Live Stage: Unsitely Aesthetics [tr Istanbul]

ISEA Istanbul presents Unsitely Aesthetics: the Reconfiguring of Public Space in Electronic Art — Chair Per­son: Maria Mi­randa; Pre­sen­ters: Bran­don La­Belle, Dar­ren Tofts, Re­nate Ferro, Tim­o­thy Mur­ray :: Sep­tem­ber 17, 2011; 9:00 – 10:30 am :: Sa­banci Cen­ter Room 2, Sa­banci Cen­ter, Lev­ent.

This panel ex­plores the mul­ti­ple and di­verse ways artists are work­ing in pub­lic space within the con­text of net­work cul­ture where being in two places at once, or the su­per­im­pos­ti­tion of real and vir­tual space has be­come the com­mon ex­pe­ri­ence.

With the growth of the in­ter­net and mo­bile tele­phony across the globe we are wit­ness­ing new con­fig­u­ra­tions of pub­lic space and pub­lic cul­ture. In his con­clu­sion to the book Net­worked Publics, Kazys Var­nelis de­scribes this new state of af­fairs as net­work cul­ture and pro­poses that net­work cul­ture has re­placed the log­ics of both mod­ernism and post­mod­ernism, be­com­ing the dom­i­nant cul­tural logic of our age. As the con­di­tions of net­work cul­ture ex­pand many artists are forg­ing a new re­la­tion­ship with the in­ter­net, not as a medium, but rather as an­other site of their work.

Today it is not the vir­tual as a sep­a­rate space apart that is of in­ter­est, but the fact that the lay­er­ing of the vir­tual sits be­side every­day life through con­nec­tion. For many artists the in­ter­net is now act­ing as one site of the work as well as an­other form of pub­lic space. These artists are leav­ing the stu­dio be­hind, mov­ing and work­ing in pub­lic spaces, in a process that is both mo­bile and no­madic.

Un­sitely Aes­thet­ics refers to a par­tic­u­lar aes­thet­ics that has emerged with this mo­bile and no­madic shift in artis­tic prac­tices. Un­sitely plays with the fig­ure of site, a well-re­hearsed fig­ure in con­tem­po­rary art, but sug­gests a cur­rent dis­tur­bance of both sit­ed­ness and sight­li­ness. These un­sitely/un­sightly works utilise a DIY ap­proach un­con­cerned with is­sues of beauty or tra­di­tional no­tions of spec­ta­tor­ship, and they often use laugh­ter and hu­mour to get at some­thing else. While un­sitely up­sets site’s sin­gu­lar lo­ca­tion it sug­gests a space of ten­sion, am­bi­gu­ity and po­ten­tial.

This panel ex­plores the mul­ti­ple and di­verse ways artists are work­ing in pub­lic space within the con­text of net­work cul­ture where being in two places at once, or the su­per­im­pos­ti­tion of real and vir­tual space has be­come the com­mon ex­pe­ri­ence.

How is net­work cul­ture shift­ing the no­tion of both place and pub­lic art for spa­tial media art prac­tices? In par­tic­u­lar how is the in­ter­net a site/un­site of pub­lic art? How does site work in media art prac­tices that exist across media and in dif­fer­ent places?

Paper Ab­stracts

Pub­lic In­ti­macy
by Bran­don La­Belle

In­creas­ingly our ex­pe­ri­ences of pub­lic space in­clude pri­vate ex­pres­sions, per­sonal emo­tions and in­ti­mate se­crets: the strict di­vide be­tween in­te­rior life and the out­side world has dra­mat­i­cally shifted, lead­ing to a new no­tion of pub­lic in­ti­macy. To be in­volved in each other’s lives has taken on new di­men­sions as net­worked cul­ture de­liv­ers home life to dis­tant ge­o­gra­phies and per­sonal mes­sages to nu­mer­ous points of open con­tact.

Ex­plor­ing the theme of pub­lic in­ti­macy my pre­sen­ta­tion maps out this new un­der­stand­ing of com­mu­nity and pub­lic­ness by con­sid­er­ing dig­i­tal ex­change as a gift-econ­omy. While the in­ter­net and net­worked economies have cer­tainly spawned an array of new forms of con­sumerism based en­tirely on money and credit, it has also in­tro­duced forms of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, shar­ing, ex­change and col­lab­o­ra­tion that might be viewed as sup­ple­men­tal, that is, as an ad­di­tional for­ma­tion of econ­omy in which to be on-line is to give and re­ceive.

Such a per­spec­tive may be found through a num­ber of artis­tic works. For in­stance in Christin Lahr’s Macht Geschenke work, a daily pro­ject of trans­fer­ring one cent through on-line bank­ing to the coun­try of Ger­many along with a quote from Das Kap­i­tal, or Seppuko.​com, a site that sup­ports in­di­vid­u­als to com­mit face­book sui­cide, the econ­omy of being on-line can be traced through as­pects of ex­cess, ex­pen­di­ture, sac­ri­fice, and gen­eros­ity. Fol­low­ing such works, the in­ter­net will be un­der­scored as a per­for­ma­tive iden­ti­fi­ca­tion with oth­ers that cre­ates un­steady forms of in­ti­macy equally in­spir­ing for imag­in­ing new forms of al­liance, friend­ship, and shar­ing as well as artis­tic in­ter­ven­tion.

