Artworks from the Digital Era in Galleries and Museums
Brno House of Arts
22–23 October, 2019
A mere fifteen years ago, it seemed that electronic and new media would barely become accepted by established, institutional collections of modern and contemporary art. Around the year 2000, private collectors and state galleries still seldom, and often with suspicion, paid attention to electronic art works. Artists working in electronic media, and university-level art institutions looked upon electronic media departments with skepticism. But nowadays, new media, electronic, and digital art comprises a seminal part of most respected collections.
Since the closing of the 20th century, the (art) world has changed substantially, and new media are no longer a tactic, a strategy, or a statement, but rather one of the most popular means for commenting on the condition of 21st-century humanity. Artifacts which include an element of the electronic moving image, digital code, the static technical image or sound are no longer limited to projects focusing on new media, but have become an organic component of a large number of exhibitions. Even art works which are presented within the context of the internet or computer games appear in the acquisition-oriented endeavors of galleries and museums all around the world.
Media art is, however, very dependent on technologies which are quickly becoming outdated and are hard to acquire. Many media works are thus losing their potential for being exhibited within a very short span of time, or will eventually become lost forever. We are thus threatened with the prospect that we will lose a large part of our heritage of post-industrial digital culture, since a systematic, widely accepted and satisfactory methodology for their preservation and documentation is, even in this day and age, still non-existent.
In 2018, the New Media Center – Vašulka Kitchen Brno opened under the auspices of the Brno House of Arts. In collaboration with the Vašulkas, as well as with a number of international institutions, it has confronted the need for collecting and archiving electronic artworks.
- What is the current situation in the field of state-owned and private art collections, both Czech and abroad?
- What is the situation at universities which have expertise in creating and archiving video art, interactive audiovisual installations, net art, sound art and other art forms which are considered ‘new media’?
The colloquium entitled Digital-Era Art Works in Galleries and Museums intends to introduce, compare and discuss current knowledge, methods and practices of managing collections in galleries and museums, mainly across Central Europe.
The event is intended for curators, archivists, artist, and restorers working with collections, museums and galleries which contain documentation and artifacts which importantly feature analogue, digital, moving and generated images and sounds, as well as other art works whose essential characteristic is their instability.
This colloquium was initiated as a collaboration between Vasulka Kitchen Brno, a recently opened space and initiative for new media art, The House of Art Brno, and The National Film Archive (NFA) in Prague. The organizers decided to create an opportunity for sharing knowledge and working models of practices concerning both artist-led and institutional strategies for presenting, collecting and distributing electronic, digital or software-based art. What current strategies are available to secure digital art a place among the current models for the display, preservation and distribution of audiovisual arts?
On the first day of the colloquium two lecturers will present and discuss two examples of new media initiatives in their current situations and histories, with an outline of other related initiatives in this area: the C³ - Center for Culture and Communication of Central Europe (Hungary) and LIMA from Western Europe (Netherlands). Both institutions are part of a broader network consisting of many European initiatives and institutions focusing on promoting, collecting, preserving and mediating digital art, or moving images, and can serve as good model of small scale platforms with a long-term experience of managing and preserving collections and databases of audiovisual art both nationally and internationally. C³ was established in 1996 as one of the major projects of the Soros Center for Contemporary Arts Network for Eastern Europe. LIMA, a platform for media art, new technologies and digital culture, was founded in 2013 in Amsterdam as a follow up to the former Netherlands Media Art Institute. It was closed because it lost its funding. NMAi itself was transformed from the gallery MonteVideo founded in 1978 by René Coleho and which merged in 1993 with another organization, Time Based Arts. Both lecturers will share their long experience in working with new media and present their opinions on how the position of new media will develop.
On the second day, the program will focus on current discussions of practical though partly theoretical issues related to the application and development of digital tools as databases of art collection, and/or on different strategies of sharing to offer public access to cultural heritage. Archiving and sharing was one of the main subjects of Woody and Steina Vasulka approach since the beginning of their engagement with electronic image and tools. What is the media landscape like today after 50 years of new media history in this respect?
