V2_East Meeting, Abstract

Summary of the V2_East Meeting at DEAF96.

"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 Yugoslavia.

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 Tallinn.

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 relationships.

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 activities.

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 Academy.

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 certain world.

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 States.

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 Europe.

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 arts.

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 Portfolio program.

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).


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