Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I like that word: cimatics. I also like the director of the festival that goes by that name. His name is Bram, just like the protagonist in my just published novel 29 Inches.

Bram Crevits is a busy man and you can follow his work and developments at the Cimatics website.

I'll be working with him and some other young A/V artists from their headquarters in Brussels next Spring as part of the Cimatics Masterclass:
Cimatics, Brussels International Platform for Live A/V, presents a Masterclass in Live Audiovisual Art, within the framework of the studio-program Experimental Media-Art provided by the VAF (the Flemish Audiovisual Fund).

12 internationally renowned and specifically chosen artists and theoreticians from within the field of Live A/V engage to conduct these workshops.

Cimatics is looking for 10 participants for these workshops and addresses young artists from within the fields of visual arts, music, media arts or performance arts.

The Masterclass exists of several workshops in which the different aspects of the phenomenon Live A/V will be highlighted. Technical initiation, content contextualisation and specific hands-on experiments will be the key elements of these workshops.
I will be showing the students how to put remixology into practice while sustaining a parallel artist poetics that feeds into their live A/V universe.

UPDATE: Be sure to check out Bram's Roots of VJing playlist on Youtube. A great resource for all...

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Monday, September 10, 2007

How Open is Open?

Recently, I celebrated the ten year anniversary of the release of GRAMMATRON, but this parade of ten year retro fashionware keeps bringing up other links as well.

For example, openX.

If you don't know what openX is (or was) and you are the least bit interested in net art history, then you need to go check the link.

In those days, Ars Electronica was the place to be if you were interested in electronic art and theory. Things have become way too fluid and scattered (distributed) to afford Ars-E the same level of prominence today that it had ten years ago, but that's the case with everything packaged within an institutional context now that the Internet and it's 2.0 info orgy are changing the way we dish out and consume the information our society depends on for its cultural sustenance. But back in the day, just as the was beginning to twitter, this is how net artists were being introduced to the electronique establishment:
Under the influence of the digital media, the idea of the artist as an autonomously creative individual has become increasingly irrelevant. Together with the self-conception of the artist, the mode of work has also begun to change radically. The work has come to be replaced by the process. The renunciation of the authority of the creator over creation linked with the possibilities of processing creations has been followed by a focus on these possibilities with technology as a vehicle. This working method has been radicalized by *net-workers*, as can be seen in the project openX.
This post is not meant to nostalgically look back at the good old days while fondly recalling the golden age of net art. Hardly. The hype about "the work has come to be replaced by the process" while championing "the renunciation of the authority of the creator over creation" were real, and pointed to keen insights that now have almost become commonplace in the expanding scene of net art 2.0. In fact, it could be said that artists are commoners just like every other info slinger who presses keys in the post-historical "universe of technical pictures" (I borrow that last phrase from the title of Vilém Flusser's book that I am reading in translated manuscript form).

In 1997, with the open plan and spacious design of the openX event, the net art key pressers were on display, making new work, socializing, online networking, and making deals (not with galleries but other festival directors -- the circuit was well established, and now everyone wanted the young net punks to grace their premises). I came back from that event telling my crew that it was like they were exhibiting the Pure Net Art Animal who was always on display, that is, if you could find them.

Who did I share the space with?

The list is long, but what the hell: Terminal Bar, John Hopkins, Tapio Mäkelä, Terhi Penttilä, Liisa Vähäkylä, Helen Thorington, Diana McCarty, Andreas Broeckmann, Eric Kluitenberg, Rachel Baker, Vuk Cosic, Luka Frelih, Jaanis Garancs, Jodi.Org, Olia Lialina, Pit Schultz, Alexei Shulgin, Rasa Smite + Raitis Smits, Andrea Zapp (who I just performed with at Tate Modern), Kathy Rae Huffmann, Eva Wohlgemuth, Konrad Becker, ORF Kunstradio, Andy Best, Merja Puustinen, and TNC Network.

The question that needs to be asked is: Did those who enclose the animals in the installation zoo, that is, who "develop[ed] different forms of presentation for those fields of artistic activities which are manifest in a process marginal to the object or the event" also somehow begin the marginalization of the artists themselves or was that already preprogrammed into the historical record with the aid of the artists who were playing their roles as is?

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