Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Jeremy Strick about new media art

neme.org:
"[New media art] questions everything, the most fundamental
assumptions: What is a work? How do you collect? What is
preservation? What is ownership? All of those things that museums are
based upon and structured upon are pretty much thrown open to
question."
Jeremy Strick, Director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

In this comment, Jeremy Strick is both correct and being rhetorical.
Lots of contemporary art raises these same questions. New media art,
particularly in its network-based incarnations, does so perhaps more
consistently, but none of the questions raised is radically new. In
fact, one of the results of institutions' early investigations of
collecting new media, the Variable Media Initiative, is significant
precisely because of its cross-medium applicability. Nevertheless,
there is a kind of crisis of collection - and hence cultural memory -
because of the paucity of work in museum collections and the nature
of new media art, which makes it difficult to recover adequately past
a certain point.
It is fair to say that even among the few museums that have
relatively active curatorial efforts in new media, none has a
collection that even approaches the scope of its holdings in other
media that its exhibits. At the same time, since at least 1997 when
Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz first presented their Satellite
Arts Project, and certainly since the invention of the World Wide Web
in the early 90s, there has been an explosion of artistic new media
activity, as is well documented on a website such as Rhizome or the
archives of the Ars Electronica Festival, which presented for its
25th year in 2004.
Why? What accounts for this discrepancy between artistic activity and
institutional collecting?

New article by Steve Dietz published in NeMe http://www.neme.org on
http://neme.org/main/524/collecting-new-media-art
Originally by neme.org from Rhizome.org Raw at November 11, 2006,
19:58, published by Pau Waelder
Type review
Genre theory
Keywords memory, exhibition, digital, art world, archive
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