August @ – empyre – : Models and perspectives for Media Centers and Net Art organizations

From Marcus Bastos:

Lately, a number of institutions, based on more or less conventional models, seem to be focusing on fomenting art and culture created with digital, networked and portable devices. This is not a new phenomenon, but there seem to be different approaches, and a variety of unfoldings that shift away from the classic MediaLAB models, as the convergence of art, science and technology no longer seems to be dominant on a field nowadays diverse enough to range from social and educational perspectives to artistic experimentation of all kinds. There are mixed scenarios, on this context, in which digital culture reaches places such as China and India, while mobile and wireless networks adds layers of complexity to our connected society. At the same time open source communities grow, as well as approaches to alternative / recycled devices, and a number of organizations seem to provide air for those developments to consolidate, despite their distance from the corporate agendas. To discuss possible models and perspectives for media centers and net art organizations, representatives from institutions or independent initiatives in Brazil, England and US will share their experiences, aiming to debate differences and similarities as well as possible challenges and / or local peculiarities. How are we reacting to an epoch when, says Ned Rossiter, “there is urgent need for new institutional forms that reflect “relational” processes to challenge existing systems of governance and outmoded representational structures”? – empyre’s guests for this month are Anne Nigten (V2, Rotterdam / Netherlands), Gabriel Menotti (Cinefalcatrua, Vitória / Brazil), Gisela Domschke (MediaLAB MIS, São Paulo / Brazil), Marc Garrett (Furtherfield, London / UK) and Sarah Cook (Eyebeam, New York / US). Later on the month, Amanda McDonald Crowley, also from Eyebeam and already an – empyre – guest on former discussions, will join the debate. To follow the discussion, subscribe to – empyre – @

Anne Nigten is the manager of V2_Lab, the aRt&D department of V2_, Institute for the Unstable Media in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and initiator of The Patchingzone, a trans-disciplinary praxis laboratory for students and professionals. Nigten is lecturing on research and development in the trans-disciplinary field from an art perspective. She is advisor for several media art and science initiatives in Europe and board member of art organisations such as ISEA.NL, Noorkaap (NL), The Public Gallery (UK). She completed her PhD at the University of the Arts London (UK), and frequently publishes papers on art, engineering and (computer) science collaboration and software development. Before her current position at V2_ and The Patchingzone she has been working as an independent media artist, and simultaneously fulfilled several management jobs for the media art sector in the Netherlands.

Gabriel Menotti acts as a producer and curator of Cine Falcatrua, with whom he has organized remix film festivals, video-game cine-championships and porn script workshops. He holds an MA in Communications and Semiotics (PUC-SP) and courses Communications PhD programmes in both the Catholic University of São Paulo (Brazil) and the Goldsmiths College (UK).

Gisela Domschke is an artist, curator and award-winning designer with a MA from Central Saint Martins College, London, UK. She worked in several cultural organizations and published a number of media magazines and catalogues. She is currently the head of LABMIS, a media lab to be opened in the Museu Imagem Som, São Paulo, Brazil. Previously, she was the convenor of the media lab in Goldsmiths
University, London, where she lectured in the MA Interactive Media programme. Her work was exhibited at the Whitney Biennial (New York), Stedelijk museum (Amsterdam), ICA (London), Johnson Museum of Art (Ithaca), Centre d’ Art Contemporain (Geneve) and São Paulo Biennial.

Marc Garrett is a net artist, (new) media artist, curator, writer, street artist, activist, educationalist. Emerging in the late 80’s from the streets exploring creativity via agit-art tactics. Using unofficial, experimental platforms such as the streets, pirate radio and networked technologies. Content provider and co-producer of the late 1980’s alternative broadcasting, sound art collective ‘Savage Yet Tender’ based in Bristol, UK. Exploring with net broadcasts, BBS systems, performance, intervention, events, pamphlets, showing work in subways, warehouses and independent gallery spaces. In the early 90’s was co-sysop (systems operator) with artist Heath Bunting on ‘Cybercafe BBS’, dedicated to arts, technology and various forms of hacking, social & technological. Co-director and co-founder of the Internet meta-platform/community Furtherfield –, with artist Ruth Catlow and now many others: Featuring net art, (new) media Art, activism, networked art, reviews, interviews, articles etc. 2000 visitors a week.

Sarah Cook is the co-editor of CRUMB, and Post Doctoral Fellow at the University (with support from a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship). From Mar 2004 to Mar 2006 she was New Media Curator/Researcher in collaboration with BALTIC, the Centre for Contemporary Art (Gateshead, UK). She completed her Doctorate at the University of Sunderland on the theory and practice of curating new media art. Funding for her research has been provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the AHRB, and Arts Council England. She has a Master’s Degree from Bard College’s Centre for Curatorial Studies in New York. Sarah has curated exhibitions and commissioned new media art for the Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada), the Bellevue Art Museum (Seattle), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), and at the National Gallery of Canada. She has worked with Thomson and Craighead, Lev Manovich, Cornelia Sollfrank, Jonah Brucker-Cohen, Michel de Broin, Heath Bunting, low-fi, and others. Recent exhibitions include Database Imaginary co-curated with Anthony Kiendl and Steve Dietz, for Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff, and touring (Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina; Toronto; Montreal).