"The Electronic Alternative" - Media Art in Eastern Europe
Wednesday 18 September 13 - 18.00 hrs V2_East programme
Marina Grzinic (Ljubljana)
The Media Art Situation in Slovenia and the Territory of ex-Yugoslavia or
For a Theory of a Possible Specific Critical and Social Discourse Towards the New Media in Eastern Europe
In a paper that I will present at the DEAF 96 conference I will
outline a specific history of the new media technology and esthetics in
the territory of ex-Yugoslavia, reflecting on this specific territory
according to 3 different periods in art, culture and history: 1970s,
1980s and 1990s. Explaining artistical, historical, internal and
external differences and similiarities between the three periods,
focusing the analysis on the late 1980s (the time of the dissolving of
the socialist and communist block in Europe), I will try to establish a
parallel between East-East and East-West influences and tradition,
highlighting the hypothesis that Eastern Europe with its totalitarian
legacy is charachterized by a critical-political approach to the media
that is specific or better to say different from the Western tradition.
Marina Grzinic is a video artist, free-lance critic and curator who
has been working with video since 1982. She is a board member of the C3
Center Budapest and has recently published "In a Line for Virtual Bread.
Time, Space, the Subject and Media in the Year 2000" (Ljubljana, 1996).
Grzinic has directed several independent documentaries and television
productions and has participated in many exhibitions and festivals.
Grzinic is one of the main representatives of media art in the former
Irina Aktuganova (Gallery 21, St. Petersburg)
Media Art in St. Petersburg
Irina Aktuganova will give an illustrated overview on media art in
St.Petersburg during last 10 years: video, communication projects,
fax-art, radio-art, TV-art, Internet activity, including new Internet
projects; and will inform you about attempts to create a systematic
universal video archive and database on the Internet.
Irina Aktuganova is the main curator of the independent Gallery 21,
the most important exhibition and performance space for media art in St.
Petersburg. Together with Alla Mitrofanova, she was involved in
preparing the visit of the Art Space Ship MS Stubnitz to St. Petersburg
and is currently curating the media art section of the 4th St.
Petersburg Biennale (October 1996). Aktuganova has been a key figure for
the development of contacts between artists in St. Petersburg and
Northern and Western European countries.
Ando Keskkyla (E-Media Center, Tallinn)
Media Art in Estonia
Ando Keskkyla will make a presentation about the development of media
art in Estonia and about the new project of creating a digital city for
Ando Keskkyla is a video and media artist, a curator and teacher and
founding Rector and Head of E-Media Centre Tallinn which is due to open
on the 17th of June.
Tapio Makela (MUU, Helsinki)
Technology / Avant-garde
Makela's presentation will deal with such collaborative projects and
with some general problems relating to the historicisation of media art.
He will talk about how technology has been intertwined with the
historical avant-garde and the neo avant-garde, problematizing the
utopian rhetoric and politics within, and about art being produced for
galleries / museums or for spaces which are not defined as art, but
rather as activist sites.
Tapio Makela is a media art curator, director of the MUU Media
Festival and was a co-organiser of the ISEA 94 conference in Helsinki.
MUU is one of the well-established media art centers in Northern Europe
which has a long tradition of cooperating with international
institutions in Austria, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and elsewhere.
Ryszard W. Kluszczynski (University Lodz/ Center for Contemporary Art, Warsaw)
An Introduction to Media Art in Poland
In his lecture Ryszard Kluszczynski will describe the development of
media art in Poland, from experimental cinema, through video art, up to
interactive, multimedia works and projects nowadays. This presentation
will include the analysis of differents contexts important for that
development: artistic, political, institutional, technological, as well
as put into focus similarities and differences between the situation of
media art and culture in Eastern European countries, and East-West
Ryszard Kluszczynski is a media art scholar, critic and curator who
teaches at the Film and Media Department of the University of Lodz and
as a curator for media art at the Ujazdovski Center for Contemporary
Art, Warsaw. Kluszczynski published widely on the theory and history of
avant-garde, especially film and video, and on media and multimedia art
and experimental artistic culture, and has curated many exhibitions of
video and media art in Poland and abroad. In 1988 he founded the Polish
Video Art Data Bank (now: Media Nomad), a private, non-profit
organization for media culture.
Melentie Pandilovski (SCCA Skopje)
Electronic Visual Arts in Macedonia
Pandilovski's presentation will deal with the history and development
of electronic visual arts in Macedonia starting in the 80s until today,
including the big media exhibitions Image Box (1995), 9 1/2 Macedonian
art (1996), various video, interactive and online projects by Macedonian
electronic artists. As an example of how one can approach the
documentation of media art, Pandilovski will talk about the recent CD
ROM production Icon on Silver and about the SCCA Database and Web site
of Macedonian artists.
