Friday, April 18, 2008

The rise of the net art market...

Dear Ela,

Thank you for your thougths about the Transmediale. I really appreciate it, as I wasn't able to come to Berlin and see it. As a matter of fact for the last few months I have been immersed into the production of my own work for several upcoming shows and projects – I just gave three new performances (of my "Website Impersonations: The Ten Most Visited" series) here in New York – and, there will also be new work to see in Europe! I am actually looking forward to digest, take time to think through, and share with you all the feedback I have received so far to my new work... but that's for another time...
This work mode of mine has made it quite difficult to let me step away from it (I love it though, don't get me wrong!) and go  and "physically" see other shows... So I have been at least trying to follow shows and blogs and lists online to see what else is going on...

A very passionate discussion has developed on rhizome's discussion list about a show that is about to open tonight at the iMAL Center for Digital Cultures and Technology in Brussels. "Holy Fire. Art of the Digital Age", curated by Yves Bernard and Domenico Quaranta, featuring New Media artists, who show their work in galleries and/or whose work is part of collections around the globe. (The show also runs during Art Brussels.)

What an engaging idea to address the question of net art and New Media Art, and its stand in the art market, in a show! And, also, to ask the question of how and what to collect when collecting New Media Art. A topic we came across several times in our discussion, Ela!?

Fascinating, that the announcement and press release of this exhibition has already triggered a fiery discussion online before the show has even opened! So we are having a hot topic here!

While reading through quite a lot of the above mentioned discussion thread I noticed several times statements of how weak of a concept this is for a show, to organize an exhibition around New Media Art and the art market. But it seems to hit the nerve and addresses important issues of how these are coming closer to each other. In a larger sense the show seems to be about the general development of New Media Art being "art", moving into the center of contemporary art, being it.  

And there seems to be fear and confusion in regard to the art market, of course! But i think that as an artist you can, and have to also – along with the production of your work – create the terms of how your work is shown, and eventually how it is sold.  And why not, why not try to "live" from your art? That's why I think an exhibition and a panel discussing net art and New Media Art – all this "immaterial" art that is therefore impossible to collect , but which is now after all moving into the contemporary art world and the market –  is a fabulous fact to bring to everyone's attention! Why not make this development an open process – let's look how it works! This might trigger yet other models of how to show and produce and collect (net art and new media) works! So many new possibilities are on the horizon. 

Maybe we are ready to understand now how to collect something immaterial. In my opinion the beauty and strength of web-driven art, is its "aliveness", that something is part of the art piece, something that can also change (that would be the web-component, the traffic, the code, etc.) This is new... Maybe an analogy to this would be investing into the stock market; well you do not exactly "know" what you get, you have to "tend" to it... (this is the only analogy). So why not collect something that has a "live" component? But maybe that's just me now fantasizing of the next step in the process... 

Altogether, the idea of the show certainly gets you going... even before seeing it... Too bad though that "Holy Fire" only runs for ten days, that's a pity. April 18-30, 2008. I am currently trying to squeeze a visit to Brussels into my schedule... It looks tight though, as I am opening two shows of my own in the near future.

It would be great to have the upcoming panel discussion, which is part of the show, happening at Art Brussels this Saturday, April 19, from 11:30 - 13:30, streaming on the Web! (Is it maybe??)

Ela, BTW, I also just came across a blog asking the question: Is there such a thing as the new media market? This is a research project by the "HAMACA collective."

I am ending my post here today with some self promotion, why not. As I am wrapping up my work for Europe, I am happy to announce that I will be showing my work at Galerie Dana Charkasi in Vienna, "confirming" that new media and internet-driven works find its entry into Galleries worldwide! :-) And into the Theater! Looking forward to our new blog-inspired project at Theater am Neumarkt in Zürich...

Greetings from New York – see you on the other side of the Atlantic!