Friday 5th Feb.
The lecture series started with Johnny Hardstaff . He talked about his background in graphics and the transition to motion and film. Future of Gaming was shown , warfare futuristic raw short film comissioned for playstation, but got rejected and was then screened by other organizations. I liked the rawness and the justaposition of graphics with footage and photography. It had a few references like the Pope, Nazis, Sodomi stating a political and social criticism. Mainly working in Advertising Hardstaff explores the industrial and visual language systems in non-linear narratives and is interested in giving the choice to the viewers with interactivity.He was amusingly honest about his work, his points of view and how he likes to use the money from commercial works to produce others more freely.He expanded on advertising and it's invisibility andmanipulative character. Looking at his website I got particulary interested in the sketchbooks and drawings. 'Print is so wonderfully dead that I fetishize with books' Casey Reas who initiated Processing in 2001 , addressed in his presentation Form and Code, generative behaviours and text instructuion. Presented the foundations of processing and of its role in Education. Talking about his practice he places the importance in the processs instead of the image, making use of common language text instruction ( as opposed to code ). 'Programming is not just for engineers, geeks and guys' A blog to watch. Karsten Schmidt is a german london-based artist that uses code as primary design tool to platforms, installations, services and systems. 'If you break down and object into operations you understand that everything is based on time '. The distinction between the object and the process is a way of thinking in the areas where you practice.'The design task these days is to design the process'. Schmidt developed the identity of Decode with processing and his practice evolves around generative music and visuals. The questions he raised where around beauty and ugly, music and visual, and how there's a power connection between them. When looking at his website I found myself going through the 3900 links at his Del.ici.ous, and listening to his last.fm profile. Raising the question, that these days our profile as an artist is a composition of all our virtual archives. It's good because you get a complex identity of interests, music, but it seems too personal to provide the links to your behaviour on line. It gives more substance to judgment. Interesting Manifesto. Louise Shannon, curator and Deputy head of Contemporary programmes at the V&A, started the afternoon lectures with a brief 10 year history of the programs and activities . Last fridays or Friday late is good to keep in mind and attend. Shane walter from Onedotzero followed talking about hybrid and cross-media. Innovation in moving and motion arts. This was a very fast paced presentation with a more entertaining feel to it. Some multi-disciplinary agencies/ collectives were refered like Tomato, Fuel and Antirom. Walter showed some videos on the onedotzero festival around the world. They are big events that stand on the fact that it's not a london show that goes to another city. Its the cities' festival, with its artists and within their context.He also showed some concert installations (George michael) that use generative responsive software. In the end the questions of entertaining and mass culture came up. It seems like its a personal choice,if you think that your art / practice is ment to reach as many people as possible. Beryl Graham educator, curator openned with a set o statements of what could be the key points regarding New Media. Like the Decode exhibition 3 areas are defined: Connectivity ( network ) Compatibility ( Code ) Interactivity ( Interactivity ) Participation is a focus point on interaction between people and the artwork/installation and also between the people. An example of that is an instalation at Tate modern's Turbine hall, where a series os platforms would make the people engage in a common physical effort to make them move. Could it be the perfect merge of connectivity ( i actually prefer network ) and interactivity? Can this also be applied to an online project where people/ users have to work together to interact with the software? Would it be as rewarding as shifting a big block of wood ? Interaction early projects: Harwood, rehearsal of memory, Media Art net: MediaKuntz Hanna Redler, contemporary curator gave an eloquent speech on I Heart Code. Head of Arts projects at the Science Museum she explained the reasons why they have an Arts agenda and showed some artists' works. 'I believe it's important that young artists create and manipulate the software. There should be more in the UK (...) ' Bruce wands presented 'Digital Arts: Past, Present, Future' dividing : Mainframe Era _60's to 70's Workstation Era _70's to 80's Desktop Era _80's to 00's Focus on immersive virtual environments. and cultural climate. By the end all the speakers gathered up had a bit of a chat, with the audience. They wanted to know our thoughts, how much did we know of the subjects approach during the day and expressed their desire in having as much feedback as possible. I believe that most of what was adressed at the conferences is part of the issues that regard Media arts, as well as eternal questions such as 'what is art?' . My questions through out the day related to mass culture, open source and entertaining. Are we obliged to target? To have as concept the spreadibility of the project?The commercial aspect of contemporary art makes it all seem fake. Entertainment. Mass Consumption. Pop. QUantity. More. It reminded me of Matthew's Collings lecture at Camberwell , which was a discomfortable experience at the time, but now is this context ,made sense. The question of elitism ( long dead ) is now a fetish and a tabu . Everything is OpenSource.