This program consisted of a series of lectures about the history of
media art in different European countries, incl. Estonia, Finland,
Hungary, Latvia, Macedonia, Poland, Russia, Slovakia and Slovenia. These
lectures dealt, for example, with experimental film and video art since
the 60s, with the situation of independent media artists in the 80s and
90s, new laboratories for interactive and media art and with the latest
activities in the field of Internet and digital media.
An overview of the presentations:
- 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
- Martin Sperka (Bratislava): Some Notes on the Pioneers of Computer
(Aided) Art - Seventies in Slovakia
- Tapio Mäkelä (Helsinki): Technology / Avant-garde
- Irina Aktuganova (St. Petersburg): Media Art in St. Petersburg
- Melentie Pandilovski (Skopje): Electronic Visual Arts in Macedonia
- Ando Keskküla (Tallinn): Media Art in Estonia
- Ryszard W. Kluszczynski (Lodz/Warsaw): An Introduction to Media Art in
- Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits, Jaanis Garancs (Riga): The Situation of
Media Art in Latvia
Discussion: "The Electronic Alternative", with Janos Sugar (Budapest),
Alexei Shulgin (Moscow), and the participants.
Abstracts of presentations
The media art situation in Slovenia and the territory of
ex-Yugoslavia. 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 characterized by a critical-political approach to the media that is specific or better to say different from the Western tradition.
Russian Parallel Cinema is a unique tradition. It appeared in the Soviet Union in the beginning of the 80s and existed as if there were no strong system of official film. It appeared when world experimental film had 50 years history, but never gave a glance at it.
Russian Parallel Cinema
In the end of the 80s, Parallel Cinema came into fashion, as a part of underground culture. The next decade started with strong desire to bury it, as a part of perestroika fashion. Today the third generation of Parallel Cinema is active.
Very often trying to diversify my speeches about Parallel Cinema, I use "synonyms": Experimental, Independent, Alternative, Marginal, Low budget - one could think I make no difference. But the fact is that Parallel Cinema can be identified as the only Russian representative of all these categories. And it is never enough. You can't speak in general. You can't mark out a common school, aesthetic, something that describes everything. You can't be lazy. It's one quite narrow circle, but every time you want to explain what is Parallel Cinema, you couldn't miss any one.
The Parallel Cinema Archives grows in a non-academic way. Somebody asks you "Why I'm not mentioned?" and you include his works.
Social identification of the Parallel Cinema group of film and video(!!!) makers started in underground and close to CINE FANTOM (historically incorrect name) magazine, the first and only Russian independent selfprinted magazine devoted to cinema. It was founded in Moscow in 1986 by Igor Aleinikov and existed until 1991.
In 1987 the first CINE FANTOM festival was held in Moscow. Since 1995 the CINE FANTOM club exists. If you type you'll find the CINE FANTOM site. If you type in net search "Russian film", you'll find the CINE FANTOM site again.
Today, when 16mm film isn't produced in Russia any more, and there are no places for postproduction, artists use outdated remains and finish the work on video. So, many video films appear, made in mixed technique, speaking a mixed language.
Today, when it's impossible to make border between main stream and out of main stream, nobody prevents parallel film makers from thinking they do the first.
Natasha Drucbek-Meyer PARALLEL
PHANTOME / Balagan, 1-95, Potsdam
Olga Lialina PARALLEL CINEMA A PROPER
NAME / New Media Logia, 1994, Moscow
Olga Lialina DAS PARALLELE KINO / Via
Regia, October, 1995, Erfurt
Pre-history of Computer Art
see: Pre-history of Computer Art
New tendencies in Latvian media art in the context of social changes
The interactive multimedia industry is in its development stage in Latvia, therefore the social and environmental changes are influenced especially by the emerging new media, high technologies, new concepts and possibilities of communication systems.
Very recently in Latvia new media became more and more accessible for the public. There are several newly founded Internet servers now. The most accessible for artists and media structures is the Internet provider "Parks", which is interested in promoting the development of new media in Latvia. At the moment together with the Multimedia center - Riga they are working on the Electronic Café project.
Since 1996 in Riga have been established many media art institutions such like the Electronic Arts and Media Center "e-L@b" - the first new media art institution in Riga; the Creative group "Sounds OPEN Systems" - organizer of two annual music and environmental installation projects "Open" and "Biosport"; the Performing Arts Information Center (by Soros Foundation - Latvia) and the restored Multimedia center - Riga (by Latvian Culture Academy) - organizer of the annual French - Baltic Videoart Festivals (1988-1994).
Especially during the last year Latvian media art activities increasingly have been influenced by new media, high-tech and trade-, rave-, techno- cultures as well.
High technologies are not really accessible for Latvian artists yet, however many artists are interested in thinking and working this way. Also the young generation's curators and artists are looking for new concepts and possibilities of organizing exhibitions, art and culture events.
By using media as art space there are many new possibilities of more free, non-traditional, multiformal and creative artistic expression. The development of new media culture will be (and already is) transforming the understanding of using communication systems and high technologies and the cultural and social background as well.
Putting Artists On-Line
Eastern European Art scene, as is known
is characterised by historical separation
and geographical remoteness (especially
in case of Russia) from established
centres of contemporary art / culture.
Artists here live and work in conditions,
completely different from those in the
West. Lack of cultural institutions and
state/private support, poor
communications with the international art
world on one hand bring a lot of challenge
and sincerity (almost completely lost in
western part of the world) into artist's
motivations. But on the other, many
interesting ideas, projects and exhibitions
remain underestimated, don't become an
integral part of the international culture
One of the most essential aims of
Moscow WWWArt Centre therefore is to
follow local art scene and to put the most
interesting projects / art works (especially
those that easily fit the internet format)
on-line, giving to artists, originally
confined by their life and work
circumstances, a possibility of much
broader international audience.
During the last months Moscow WWWArt
Centre has produced internet
presentations of various projects / art
works of Moscow artists. Some of them,
like "All for Sale" by Aliona Martinova
or "Contemporary Art Workshop"
have attracted a lot of response from the
international net audience.
During my presentation at the V2 East
Meeting I would like to show some of
these projects and talk about my
experience of this kind of work with artists
and problems that arise from it.