A lecture by the founding editor of Monoskop, the platform for collaborative studies of art, culture and media, and initiator of the networking cultural structure Multiplace will reflect on recent initiatives, approaches and tendencies in the field of preserving media art as media installations and digital art. Média art historian and theorist Jana Horáková (Masaryk University Brno) will present a current research project applied on the digital archive of The Vasulkas. Other speakers listed below will be confirmed soon.
Deadline for proposals was: 31 July, 2019
The detailed program will be announced here until September 25th
Center for Culture and Communication, Hungary
Miklos Peternák: Consecutio temporum beyond Grammar: The Past, Present and Future of C³
In this lecture I intend to share with you my experiences in the field of new media art, or better to say the relationship between contemporary art and the digital era, including the production, distribution, collection, interpretation and preservation of this type of art activity. These experiences are mainly related to the work of C³: Center for Culture and Communication Foundation which is a not for profit institution in Budapest. Since its initiation in 1996, C³ has focused on fostering integrating new technologies within social and cultural traditions. Founded as a space for innovative experiments and developments related to communication, culture and an open society, over the last two decades C³ has developed several layers and strategies. I try to highlight through a palimpsest-like chronology or via the changing initiatives and attitudes our attempts regarding the production of the new, the collection of the newly digital born entity or artwork, including the contextualisation and the preservation of the information about its existence. Further, I try to show that the creation of an institutional framework is a kind of metadata from the perspective of the artwork, while from the aspect of the institution the artworks could serve as the foundation or reason for its existence. Therefore some years ago I proposed to establish a media museum based on C³ collections, databases and networks, using a shift in perspective to reshape, rebrand the institutional activity based on the time past and also thinking on the potential future. Yet there is an unanswered question: What is the most relevant form of a contemporary institution with the goal to preserve and keep historically accessible our digital culture, if any?
It is a typically human experience to follow in real time how the new becomes old in the proces of ageing while it practically remains the same, which is – in accelerated form – the situation of media art works except for the fact that these products are even more fragile than humans. Here an obvious question arises: Is it still a valuable attitude to use the classical concepts of culture and responsibility in the post-information era? The question is not poetic, for I think the answer is yes.
Miklós Peternák (born in Esztergom, Hungary, lives in Budapest) is a writer, lecturer and film/video artist. He studied history and art history (PhD 1994: New Media – Art and Science). He was a member of the Béla-Balázs-Studio, Budapest (1981-87) and the Indigo-Group and head of the Intermedia Department at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts since its foundation, director of C³: Center for Culture and Communication (http://www.c3.hu/) since 1997. He has produced films and videos in the 1980s and published texts on art and media history. He has also organized diverse shows and events
LIMA, Amsterdam, NL
LIMA as a Platform for Media Art, New Technologies and Digital Culture
LIMA is a media art platform, agency and digital repository taking care of 1000 ends of media artworks for artists and collections. Since 2016 we are exploring more and more alternative ways to examine documentation and re-interpret it as an experimental but emerging practice for the conservation of media artworks. Media art is experienced through ever evolving technical media, browsers, networks, documentation and storage media. Digital art or media art, live art and performances are different from other art genres; they are dependent upon the practices not the objects, and upon the performative role of the spectator. Since the 1990s, the ephemerality and immateriality of much of these media art works have demanded the configuration of a new set of techniques to ensure their future transmission. However, the questions have been centered on technical responses to a rapid technological obsolescence, an everlasting continuum of deterioration of materials and requirements. Therefore, with the necessity to preserve long- term custody of media art, it is necessary to look beyond the object and medium. It is necessary to critically investigate existing documentation and preservation methods and develop alternatives.
The artistic choice for a (digital online) medium often implies specific ideas about the future and continuity of the artist’s work. Hence, the artist can provide insight into the creative process (sometimes as the only source) and deliver technical data needed for the work’s future accessibility. In the preservation research projects of LIMA, collaboration with multiple stakeholders and artists’ interviews are common practices. Sometimes it is even taken one step further when the artist is an active participant in preservation. Management and preservation starts with the production, which is often the source of the problem as well as of the solution: the artist, the formats, associated software and hardware, the quality, selection and organization of the files, and the additional information about them, are all actors in the process of the production and future life of a digital work of art.
