[iDC] media curating as montage - folk tale samizdat, etc
cpr at mindspring.com
Fri Aug 24 17:48:11 UTC 2007
Pulling into focus here ( after extracting myself from a summer
dalliance in a wildlife refuge! ) and in response to Barbara’s call
as well as Paul’s recent post, I’d like to contribute some additional
historical curatorial and programming notes.
As have numerous others, my own practices have been committed to the
positioning of various cultural trajectories of “identity politics “
within the larger cultural frame during the past twenty years or so.
I’ve been fortunate to have had the insight, support and enthusiasm
of a wide range of artists, intellectuals and colleagues in fostering
these curatorial and programming initiatives.
A cultural event which may well be of interest to this list is one
that seemingly has been swept behind the screen of most digital media
theorists, curators and practitioners. Shortly after graduate
school, I unexpectedly found myself as a Co-Director of Icata ’90
( The International Conference on the Alternative Use of Technology
for AIDS ) and On-line Against AIDS, a six city international
computer network – a global cultural event if you will–took place
between Amsterdam, New York, San Francisco, Rio De Janeiro, Sydney
and Tokyo. In Amsterdam, the Seropositive Ball was framed as a
comprehensive cultural and political manifestation for people with
and without AIDS which, among many other offerings, allowed access to
“easy-to-use” Apple Macintosh computers, thus providing information
regarding health issues and instantaneous international communication
around the Sixth International Conference on AIDS being held in San
Francisco in June, 1990. It was then billed as a “ trans-oceanic
multi-media communications event . ” Other co-directors included Lee
Felsenstein and Mark Graham – both well-known and respected
technologists and social activists, as well as Arawn Ebilon and Rama
of Act Now. Technically speaking, it was Lee and Mark that brought
this global network together using the program “Red Ryder ” and it’s
fascinating to look back on the exchange.
The support of cultural institutions throughout the Bay Area was
remarkable and ranged from “alternative “spaces such as Art Com
Network, Capp Street Project, New Langton Arts, the San Francisco
Cinematheque, and Southern Exposure to the San Francisco Art
Institute to San Francisco General Hospital and the Marriott Hotel.
The curatorial programming included a searing performance by Diamanda
Galas at Capp St. Project as well as an exhibition which included
artists such as Salman Ahmad, Gregg Bordowitz, Gran Fury, Raifka
Gonzales, Joe Goode, Lyle Ashton Harris, Jenny Holtzer, Barbara
Krueger, Marcus Nizario, Marlon Riggs, Nino Rodriquez, David
Wojnarowicz, and Matias Viegner, as well as video programming from
Video Data Bank curated by John Greyson, for one.
It was a different moment …
This was followed by a number of curatorial and cultural projects
which ranged from exhibitions such as 1991- “Mass Media, Virtual
Reality and the Persian Gulf War ( somehow this seems like
yesterday!) ”- a symposium at the San Francisco Art Institute with
Frances Dyson, Douglas Kahn, Margaret Morse, Chris Robbins, Avital
Ronell, and Allucquere Rosanne Stone. This coincided with an
exhibition at SFAI , “Telesthesia”, a collaborative audio
installation by Frances Dyson and Douglas Kahn.
Also in 1991, the SFAI Artist Committee’s Annual Committee curated an
exhibition “Transactions in the Post-Industrial Era, “ of which I
programmed the media-based artists. These included: Burt Barr,
Nancy Buchanan, Gran Fury, George LeGrady, Tony Oursler, Martha
Rosler, Christine Tamblyn, and TVTV.
This is accompanied by a catalog.
1992- “22 Million very Tired and Very Angry People“ by Carrie Mae
Weems at which was the Adeline Kent Award Exhibition curated by the
SFAI Artists Committee of which I was Chair. This, too, is
accompanied by a catalog.