Melentie Pandilovski is a media art curator and assistant director of
the Soros Center for Contemporary Arts in Skopje. This is one of the
highly active centers for media art in South Eastern Europe.
Martin Sperka (Academy of Fine Arts, Bratislava)
Some Notes on the Pioneers of Computer (Aided) Art - Seventies in Slovakia
Martin Sperka will present a short paper with slides and video
entitled: 'History of Computer Art in Slovakia', giving an overview of
events and people in computer graphics and animation since its beginning
until the year 1989. He will describe this short history in the context
of the development of computer graphics in art and science in the
former Czechoslovakia and beyond. Also some relevant facts, dealing with
the contribution of people who lived on the territory of Slovakia to
the electronic media and formalisms, which can be seen as a pre-history
of electronic and computer imaging will be included. Martin Sperka will
briefly mention activities in electroacoustic and computer music in
Slovakia and current activities in new media in Slovakia.
Martin Sperka is a media artist and theorist and lecturer at the
Department of Visual Media of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in
Bratislava. He has recently curated the 3rd E-Mail Art exhibition (June
1996) and has published and lectured widely on the problems of art,
electronic media and computer design.
Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits, Jaanis Garancs (E-L@b, Riga)
The situation of media art in Latvia
Smite, Smits and Garancs will speak about the situation of media art
in Latvia and about the opportunities for young artists and new
initiatives to establish themselves under the difficult circumstances of
the current situation in their country. Valdis Poikans will talk about
and show examples from the work done by the Multimedia Center and will
discuss these in the framework of the history of Latvian media
Rasa Smite is a media artist and the director of the newly founded E -
L@b in Riga, mostly working together with Raitis Smits. The E - L@b
aims to introduce new media art to the Latvian society and organises
exhibitions, performances, workshops and other events. Jaanis Garancs
actively supports the E - L@b by promoting it outside of Latvia and by
providing information on advanced technologies. Valdis Poikans is a
media art curator currently involved in extending the scope of the
Multimedia Center in Riga. This Center has worked successfully from 1986
- 1994 and has organized the annual French & Baltic Video Festival.
Now Valdis Poikans (in collaboration with French partners) is
reorganizing the Multimedia Center in the context of the Latvian Culture
Final Discussion "The Electronic Alternative"
with Janos Sugar (Budapest), Alexej Shulgin (Moscow), and the
participants. (Topics: the current situation of media art, problems of
access to hardware and to the internet for independent content
providers, the role of electronic media within the arts)
Janos Sugar (Budapest)
Janos Sugar is a media artist, writer and curator. He is a member of the
Media Research Foundation which will, in October 1996, organise the 3rd
Metaforum media conference and teaches at the Intermedia Department of
the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts. Sugar has participated in many
national and international art exhibitions and regularly writes about
media related topics for Hungarian and international publications.
Alexei Shulgin (Moscow)
Alexei Shulgin is an independent artist and curator, founder of Moscow
WWWArt Centre. He has been active in the fields of photography,
installation, media art and has exhibited widely through Europe and USA.
He combines his artistic activity with curatorial projects mostly
devoted to critical analysis of the existing art system and language of
art in different contexts. His interest in the Internet is based on the
would-be utopian features of this medium and on its ability to bring
more uncertainty to this would-be
V2_East Documentation Meeting
Friday 20 September 1996, 12 - 16.00 hrs
Nina Czegledy (Toronto/Budapest)
Mediaworks Resource / Archival Database Model (opening statement of the Archives session)
"In East Europe, -even in countries which have a long experimental
media tradition, such as Hungary-, both restoration and documentation of
mediaworks are largely underdeveloped. The lack of infrastructural
models present further problems in this regard. In order to overcome
some of the difficulties and to avoid lengthy experimentation, the
adaptation of procedural experiences might be very useful. Since the
beginning of the eighties comprehensive data keeping exist in Canada and
serious efforts are made to restore and preserve early videotapes.I
would like to utilize the Canadian experience with a view to contribute
to the establishment of resource systems in East Europe. "The first step
toward a database is the methodology and specifically developed forms
for collecting and organizing data on independently produced videotapes
and artists. In addition to detailed organizational procedures,the
examples presented will include forms for individual files as well as
methods toward a computerized cataloguing and archival database.