Sit­ings of Art in Un­sitely Places: the City as Ate­lier Aleatoire
by Dar­ren Tofts

Draw­ing on Guy De­bord’s no­tions of the de­rive and de­tourne­ment, as well as Ouli­pean con­cepts of po­ten­tial­ity and be­com­ing, this paper will en­gage with the au­thor’s re­cent ex­per­i­ments in re­defin­ing urban space as aes­thetic space. It will offer a crit­i­cal en­gage­ment with the au­thor’s de­tourned ex­pe­ri­ence of the chance iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of po­ten­tial, or ac­ci­den­tal art in the streets of Mel­bourne and Rome, a com­men­tary upon emer­gent sit­ings of art in un­sitely places. It will also argue for an al­ter­na­tive con­cep­tion of art in­stal­la­tion be­yond the sit­u­at­ed­ness of the gallery, using GPS satel­lite co-or­di­nates to di­rect local and re­mote vis­i­tors to si­mul­ta­ne­ously en­gage with un­sitely aes­thet­ics in both cities, thereby ex­tend­ing both telem­at­i­cally and aes­thet­i­cally the no­tion of what art and in­stal­la­tion can be­come.

Un­cer­tain Aes­thet­ics: Net­works in the Age of Emerg­ing Tech­nol­ogy
by Re­nate Ferro and Tim­o­thy Mur­ray

We un­der­stand Un­cer­tain Aes­thet­ics to be a crit­i­cal com­po­nent in the per­for­ma­tive spaces be­tween con­tem­po­rary con­cep­tions of net­works. The surge of dig­i­tal ac­cu­mu­la­tion, the con­tin­ual sur­prise of in­for­ma­tional tex­ture and the lay­ers of ex­pres­sive mul­ti­plic­ity are what lend net­works their cre­ative power – as net­works in­ter­face both real and vir­tual spaces. We are at­tracted in our cu­ra­to­r­ial and artis­tic work to pro­jects that cap­i­tal­ize on the ex­pan­sive­ness of the dig­i­tal and that con­front the user with the re­al­i­ties of undis­ci­plined knowl­edge. Undis­ci­plined, that is, as we em­brace it from within the legacy of in­ter­ac­tiv­ity, a prac­tice that both so­lic­its the user to re­spond to a set of pre­de­ter­mined choices and gives it­self over to the users’ mo­men­tary stages, cre­at­ing works whose al­go­rithms leave them in­com­plete.

Un­sitely Aes­thet­ics: Per­for­ma­tive En­coun­ters in Pub­lic Space
by Maria Mi­randa

Tra­di­tion­ally, pub­lic art or art in pub­lic spaces has been as­so­ci­ated with work that is, as Claire Do­herty stated in her cu­ra­to­r­ial pro­ject One Day Sculp­ture, “per­ma­nently sited, mon­u­men­tal and com­mem­o­ra­tive.” In my paper I will pre­sent and dis­cuss work that is made for, and in, pub­lic space, but in con­trast to this de­scrip­tion or de­f­i­n­i­tion, is nei­ther mon­u­men­tal nor fixed. Rather the prac­tices I am con­cerned with play out in pub­lic spaces (in­clud­ing the in­ter­net) but are not con­sid­ered pub­lic art. They work si­mul­ta­ne­ously across a num­ber of sites, both on­line and of­fline, and uti­lize a range of media strate­gies and in­ter­ven­tions. They are ephemeral, net­worked and per­for­ma­tive. I call these art prac­tices un­cer­tain and argue they exist at the in­ter­sec­tion of media art and con­tem­po­rary art. I pro­pose that these un­cer­tain prac­tices cre­ate a dif­fer­ent aes­thet­ics, one that I call un­sitely.

Bios of the Par­tic­i­pants

Maria Mi­randa is a post-doc­toral fel­low in the School of Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, Arts and Crit­i­cal En­quiry at La Trobe Uni­ver­sity, Mel­bourne. In 2009 she com­pleted her Ph.D the­sis en­ti­tled, Un­cer­tain Prac­tices Un­sitely Aes­thet­ics at Mac­quarie Uni­ver­sity, Syd­ney. Maria is a media artist who works in col­lab­o­ra­tion with sound artist Norie Neu­mark as Out-of-Sync. Their work has been ex­hib­ited na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally. She lives and works in Mel­bourne, Aus­tralia.