I’ll share the questions and results of projects as the Artwork Documentation Tool, Do-It-Yourself tool for the documentation; video documentation practice and reinterpretation to capture the hybrid, contextual and live qualities of an ‘original’ piece, rather than proposing an ongoing process of changing technical platforms and operating systems.
In addition, LIMA is currently updating its digital repository and workflow. With an emphasis on net art and complex digital artworks, the new repository, collection information system, and associated workflows, are tailored to capturing the mutability inherent to the life cycle of digital artworks. The methodologies, requirements and architecture are being explored in the research project Art Host.
Gaby Wijers (Neth., 1959) is founder and director of LIMA, the international platform for sustainable access to media art. Previously she was a coordinator of collection, preservation and related research at the Netherlands Media Art Institute (NIMk), Amsterdam and head of collection of Theater Instituut Nederland (TIN), Amsterdam. She participates in national and international networks such as Foundation for the Conservation of Contemporary Art (SBMK), GAMA, DINAMO, Cultural Coalition for Digital Heritage (CCDD), Dutch Digital Heritage Network (NDE), is guest lecturer at Amsterdam University and honorable research fellow at Exeter University.
Amsterdam / Oslo
New Approaches in the Conservation of Contemporary Art
Following the early work in video art preservation in the 1980s and the 1990s, the efforts to preserve media installations and digital art and more recently net-based art contributed to raising the prospects for preserving media arts at large. Besides independent initiatives and private studies, a number of contemporary art museums have established media labs and adjusted working methods to address the new demands. However, this is still viewed as a luxury for most collections of media arts East and West, with funding, infrastructure and expertise lacking. The work not only requires an openness to a certain aesthetic, technical and caring sensibility, but also unflinching advocacy for its relevance, inside and outside the collection. In this lecture I will reflect on recent initiatives, approaches and tendencies in the field through my experience as a research fellow in the EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie-funded training network New Approaches in the Conservation of Contemporary Art (NACCA).
Dušan Barok is a research fellow and PhD candidate at the Media Studies Department of the University of Amsterdam. He is founding editor of the platform for collaborative studies of art, culture and media, Monoskop, and his practice involves networked media, participatory events and experimental publishing.
For recent publications see
Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, Brno
Towards an Augmented Media Art Historiography
Utilization of Artificial Neural Networks in the Analysis and Mediation of the Content of Steina and Woody Vašulka Archive
This paper presents the applied research project Media Art Live Archive: An Intelligent Interface for Interactive Mediation of Cultural Heritage supported by Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TA ČR). It is conducted by scholars from Masaryk University and Brno University of Technology in coordination with these external partners: the Center for New Media Arts – Vašulka Kitchen Brno and the Brno House of Arts. The main goal of the project is to develop artificial neural networks capable of effectively enhancing and/or innovating research methods applied on early video art. In addition to the experimental testing of IT tools in the media arts historiography, our goal is to develop proper interfaces which can convey early video art poetics to a contemporary audience.
This presentation will focus on the conceptual background and hypotheses determining the overall design of the research project. Answers to the following questions will be presented: What is the current situation regarding the preservation, archiving and mediation of media art? Can artificial neural networks serve as analytical tools applicable to new media art, especially video art? What known research methods do they simulate and what can they bring about from a methodological point of view? Partial knowledge and results of the research project will be presented.