Depending on local requirements, the individual files will provide
information for scholarly research, curators and can also be publicly
accessible. The archival databases serve as a continuing survey of local
and international collections.Examples of a library database will be
presented with a specific focus on media art literature. "In clear
recognition of the fact that the history of mediaworks varies from
country to country the model presented is intended to serve only as a
useful guide-line towards constructing an operational resource and
archival system." (Nina Czegledy)
Nina Czegledy is an independent videomaker, a researcher and curator
who has written and published widely about media art in Eastern Europe
and has organised many cultural exchange programmes between North
America and Europe. These have included the presentation of Canadian
video art selections at international festivals, as well as the
exhibition of Central European video programmes in Canada and the United
Miklos Peternak (Intermedia Department, Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest)
Media archaeology - sources, definitions and possible new research methods
In the Archives session Miklos Peternak will speak about 'Media
archaeology - sources, definitions and possible new research methods'
based on his experiences, using examples from Central and Eastern
Miklos Peternak is a writer, lecturer and film/video artist and Chair
of the Intermedia Department at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts. He
is also the Chair of the Board of the new C3: Center for Culture &
Communication of the Soros Foundation Budapest. Peternak has published
widely and has been deeply involved in the development of the media art
scene in Hungary.
Suzanne Meszoly (C3 Budapest)
C3 - The Center for Culture & Communication
The Center continues the work of the SCCA Budapest and also
faciliates the expanded exploration of digital media technology,
encourages creative use of the Internet and functions as a public forum
for debate and innovation regarding communication and culture.
Suzy Meszoly is director of the new C3 - Center for Culture & Communication of the Soros Foundation Budapest.
Barbara Borcic (SCCA Ljubljana)
A Comprehensive Video Catalogue-in-Process
Barbara Borcic will be presenting this project during the Archives
session as an example for documenting and making available historical
material in the field of media art.
Barbara Borcic is an art critic and curator, presently working at the
Soros Center for Contemporary Arts in Ljubljana. Together with Zemira
Alajbegovic and Nerina Kocjancic she is currently editing a video
catalogue with essays, documentation on artists and video works,
chronology of the happenings and events connected with video and media.
Olia Lialina (CINE Fantom, Moscow)
CINE FANTOM. New life on line.
Lialina will be talking about the opportunities and problems of
putting time-based arts online and will illustrate her presentation with
examples from Russian Parallel Cinema (on 16mm or VHS 1984-1996) and
Russian video art and alternative music videos.
Olia Lialina is an experimental film and video critic and curator,
and director of non-commercial partnership CINE FANTOM which deals with
experimental film and video screenings, archives of Russian Parallel
Cinema and databases (of festivals, peoples, contacts, publications and
so on - for work and for history). She has recently started to put the
database of the Russian Parallel Cinema tradition onto the World Wide
Web site of the Moscow WWW Art Center. She also works as a journalist
for the Moscow Commersant Daily and writes reviews on Russian Cinema for
the Amsterdam-based magazine Skrien.
Iliyana Nedkova (SCCA Sofia)
Multimedia Information System for Contemporary Bulgarian Arts & Some Reflections on the Emerging Electronic Arts in Bulgaria
The Multimedia Information System (MIS) supports information about
arts, artists, art organisations, public and private collections,
exhibitions and galleries, publications, festivals, foundations and
funding programs, stipends, competitions, festivals, professionals
(curators, managers, etc.) in the fields of visual and performing arts.
Another dimension of the system covers Bulgarian writers, translators
and publishers. The MIS maintains images (photos, reproductions,
slides), videos and sounds mixed with the text information. The system
is a truly multimedia system. This facilitates presentation of different
types of arts: from conventional to virtual visual installations.
Iliyana Nedkova is Assistant Visual Arts Cordinator at the SCCA Sofia.
Lazlo Toelgyes (Artpool Archives, Budapest)
The Artpool Archives, Budapest
Lazlo Toelgyes is in charge of the new applications of electronic
media in art at the Artpool Archives in Budapest. Artpool is a unique
institution in the former eastern block, offering a collection of
documents relating to the Hungarian avant-gerde art movements of the 70s
and 80s, as well as sources on the new international art trends of the
past 30 years. Together with Agnes Ivacs Lazlo Toelgyes is editing the
non-profit cultural journal "Gondolat-Jel" (as well as its electronic
omline version called dASH) dealing with philosophy, the media, and the
Jennifer de Felice (VMP Atelier, Brno)
FaVU VUT Brno, VMP Atelier Brno
Jennifer de Felice will give a presentation of the media and performance archive (VMP Atelier) at the
Faculty of Fine Arts (Technical University of Brno).
