You are here

New Media Arts

Creative Collaborations in New Zealand, Social Networking in Korea

The morning session on this second day at ISEA 2008 continues with Caroline McCaw and Rachel Gillies, with a project related to Dunedin in New Zealand. Overall, there is a series of 20 place-responsive public artworks across New Zealand by national and international artists; the Dunedin component involves three artists (Douglas Bagnall, Adam Hyde, and Zoe Walker and Neil Bromwich) in separate locations around the world collaborating over the Internet - one of these locations was Edinburgh, after which Dunedin is partially named.

Approaches to Collaborative Production

The next day at ISEA 2008 has started. The first presentation this morning, by Susan Kerrigan, is about a creative research PhD project related to Fort Scratchley in Newcastle, New South Wales (which went through a number of names before the current name stuck). The fort guarded the harbour entrance for some time before being shut down and becoming a public space; it was recently restored.

The story to be told about it is both a military and a broader story, then. The approach to this work, then, is a rational, not a romantic approach to creativity, rejecting the auteur model and instead adopting a confluence model that brings together the individual, the field, and the surrounding culture. Susan came out of ABC TV, bringing those individual skills; cultural aspects included the body of knowledge already existing in the context of her project (not least also the local history relating to the fort); and the field within which she operated included the cultural intermediaries acting as gatekeepers, stakeholders, and collaborators. She also had to work with various institutional stakeholders, of course - from Newcastle City Council to various other bodies with a connection to the site and its history.

Connecting New Media Artists and Cutting-Edge Technology

The ISEA 2008 keynote this evening is by Sam Furukawa, a former president and CEO of Microsoft Japan who is now at Keio University in the Graduate School of Media Design. He's reflecting today on Singapore's high-profile Artist-in-Residence (AIR) programme: how is artistic work connected to corporate and societal expectations?

Sam was editor-in-chief of ASCII Computer Magazine in 1977; in 1979 he developed its software engineering department and moved on to Microsoft in 1981. However, he also released the Japanese edition of BSD Unix in 1984, and returned as the first president of Microsoft Japan and became its chairman in 1991. He retired from Microsoft in 2005 and started at Keio University the following year. Additionally, he's also the chairman of the Japanese Association of Model Railroading and has published several books on railroads - an impressive resume...

Transaction, Rematerialisation, and Visualisation in Digital Art

Next up here at ISEA 2008 is Daniela Alina Plewe. Her interest is in the connection of art and business - and she asks about the potential for doing art around business. Interactive media themselves are often used in an economic context, of course, where interactions are also financial transactions. There is a good potential for developing interactive/transactive media works, then; art mash-ups could resemble online businesses.

This could build on the tradition of art about business, of business around art, of art as investment. But what is important here is the dimension of interaction and transaction. In interaction, there is an exchange of meaning, in transaction, there is an exchange of value; and this may take place in the artwork itself, or around it.

Creative Practice, as Research or Otherwise

The post-lunch session of this first full day at ISEA 2008 starts for me with a bunch of papers grouped under the overall title of 'Transforming Media'. Janez Strehovec is the first presenter, and his interest is in new media art as research. He begins by noting the wide-ranging and diverse nature of new media art. Common to many new media artworks is the lack of stability for the artefacts that are being created - artefacts are no longer stable, material art works, but instead art is reconceptualised as process. This also undermines the 'artist as genius' stereotype.

Tactics, Strategies, Distribution, and Collaboration

We're still in the first paper session at ISEA 2008 - but I'll start a new post for the next three presentations. The next speaker is Konrad Becker, who has previously published the Tactical Reality Dictionary and is now working on a Strategic Reality Dictionary to complement it. He notes that tactical media spontaneity nonetheless relies on the availability of underlying infrastructures, raising questions around the strategic dimension. Tactics are more strongly related to temporal considerations, strategies to spatial issues. Konrad now shows a matrix tracing different combinations of space and time, and points to scientific understandings of time and space.

Japanese Pop Culture and Its Impacts

After a quick refreshment break with some tasty Singaporean food, we're now in a plenary panel session at ISEA 2008, on culture, technology, and Asian (or as it turns out, mainly Japanese) pop culture. Blogging panels is always difficult, but we'll see how it goes.

Adrian Cheok begins by noting the shift in policy in Asia towards a greater focus on cultural development in addition to science and technology (linked in part to the embrace of the idea of creative industries in Asia, of course). In particular, though, it's the interlinkage of culture and technology that's particularly productive here.

Creative Brains in Singapore

I'm spending the next few days at the ISEA 2008 conference in steamy Singapore. My last ISEA was 2004 in Helsinki and Tallinn (and on the cruise ship to Helsinki), an experience which will be very hard to top - but I'm sure the local organisers have a great deal of interesting events in store for us, too. ISEA - the International Symposium on Electronic Art - is always a strange beast: a wild mixture of new media artists and performers, free culture and open source activists, and more conventional new media researchers (like me). Well, we'll see...

Copyright Perspectives in a Web 2.0 Context

The final session here at the CCi conference is billed as a copyright perspectives panel in the context of user-led content creation on Web 2.0. The panel begins with Oli Wilson from New Zealand indie band Knives at Noon and Otago University. Knives at Noon released its EP online under a Creative Commons 3.0 (BY-NC-SA) licence, free to share and remix for non-commercial purposes. The band was somewhat unhappy with the content of the EP itself, but wanted this creative material not to be wasted - they hoped that it would take on a life of its own by releasing it online as a ProTools source file (roughly following Linus Torvalds's logic in releasing the initial Linux kernel). Release in this format also allowed users to access the individual components of their tracks, not just the mixed end product - and it suited the band's creative philosophy.

DIY Media before and after YouTube

There's a great line-up of keynotes and plenary speeches starting this second day of the CCi conference, before we get back to paper sessions: we kick off with Convergence Culture guru and serial book launcher Henry Jenkins, then move on to Camilla Cooke who was the driving force behind the online arm of the Australian Labor Party's successful Kevin07 campaign in the last federal election, and follow this with journalist and commentator Margaret Simons speaking on future directions for mainstream journalism. Should be good!


Subscribe to RSS - New Media Arts