Jana Horáková works as an associate professor (habilitation in aesthetics) at the Institute of Musicology, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University and a head of the Theory of Interactive Media study program. She graduated from the Dance Conservatory (secondary school), and after five year of being a member of the ballet company of the National Theatre in Prague she graduated in Theatrology from Masaryk University. Influenced by a study visit to the Media studies department of the University of Lapland (Finland), she began to study new media art with a focus on theatrical projects conducted in virtual reality and on robotic art and robotic performances. In recent years, she has focused on mapping new media art transformation following the burst of the so-called 'dot-com bubble', which manifests itself by establishing new academic subdisciplines: critical code studies, software studies, platform studies, etc. She conducted research into the relationship between living art and media, and in their archiving and mediation, as well. Most recently she has been exploring the potential of IT in the historiographic research of new media art (see the virtual reconstruction of the Computer Graphic exhibition curated by Jiří Valoch in 1968, Computer Graphics Re-visited, the Brno House of Arts 2017, 2018) and now she leads a research and development project in which artificial neural networks are trained and interactive interfaces developed to serve in the analysis and mediation of the Vasulka’s video archive
MICHAL KLODNER (NFA Prague): Model Sustainable Social Federated
Documentation of works of art and related events, as well as their presentation and distribution, are currently taking place on social media. Here we learn most of the information and social networks are often the primary source of photographs and various forms of moving images. They are used not only by artists, but also by curators, galleries and memory institutions. And they are used participatively by the public. Social media is an ideal source for curatorial and acquisition activities, covering the most of the current range of artistic activities. And often they are the only source. Commercially-oriented proprietary social media corporations do not offer much for organizing documentation and acquisition activities. The provision of such instruments does not fit their business model. However, there is an advanced free software infrastructure that allows smaller or larger institutions and individual artists to run their own nodes of large federated social networks. And there are living artistic communities that have already adopted these networks. Their advantage is of course access to their own data, which can thus be transmitted in full quality to both public distribution channels and private archiving or internal channels.
Software such as Diaspora, Mastodon, Hubzilla, Peertube, Funkwhale, Pixelfed, Nextcloud, Wordpress and many others have a wide range of functionality for artistic digital infrastructures and can connect social communication and interaction on all installed nodes using internal protocols like ActivityPub or Zot. All channels can be transparently monitored and shared to curated or private acquisition and archival channels, and the same way by the same tools communicate directly with their originators.
Federated social media can also be called low-power media, running on minimized devices such as Raspberry Pi with low resource requirements and low consumption, suitable for a sustainable model of operation. Their strength lies in a greater number of interconnected nodes, which can also be mutually backed up or temporarily and permanently substitute each other in their functions, which corresponds to the organizational model of cooperation of independent and established cultural institutions.
Michal Klodner works in the field of visual and audiovisual live performances and independent film. As an assistant he worked at FAMU and completed his doctoral studies on the subject of postmediality. He is involved in digital curation of film archives and research in the field of documentation, presentation and analysis of moving images.
SASHA ARDEN (New York):
The Potential of Augmented Reality (AR) in the Virtual Performance of Time-Based Media Art
This presentation explores the potential of AR as a tool to preserve the experience of time-based artworks no longer able to function in their original iteration due to damage, obsolescence, or other barriers. Elements such as moving image or kinetic motion could exist as virtual visual layers integrated with the original object, or alongside it. As an alternative to an exhibition copy or displaying an object with documentation of its past function, AR offers a unique method to connect time-based, work-defining elements to their physical anchors and keep such artworks accessible to viewers. By proposing the application of AR technology through case studies, some limitations will be discussed, as well as questions around ethics and authenticity.
Sasha Arden (pronouns they/them/their) is a graduate candidate in Conservation and Art History at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, specializing in Time-Based Media. Their previous experience includes installation of media-based artworks at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, managing media exhibits at the Oakland Museum of California, overseeing all audiovisual resources at the San Francisco Art Institute, and as adjunct Instructor for media production in the Sculpture Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Sasha completed their Bachelor of Fine Arts at SAIC in 2004, and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Writing at SAIC in 2005.
