support. Art inside the whitecube is 
> now out of the center of action, operating in labs, blackboxes and 
> within the experiences of life. So, following it can be said that the 
> exhibition has not gone so good. There is lack of professionalism and 
> it deceives.
> Moreover, I must say that a few years ago, in 2011, I wrote an 
> investigation project entitled Language Code. In collaboration with 
> CED -- MACBA Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona, I studied the relat 
> ions of conceptual art and code art. I did a similar work as Thomas 
> Dreher does. Once the research was finished, I asked permission to 
> international artists, local artists from Barcelona, activists and 
> other theorists, curators and producers to work in a public 
> presentation of the Project. The event was one week and hold in 
> Conservas, an underground lab in Barcelona. I was trying to break 
> conventional models of exhibition. It was a workshop, a seminar, an 
> exhibition and a live event with screenings and performance. It also 
> engaged the audiences to participate to create a language artwork 
> based in cut-up projects. Jorn Ebner, Michael Kargl, Roy Ascott, John 
> Angel were presented in Language Code exhibition among a total number 
> of 20 artist more. Part of my research project Language Code has been 
> presented in MAC Museum of Contemporary Art Bogota. According 
> methodologies of curating, there is a new curatorial role based in 
> appropriation. It creates new exhibition strategies. Taking art ists' 
> works without permission or non-demanding artist participation is 
> changing the administrative model of exhibition. Contracts, 
> infrastructure and participation offer a new possibility to engage 
> creation and hopefully create more opportunities for emergent and 
> youth talented unnamed artists.
> Regarding the content of the exhibition, there are 6 artists 
> exhibiting physical artworks, 3 local artists and 3 international 
> artists. There are no women. The use of big mainstream artists' names 
> is trying to attract expectations, a suggestive intention, when is in 
> reality a screening loop. There is an excellent point and is the fact 
> that the exhibition offers help and support to local artist to be 
> contextualized in international frameworks. In general, local emergent 
> talented artists from Colombia are not well represented in their own 
> art circuit, neither in the international art scene. This is part of 
> the post-colonial history. Although this, there is a lack and a very 
> disappointed participation of the real pioneers of new media from 
> Colombia. Pedro Soler states "A pair of my favorite South American 
> pioneers: Juan Downey (from Chile, pioneer of video and interactive 
> art, co-editor of Radical Software) and Jacqueline Nova, the first 
> electroacoustic music composer in Colombi a. Both artists lived much 
> of their lives in the north (Juan in NYC and Jacqueline in Paris). 
> However, they are both dead". The title of the exhibition "Pioneers" 
> does not correspond to the achieved goals. It cannot be said that is a 
> pioneer's exhibition. This is not the case. There are specialized 
> media art historians that will recognize that this is wick and a 
> misunderstanding. "Edward Shanken comes to mind. And in my own 
> University, historian Charissa Terrranova" says Roger Malina.
> There is a no women artists; pioneers or not, too. Marc Garret 
> indicates some "Sarah Cook, Alison Craighead, Donna Haraway, Sadie 
> Plant, Vera Molnar, Steina Vasulka, Joan Jonas, Marisa Olson, Pauline 
> Oliveros, Christiane Paul, Laurie Anderson, Josephine Bosma, Ada 
> Lovelace, Judith Butler, Olia Lialina, Natalie Jeremijenko, Coco 
> Fusco, Ghislaine Boddington, Guerilla Girls, Ilze Black, Larisa 
> Blazic, Daphne Dragona, Mia Makela, Sanja Ivekovic, Eva and Franco 
> Mattes, Joasia Krysa, Valie Export, Charlotte Moorman, Lygia Clark, 
> Yoko Ono, E.Valldosera, La Turbo Avedon, Fabi Borges, Alejandra Perez, 
> Eleonora Oreggia, Simona Levy, Diana McCarty, Maria Llopis, Marloes de 
> Valk, Shu Lea Cheang, Chris Sugrue, Paula Graham (Fossbox), Ruth 
> Catlow (Furtherfield), Flossie". This is an important failure. This is 
> unacceptable in the context of electronic, new media, and within the 
> frame of cyberfeminism. Women artist has contributed to the 
> development of media art in a very deep and profound se nse, changing 
> structures and contributing to the social benefit of human behavior. 
> This is a strong point. Some relevant data regarding feminism 
> practices in art curating represent the problem about women in art. 
> Only the 13.5% of works by women are in Art Collections, 18% of female 
> professors at Art Universities, 22% of female directors at Art 
> Museums, 27% average of female percentage at exhibitions in art 
> museums, 32% of honorary prizes in the visual arts are won by women, 
> 42% of all freelance employees in the visual arts are women, 55% of 
> students in the visual arts are women (Data by Katy Deepwell, Editor 
> of n.paradoxa).
> There is a sense that the use of "big names" in the section s/edition 
> is like an attractive suggestion rather than a matter of history, 
> knowledge or information. Rather, I think the curator is trying to 
> persuade, giving an illusion of history of media art. I think this is 
> a more commercial and digital project. I think this is what exactly 
> Baudrillard defined as Simulacra and the tendency in consumerism 
> object to persuade the spectator. I have received many complains and 
> it is thought that is a very paternalist project. And it does not 
> consider the social and actual needs of its country. Marc Garret also 
> commented "On one hand it's because the choice of 'now' disreputable 
> 'BritArt' artists, and on the other, it's because there is an 
> embarrassing lack of women included in the exhibition. It is not 
> representative of the amazing women in arts and technology who deserve 
> so much better than this". Contrary to these opinions, it is really 
> well received the local collabor ation. The artists have a really 
> talented work in exhibition and the effort and fight with the 
> institutional frame and universities grow and enrich the cultural 
> context of Bogota, an incredible city with massive social disorder and 
> inequalities. Is very important and is a really good to exhibit 3 
> local artists altogether 3 international artists, this contributes to 
> the development of cultural practices of Colombia, increases the level 
> of participation and interested of institutions into Electronic Art 
> and for New Media practices. It also helps to the emergent artists 
> with good level, quality, interest and professionalism.
> According this, I have to say that it is super-interesting and thanks 
> to this kind of exhibitions, new models of distributing video- art are 
> developed. It could probably respond to new distribution roles and 
> methodologies of production in New Media. Surely, it changes 
> capitalist and economic structures. I remember the editions of Picasso 
> and Dali: thousands of copies resembled millions of millions and 
> investment for art. The videos presented under s/edition are works 
> from Damien Hirst, Casey Reas, Memo Atken, etc... Recently, Alessandro 
> Ludovico has written about new techniques of printing and 
> distributing. This is amazing, but in the case of Digital Analogue and 
> s/edition, a private company that works online. The selection doesn't 
> result interesting because, from my point of view, is supporting 
> commercial and capitalist structures of art as a merchandise. 
> According post-marxist discourse it can damage lots of theoretical 
> works done in the area of value and object-hood in contem porary art. 
> Claiming for live art and live performance is to sustain our way of 
> life as artists, developers and creators.
> Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Bogotá
>  Carrera 74 No. 82A - 81 2916520 Exts: 6160 - 6161 -6159
>  email: ccultural at uniminuto.edu http://www.mac.org.co/
> Thanks to Marc Garret, Pedro Soler, Tamas Banovich, Anick Bureaud, 
> Ashok Mistry, Bronac Ferran, Sarah Cook, Paul Brown, Roger Malina, 
> Ghislaine Boddington, Vicente Matallana, Joasya Krysa, Andres Burbano.
> --laura pearl
> _______________________________________________
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> NetBehaviour at netbehaviour.org
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