Bran­don La­Belle is an artist and writer. His work ad­dresses the re­la­tion of the pub­lic and the pri­vate, for­mal and in­for­mal cul­tures, so­cial­ity and the nar­ra­tives of every­day life, using per­for­mance and sited con­struc­tions as cre­ative sup­ple­ments to ex­ist­ing con­di­tions. His work has been fea­tured at Sonic Acts, Am­s­ter­dam (2010), A/V Fes­ti­val, New­cas­tle (2008, 2010), Mu­se­um­sQuartier/ Ton­spur, Vi­enna (2009), 7th Bi­enal do Mer­co­sul, Porto Al­le­gro (2009), Cen­ter for Cul­tural De­con­t­a­m­i­na­tion, Bel­grade (2009), Casa Vecina, Mex­ico City (2008), Fear of the Known, Cape Town (2008), Nether­lands Media Art In­sti­tute, Am­s­ter­dam (2003, 2007), Ybakatu Gallery, Cu­ritiba, Brazil (2003, 2006, 2009), Sin­guhr Gallery, Berlin (2004), and ICC, Tokyo (2000). He is the au­thor of Back­ground Noise: Per­spec­tives on Sound Art (Con­tin­uum, 2006) and Acoustic Ter­ri­to­ries: Sound Cul­ture and Every­day Life (Con­tin­uum, 2010). He is cur­rently Pro­fes­sor in New Media at the Na­tional Acad­emy of the Arts in Bergen, Nor­way.

Dar­ren Tofts is Pro­fes­sor of Media and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Fac­ulty of Life and So­cial Sci­ences, Swin­burne Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy, Mel­bourne. His pub­li­ca­tions in­clude Pre­fig­ur­ing Cy­ber­cul­ture: An In­tel­lec­tual His­tory, Il­logic of Sense: The Gre­gory L. Ulmer Remix, Mem­ory Trade: A Pre­his­tory of Cy­ber­cul­ture, Par­al­lax: Es­says on Art, Cul­ture and Tech­nol­ogy and In­ter­zone: Media Arts in Aus­tralia.

Re­nate Ferro is a media artist work­ing in emerg­ing tech­nol­ogy and cul­ture. Her artis­tic prac­tice re­flects crit­i­cal in­ter­ac­tiv­ity in­cor­po­rat­ing so­cial and the­o­ret­i­cal par­a­digms of the psy­cho­log­i­cal and so­ci­o­log­i­cal con­di­tion with net­works of tech­nol­ogy. Most re­cently her work has been fea­tured at The Dorksy Gallery (NY), The Hemi­spheric In­sti­tute and FOMMA (Mex­ico), and The Janus Pan­no­n­ius Muzeum (Hun­gary). Her work has been pub­lished in such jour­nals as Di­a­crit­ics, The­atre Jour­nal, and Epoch. She is a co-mod­er­a­tor for the on­line new media list serve -empyre—soft-skinned space and the art/imag­ing ed­i­tor of the jour­nal DI­A­CRIT­ICS (http://​muse.​jhu.​edu/​journals/​diacritics/​) pub­lished by the Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­sity Press. Re­nate Ferro is a Vis­it­ing As­sis­tant Pro­fes­sor in the De­part­ment of Art at Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity teach­ing dig­i­tal media and the­ory. She also di­rects the Tin­ker Fac­tory, a cre­ative re­search lab for Re­search De­sign, Cre­ativ­ity and In­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary Tech­nol­ogy .

Tim­o­thy Mur­ray is Di­rec­tor of the So­ci­ety for the Hu­man­i­ties, Pro­fes­sor of Com­par­a­tive Lit­er­a­ture and Eng­lish, and Cu­ra­tor of the Rose Gold­sen Archive of New Media Art, at Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity. He is co-mod­er­a­tor of the -empyre—soft-skinned space, new media list­serv and the au­thor of Dig­i­tal Baroque: New Media Art and Cin­e­matic Folds (Min­nesota 2008); Zonas de Con­tacto: el arte en CD-ROM (Cen­tro de la im­a­gen, 1999); Drama Trauma: Specters of Race and Sex­u­al­ity in Per­for­mance, Video, Art (Rout­ledge, 1997); Like a Film: Ide­o­log­i­cal Fan­tasy on Screen, Cam­era and Can­vas (Rout­ledge, 1993); The­atri­cal Le­git­i­ma­tion: Al­le­gories of Ge­nius in XVI­Ith-Cen­tury Eng­land and France (Ox­ford, 1987). He is ed­i­tor of Mime­sis, Masochism & Mime: The Pol­i­tics of The­atri­cal­ity in Con­tem­po­rary French Thought (Michi­gan, 1997) and, with Alan Smith, Re­pos­ses­sions: Psy­cho­analy­sis and the Phan­tasms of Early-Mod­ern Cul­ture (Min­nesota, 1997). His cu­ra­to­r­ial pro­jects in­clude CTHE­ORY MUL­TI­ME­DIA and Con­tact Zones: The Art of the CD-Rom.

Aug 31, 16:05
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