ANNA OLSZEWSKA (Krakow): Re:Senster Poject:
There is a Script-to-Design Path that Leads Through the Media Art Restoration Maze
The turbulent history of Senster, a large cybernetic sculpture designed by Edward Ihnatowicz in c. 1970 is a classic example of pioneering media artwork saga. Divided in two periods: the creation and prematurely cancelled display (1968-1974), and its recent reactivation (2017-2018) the history provokes questions on continuity and authenticity of the lost and found pieces. For this reason I take recent experience of Senster’s reactivation as a starting point for discussion on maintenance and display of media art. Reflecting on the lifecycle of the piece I propose a script-to-design path for consideration in broader context of the art conservation strategy. I intend to argue that once a piece is to be recreated in a reliable way a meticulous assessment of the engineered components should precede the study of the freely designed structure. Referring to the outcomes of the Senster reactivation process I would like to show that in a preliminary phase of the process it is highly profitable to observe the engineered (script based) structures in every detail and do the most meticulous reverse-engineering possible, no matter whether it relates to the control system, mechanics or construction engineering since the engineering components are a priority in dictating the scope and sequence of the restoration project and a benchmark for the reconstruction of the freely designed elements. I expect that various configurations of script and design qualities would characterize a broader class of hardware-based interactive systems restoration projects
Anna Olszewska Background in Arts and Humanities. Experience in the visual studies, image analysis, print history, history of science and curatorship. Working for the Print Room of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Science and Technology in Krakow. PhD degree in Art History (Jagiellonian University, Kraków), and MA degree in Art History and Religious Studies (idem.) Working on projects connected with the performative function of images and the history of science. Initiator and curator of the Re:Senster project.
TOMÁŠ LAHODA (Prague / Pardubice): Ethereal Body
In contemporary art, there is an increasing number of artworks made of ephemeral, unstable and easily degrading materials. These are very difficult to stabilize or consolidate, so that their unavoidable degrdation could be stopped, or at least their lifespan prolonged. Due to that, their preservation and restoration is often very problematic. Furthermore, in many cases, there is a discrepancy between two contradictory standpoints – the intentions of the artist contra responsibilities, wishes or interests of the stakeholders, owners, or those, who are in charge of the preservation, as is especially the case of a museum. Artworks are often created by the artists with the intention to deteriorate, the change of materials and their degradation is part of the meaning.
This presentation deals with one such example, presenting an artwork where the consolidation - and the preservation of the work as such – presents an almost unresolvable hamletian question – a dilema of cosolidation and prolongation of its agony, or an inevitable complete replacement with all the consequences, may it be ethical, esthetical or philosophical. Furthemore, problems on another level are briefly outlined – such as the individual personal evaluations and conceptions of the same artwork performed by proffesionals in charge, that may be completely contradictory, as well as the changing intention of the artist/author of the work in time and its consequences.
Prof. ak. mal. Tomáš Lahoda (born 1954 in Prague), artist, teacher and restorer. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, from 1993-1998 he was the head of the Painting Studio at the Jutland Academy of Fine Arts in Arhus, Denmark, 2007-2012 head of the Painting I studio at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Brno University of Technology. Since 2013 lectures on restoration of modern and contemporary art at The Faculty of Restauration of the Pardubice University.
FLÓRA BARKÓCZI (Budapest):
Artworks and Documents in the Context of New Technologies at Artpool Art Research Center
My presentation introduces the Budapest based Artpool Art Research Center’s activities in preserving and presenting experimental forms of art (fluxus, mail art, conceptual art, performance, visual poetry, sound art, fax art, etc.) from the sixties on, in the context of the developments of new electronic and digital technologies.
Collecting artworks and documents related to ephemeral art practices has been an essential focus of Artpool since its establishment in 1979. It initiated and organized several projects reflecting on the approaches of new technologies. The series of Artpool Radio cassettes between 1983-87 included sound documents of the underground art scene and sound materials from the international network. The international telecommunication project Telephone concert Budapest–Vienna–Berlin organized by Robert Adrian X and Artpool in 1983 was followed in 1993 by the electronic communication happening Danube Connection, combining the medium of fax, picture phone, video, telephone and performance. The first fax action realized by Artpool in 1992 connected artists from around the world in the frameworks of the Decentralized World-wide Networker Congress Budapest Session. The audiovisual materials generated, collected or documented by Artpool not only become part of the archive’s collection, but – based on the “active archive” concept – they circulate in publications, events and exhibitions conceptualized by Artpool up to this day repeatedly. Artpool’s website – created in 1995 by the founder György Galántai as part of his artistic and curatorial practice – also serves as a reflection on the developments of new technologies, and at the same time presents artworks and documents from the archive’s collection.