Jennifer de Felice is an active documentary maker and Archivist of
the Video-Multimedia-Performance Studio at the Faculty of Fine Arts,
Technical University of Brno.
Suzana Milevska (Skopje)
Documenting the Aura
The documentation of the art works in the age of the wide spread
computerization is still facing the same problems of selection and
evaluation. There are still questions about the information to be
documented: if the amount of information can reach the ephemeral and
invisible aura of the conceptual art work. The archives in the Eastern
countries are not complete especially because the art institutions are
not always aware of the radical qualities of the ephemeral art works at
the time of their realization and before their brief disappearance.
Suzana Milevska is an independent art critic and curator. Since 1992
she has been curating several media art projects mainly in Macedonia and
Turkey (The 4th International Istanbul Biennial). Translator of
"Mamuzi?" by Jacques Derrida (Tabernakul, 1995); editor of the topic
"Pluralia Tantum" (Feniks, 1995). Milevska is publishing reviews,
critical and theoretical texts in macedonian, turkish and bulgarian
cultural journals. The latest project curated by her was the
collaborative exhibition between five American and five Macedonian women
artists "Liquor Amnii" which included performances, installations and
video art works.
Chris Hill (Buffalo)
Surveying the First Decade: Video Art & Alternative Media in the U.S. (1968 - 80)
"Texts and Resources" (approximately 375 pages) accompanies 8 curated
videotape programs (17 hours) of "Surveying the First Decade: Video Art
and Alternative Media in the U.S.," and is designed to enrich the
resources currently available to students of media, art, American
studies, gender studies, and others who would examine this period
(1968-80) of radical cultural and social experimentation. The remastered
tape collection features early works recognized as landmarks in video
performance, artists' exploration of evolving electronic tools,
independent journalism, and documentations of the late 1960s
countercultural scenes and community valorized events. (...) Like most
art historical research, it is nearly impossible to look at these
available tapes from the past, even this recent past, without seeing
them through the filters of the present's most active discourse(s).
"Texts and Resources" is essential for contextualizing the cultural and
social sensibilities of these tapes with the aesthetic and
communications-oriented discourses and "alternative" production and
exhibition environments of the period.
For the last 11 years Chris Hill was curator at the Hallwalls
Contemporary Art Center, Buffalo. She was editor and coordinator of the
video magazine "Infermental 7" (US edition, 1988), coordinator of of
Video Witnesses Festival 1991; curator of many media art exhibitions in
the States as well as abroad. Member of video production collectives in
Buffalo, such as B.A.A.R.C. (Buffalo Artists Against Repression &
Censorship). Recently, in collaboration with the Video Data Bank
(Chicago) she has curated and edited "Surveying the First Decade: Video
Art & Alternative Media in the U.S. (1968 - 80)", 8 curated
videotape programs (17 hours) accompanied by "Texts and Resources"
(approx. 375 pages).
Vuk Cosic (Ljubljana)
SCCA Internet Portfolio - documentation & education
SCCA Internet Portfolio is a program of documentation and education
based on public competition, after which 10 artists were given an e-mail
account, connectivity, lectures, and the making of their web site, with
the obvious intention to educate them regarding new media but with the
emphasis on output.The only precondition about the sites is that they
must contain systematical biographical and bibliographical data. It is
interesting to notice how the artists perceive the new possibilities the
web offers, and the way they react. The SCCA Internet Portfolio program
is about creating "media consciousness" - it mixes documentation and
work with the 'victims' of it.
Vuk Cosic is an artist and a curator, working and living in
Ljubljana. Together with Barbara Borcic (SCCA Ljubljana) and Lilijana
Stepancic (SCCA Ljubljana) he is currently organising the SCCA Internet
Final Discussion V2_East Documentation Meeting
(with all the participants of the V2_East Meeting, concerning archives
and documentation sources, about access and the compatability of data
bases which already exist or are being created.)
Other participants of the Documentation Meeting will include:
Alex Adriaansens (V2_Organisatie, Rotterdam), Inke Arns (Berlin), Andreas Broeckmann (V2_Organisatie, Rotterdam), Calin Dan (subREAL, Bucarest/Amsterdam), Kathy Rae Huffman (HILUS, Vienna), Erik Kluitenberg (SCAN, Groningen), Piotr Krajewski (WRO, Wroclaw), Geert Lovink (Amsterdam/Budapest), Suzy Meszoly (C3, Budapest), Alfred Rotert (European Media Art Festival, Osnabrueck).