Friday, September 15, 2006

Upgrade Berlin, Paraflows Vienna: how to curate netart?

Hi Ursula,

we are starting the Upgrade! Berlin today and one of our most crucial points for the whole network of international media artists is how to present media art at all.
After having travelled on our Mobile Studios Eastern European tour this summer (, where we proudly hosted the Upgrade Sofia and cooperated also with the people from Upgrade Skopje and Belgrade, we decided that being on the move is just the right strategy for us, especially in Berlin.So we thought of Upgrade Berlin as a caravan of questions, which explores venues and institutions associated with media art in Berlin.We will re-visit the places which are already there and approach them with questions concerning their contemporary cultural practice and the future agenda of media art.We invite our audience, media artists and contributors here in Berlin to join us in this quest. It is an objective of Upgrade! Berlin to map the media art resources in the city and to create a horizontal network among institutions, artists, curators, scholars...With this approach we want to contribute to the international network and broaden the chances for media artists to access these structures.
Today is our inital meeting with guests, where we want to develop our question strategies for the future Upgrade meetings. Each of us will present a topic of particular interest to media art and a plan of how we could implement this topic into our question structure. We will also set up an agenda for the upcoming Upgrade field trips and nominate the hosts and the locations of the particular meetings.
I think back to Vienna last week, where we visited the Paraflows festival, Have a look: http://www.paraflows.atI like their idea of a horizontal festival concept which takes on the principles of a decentralized organisation and of participatory practices. The exhibition was held in 7 different locations all over the city and so we had a great day driving and walking around Vienna and visiting many different places, talking to different artists and curators. I always come back to the point what a difference it makes when the artists are present during an exhibition and can be approached by the audience for questions, remarks etc.I think they did this quite well at Paraflows. What has been your impression from this year's ars electronica?

best from berlin, ela