Along with Artpool’s integration into the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest in 2015, the archival materials became part of the museum’s collection, therefore also requiring the adaptation of new strategies in preserving and presenting the available materials, including performance videos, audio recordings, webpages, sound installations, etc. This paper aims to present Artpool’s strategies of making accessible archival materials based on analogue and digital technologies in the last 40 years.
Flóra Barkóczi is an art historian and archivist working at Artpool Art Research Center in Budapest. She studied art history at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, and at the Humboldt Universität in Berlin. After finishing her studies she worked at Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center and acb ResearchLab, Budapest. Her research interest includes the avantgarde art scene of the 1960-70s in the East-Central European region, conceptual art, photography and the use of new technologies in art. She is currently working on a research project on the internet based art practices in the 1990s in Hungary. She regularly publishes essays, critiques and reviews in English and Hungarian.
Carolin Pommert: Between Creation and Preservation
– the position of a gallery in saving multimedia art for the future
With a close look at two to three example works been created and/or managed by the gallery, I want to illustrate the workflow and possibilities of an international working gallery in the field of preservation. Most of the galleries do not have a conservator (specialized in multimedia art) in their team and do not confront future problematics with this kind of art works. As a result many multimedia pieces degrade and technical equipment as VHS-recorders, camcorders, 16mm film rolls, CRT-monitors age in wooden crates without anyone noticing it. After some years new solutions need to be found to make it possible to reinstall the art works again.
Often a digitization and new technical equipment is needed to have the possibility for a reinstallation. But this comes with an actual change of the art work which the artist needs to authorize. Technically, as long as the artist is fine with the „redesign“ of his artwork, it is not a problem, but on the other hand the gallery pushes the change of an art work for more showing and selling potentiales. At the same time there is not enough time to do proper research and conservation to the hard- and software of the art works, which could give a true to the original experience with in the viewer. While the changes happen in discussion between technicians, the sales team, the artist liaisons and the artists, a documentation of the „preservation“ process is not recorded. After finishing a project rudimental notes are saved in a data base and most of the time, only technical informations are transferred verbal. Which means, if one team member leaves the gallery, the knowledge of his work leaves as well and it probably will not be handed over with the art work to future collectors and conservators. Next to the hardware also databases and file types need to be checked and managed for preservation, which is also not mainly in the focus of a gallery. Instead the gallery focuses onto file types and data transfer in the present, rarely the future readability of those files is kept in mind.
As a trained conservator for photographs and multimedia art and after working for museums, I got confronted with different views on the preservation of art works in the gallery. I tried to find a way in sensitizing my team about the preservation of (multimedia art works, but also myself in questioning a conservators role in my actual job. A gallery is a commercial enterprise which needs to generate money to be able to produce art. Preserving multimedia art (and art in general) is not a main topic for galleries at the moment, but should it be?
Carolin Pommert is freelancing conservator of photographic and audiovisual heritage head of archive and preservation at the contemporary art gallery neugerriemschneider - Berlin
Master degree: Entrepreneur NOVIA University of Applied Science, Jakobstadt (Finland)
Bachelar degree: Restoration / Conservation of Audiovisual and Photographic Heritage University of Applied Science, HTW-Berlin
Frederic Curien: The processing of the Vasulkas archive
Between Conservation and Activation
The SLIDERS_lab [Frederic Curien, Jean-Marie Dallet] is a collective artists who had worked with Steina and Woody Vasulka since 2013. With them and also separatly this group proceed the processing of the Vasulkas archive following two strategies:
conservation — update, creation of new entities — and activation — Reinterpretation as the exploration of the past from the present, devise other futures.
1 – Conservation
1.1 – Update and creation of new pictures
‘Update’ means the possibility of improving the original digital file quality by rewritting it with new softwares. In fact what could be consider as a mild transgression of the ‘original’ is an update or more an ‘actualization’ of the digital folder. I've used this strategy of conservation with two series of Woody Vasulka's artworks, Time/Energy Objects (1974) and Lucifer’s Commission (1981). I indeed have organized a production of three sets of twenty-three pictures of these images with the Liedts-Meesen Foundation (Ghent, Belgium) and Fresnoy Studio (Roubaix, France). The first part of this production allowed us to improve Woody Vasullka’s original files with a specific work on Adobe Photoshop software. This step prepared the development of two new photographies series with a Durst Lambda machine that have increased Woody Vasulka's artwork.