As Executive Co-Director of an alternative space in San Francisco,
New Langton Arts, 1993-95, I had the opportunity to implement a
number of curatorial and programming directives in Visual Art and
Media. Many of these had various supplementary materials ranging
from catalogs to video to CD-Roms. These included artsits and
writers such as : Etel Adnan; Yasmine Bouziane’s “Inhabited by
Imaginings We Did Not Choose,” Victor Burgin’s, digital video
“Venise,” Lyle Ashton Harris and Thomas Harris’s “ Black Gold,” Media
Based Installation, George Legrady’s, Digital Media /Interactive
piece“Anthology of the Cold War; “ Gilles Peress, “ Farewell to
Bosnia;” ”Adrian Piper’s Video Installation “Black Box / White Box;”
Jayce Salloum’s Media Installation “ There was and there was not; ”
Connie Samaras’s media-based installation “ A Partial Correction to
the Representations of Earth Culture Sent Out to Extraterrestrials on
the United States 1977 Voyager Interstellar Space Probes; ” and
writer Jalal Toufic – to name but some. In 1995 artist and
professor, Larry Andrews and I programmed “ Archve ‘90” for the The
Living Room Festival on KQED ( a PBS affiliate.) Works included
were: Beth B’s “Amnesia,” Tony Cokes’ “Fade to Black,” John
dStefano’s ‘ “The Epistemology of Disco; “ and Branda Miller and the
Kids from Madison High’s “Talk about dropping out,” The entire
broadcast included an introduction by the perfomance artist, Rhodessa
Simultaneous to that, I along with several other media based artists
and programmers who ranged from Steve Anker, Craig Baldwin, Kathy
Geritz, Steve Seid, Jeffrey Skoller, Valerie Soe, Scott Stark, and
Jack Walsh, founded “ X-Factor, A National Coalition of Experimental
Media Makers. Not only did this have a material component, these
efforts resulted in an online conference whose shelf life extended
from1995-99. The Panelists for this conference included: Thyrza
Goodeve, Bill Horrigan, Laura Marks, Yvonne Rainer, Nino Rodriquez,
Keith Sanborn, David Sherman, Elisabeth Subrin and Julie Zando.
An excerpt from the X-Factor Manifesto follows:
“ To ignore or devalue the experimental media is nothing new.
Certainly part of the discipline's growing history is this legacy of
disregard. However, we find that the present support climate and its
insistence on utility is particularly threatening to the welfare of
the medium and its community of artists. This threat and its
deleterious effects has much to do with the fundamental nature of
experimental media and its relationship to an audience.
To understand the malign consequences one must have some sense of the
shape and motive of the concerned works. These works are guided by
one essential notion, that formal experimentation is an expression of
resistance. Once this primary notion is recognized, it becomes clear
that the alternative ideas and perspectives embedded in these works
commingle in a transfiguration of the medium. “
I will have this site reposted with the month and send out the url to
anyone who is interested.
This was followed a few years later by two discreet and major multi-
year initiatives – “AIM Festival for Time-Based Media” and “The Race
in Digital Space.” I was among the organizers and curators of Race in
Digital Space - along with colleagues Anna Everett, Henry Jenkins and
Tara McPherson, a multi-year project including conferences and art /
media exhibitions in both April 2001 and Fall 2002 at MIT and USC.
The initiative was supported by the Annenberg Center for
Communication and the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations. Our new media
research focused specifically on issues of convergence, race, and
The AIM III: Luna Park symposium brings together a diverse sampling
of artists, theorists, and scholars to reflect upon and debate
various issues engendered by contemporary visual art and media
practices, the advance of digital technologies, and systems of
entertainment. The symposium includes the panels 'Surface Play,'
looking at the intersections of h/activism and gaming culture;
'Display Panels, examining the art system's approach to exhibition
and display context; and 'Body Ploy' probing into issues of
prosthetic realism via robotics and avatars. It also hosted the US
siting of Coco Fusco’s and Ricardo Dominguez’s “Dolores from 10 to
10” and a digital video work Natalie’s Bookchin’s “MetaPet” at
MOCA’s satellite space in the Pacific Design Center, LA.
So … I hope this makes a contribution. If anyone would like any
further information, please feel free to contact me.
On Aug 23, 2007, at 8:15 PM, Barbara Lattanzi wrote:
> Folk Tale Samizdat
> Wladyslaw Starewicz, Frogland (1922)
> Anya Lewin and Lara Odell, Grandma Baba and Little Boris: a Russian
> Tony Cokes, Black Celebration (1988)
> Mike Kelley and Erika Beckman, Blind Country (1989)
> Flesh Work
> Willard Maas, The Mechanics of Love (1955)
> Keith Obadike, Sex Machines (2000)
> Scott Bartlett, OffOn (1968)
> Peggy Ahwesh, The Color of Love (1994)
> Willard Maas, Geography of the Body (1943)
> Stelarc, Alternate Interfaces (1992-2003 performances)
> Valie Export, Syntagma (1984)
> Harun Faroki, I Thought I Was Seeing Convicts (2000)
> Alex Rivera, A Visible Border (2003)
> iDC -- mailing list of the Institute for Distributed Creativity
> iDC at mailman.thing.net
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- JETZTZEIT -
... the space between zero and one ...
LOS ANGELES I SAN FRANCISCO
The present age prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to
the original, fancy to reality, the appearance to the essence for in
these days illusion only is sacred, truth profane.
Ludwig Feuerbach, 1804-1872,
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