1.2 – Creation of a new archive place
VIM (Vasulka Interactive Multimedia, 2013-2019) is an interactive archive console organizing the navigation in a Vasulka’s database containing more than four thousand documents: texts, discussions, drawings, programs, catalogues, photographies, videos, and more. These documents are classified by creation and placed on a virtual cylinder that are all arranged one above the other building an archive tower. The viewer can turned these cylinders to the left or right from three touch screens placed vertically to consult the views. Then you had, again, three touch screens arranged horizontally on the furniture. The one on the far left showed an enlargement of the consulted image, the one in the middle showed a video of the creation, while the one on the far right presented a cartel with a title, the year of creation, the inventory number and more. There is also an internet connection that allowed anyone who is authorized to connect to the database and add informations.
2 – Activation
2.1 – Reinterpretation as a new fiction
In this case reinterpretation is a creative act that interrogate the original to move it in new fictional territories. Lucifer’s Commission (2015) belongs to this class. Three films were made using the images from the Time/Energy Objects and Lucifer's Commission series. Each are separatly projected on three big screens hanging and attaching with each other. The first is a journey to the confines of a universe with the passage inside a white cubic construction, a pixel lost in the universe. The second reuse the Time/Energy Objects serie’s images. These have been placed on two cylinders in rotation arranged one above the other. On the top one, an extrusion effect have been applied that gave the impression that the photographs were composed before our eyes. Then this global form have been duplicated and showed further into the virtual space and we then invented a path in these memory architectures using a camera whose trajectory had been programmed. The third is a carousel composed of photographs folded to form cubes. The carousel turns, the spectator passes through walls of images and the round of the different structures invites the observer to an endless journey as close as possible to the frame of Woody's images.
2.2 – Rearticulation of artistic thought
This rearticulation is also a reinterpretation from which one tries to understand the original. In our case, we wanted to interrogate how digital language and ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit) logic supported by Woody Vasulka’s Syntax of Binary Images (1978) were potential carriers of new poetics. In time, we developped a multisensory fields of activity around the concept of ALU and tested the capacity of this artwork to generate networks of relation that interconnects different versions of it. First we created a video, Digital Vocabulary (2015), with the photographic plates of Syntax of Binary Images and placed them in a virtual space where a camera hovers over them, moving closer and then away again, transforming the whole into a landscape of data. Secondly the 256 forms of this film are captured in their movements and printed using a 3D printer and then left on a light table. The virtual becomes real and is incarnated in forms. Third we placed spectators in an interactive space where these movements generate the videoprojection of Boolean matrices with a soundtrack attached to them.
Frédéric Curien is a composer and sound artist, he teaches at the ÉESI and at the University of Poitiers. He runs the bassoon instrumental space Cartography project, and takes part in the Arcad program with the Acroe, whose aim is to integrate physical and theorical tools based on physical modelling into fine arts. Frédéric Curien develops the audio part of SLIDERS, a collective attempt of interactive cinema. The project is supported by the D.A.P., Research and Innovation department.He operates at the very junction of music and visual arts, on aesthetic quality of interactive sound and musical space in contemporary art. He takes interest in sound synthesis and composing environments, and produces music for film, concert and stage.
CREDITS AND ORGANIZATION
Organizers: Vašulka Kitchen Brno and the Brno House of Arts
Conception: Miloš Vojtěchovský, Matěj Strnad
Organization and production: Marika Svobodová, Jennifer de Felice, Monika Szűcsová, Miloš Vojtěchovský
WEB: Lloyd Dunn
Graphic: Karel Bařina
Theory of Interactive Media department, Masaryk University, Brno
Department of Theory and History of Art, Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (VŠUP)
NFA (National Film Archive, Prague)