March 2006 on -empyre- soft-skinned space:
Is Modernity our Antiquity? (for the Documenta 12 Magazine Project)
Please join the conversation this month at www.subtle.net/empyre, with special guests
Christoph Bruno (FR), Erik Kluitenberg (NL), Christiane Paul (US), Dirk Vekemans (BE), and as moderator/guest, Christina McPhee (US)
Is Modernity our Antiquity?
It is fairly obvious that modernity, or modernity’s fate, exerts a profound influence on contemporary artists. Part of that attraction may stem from the fact that no one really knows if modernity is dead or alive. It seems to be in ruins after the totalitarian catastrophes of the 20th century (the very same catastrophes to which it somehow gave rise). It seems utterly compromised by the brutally partial application of its universal demands (liberté, égalité, fraternité) or by the simple fact that modernity and coloniality went, and probably still go, hand in hand. Still, people’s imaginations are full of modernity’s visions and forms (and I mean not only Bauhaus but also arch-modernist mind-sets transformed into contemporary catchwords like “identity” or “culture”). In short, it seems that we are both outside and inside modernity, both repelled by its deadly violence and seduced by its most immodest aspiration or potential: that there might, after all, be a common planetary horizon for all the living and the dead.
–Roger Beurgel, artistic director of Documenta 12
A bit of background:
Documenta, the festival of art that occurs every five years in Kassel, has invited all of us at the -empyre- list to participate in a formal discussion around three questions, or leitmotifs, throughout this year. This month is the launch of our participation in this project, which will continue in July and November 2006, again with topics selected by the Documenta team. All over the world, some seventy online and print journals will initiate dialogue around three core questions; the results will integrate into Documenta 12 itself next year in Kassel (summer 2007). FMI http://www.documenta12.de/documenta12/english/leitmotifs.html A special thanks to Alessandro Ludovico of http://neural.it. Alessandro is an empyre list member and former featured guest (2003), who has honored us by bringing -empyre- into the Documenta project this year.
———————————————>Christophe Bruno (FR) lives and works in Paris. Awarded with an Honorary Mention at the Prix Ars Electronica 2003, he’s been exhibited internationally in many places: Transmediale, ICC, galerie Sollertis, Nuit Blanche, File Festival, Modern Art Museum of the city of Paris, Tirana Biennale, ReJoyce Festival, Microwave International Media Art Festival in Honk-Kong, P0es1s.net in Berlin, Read_Me, Vidarte in Mexico City….
———————————————>Erik Kluitenberg (NL) is a theorist, writer, and organiser on culture, media and technology. He is head of the media program at De Balie – Centre for Culture and Politics in Amsterdam, and teaches at the Institute for Interactive Media at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. He’s contributed to organization and content at the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA), Interstanding I, II, & III (Tallinn, Estonia), The P2P – New Media Culture in Europe conference, “Tulipomania DotCom – A Critique of the New Economy” for Next 5 Minutes, “net.congestion – International Festival of Streaming Media” (2000), “Debates & Credits – Media Art in the Public Domain” in Moscow, Amsterdam and Ekaterinburg (2002), the Amsterdam edition of World-Information.Org (2002), and the mini-festival “An Archaeology of Imaginary Media” (2004).
———————————————->Christiane Paul (US) is the Adjunct Curator of New Media Arts at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the director of Intelligent Agent, a service organization and information resource dedicated to digital art. She has written and lectured extensively on new media arts and her book Digital Art (part of the World of Art Series by Thames & Hudson, UK) was published in July 2003. At the Whitney Museum, she curated the show “Data Dynamics” (2001); the net art selection for the 2002 Whitney Biennial; the online exhibition “CODeDOC” (2002) for artport, the Whitney Museum’s online portal to Internet art for which she is responsible; as well as “Follow Through” by Scott Paterson and Jennifer Crowe (2005).
———————————————->Dirk Vekemans (BE) is a digital poet and multimedia artist in Lueven. He invented and co-organised ‘Leuven Per Vers’ an event of poetry, protest and performance in 1996, and until 2004 has published literary works and multimedia experiments in Dutch through ‘Nederlandse Literatuur @ ViltNet’ a ‘small-scale marginal distribution of cultural goods’ at http://www.vilt.net In September 2004 Dirk initiated the ‘Neue Kathedrale des erotischen Elends’ (NkdeE) registered as a linked art-object in Rhizome’s Art Database. The NkdeE was also part of the ‘Mostra Internacional de Poesia Visual e Eletronica’, category Electronic Poetry, Sao Paulo, November. The three part work ‘MU’ was admitted to Regina Pinto’s ‘Museum of the Essential and Beyond’ http://arteonline.arq.br/
——————————————–>Christina McPhee (US) is a multimedia artist working with landscapes of scientific visualization and cinematic image through a performance based use of video, installation, digital photography, data base net art and drawing. Based in California, she is currently working att the margins of cities investigating the seismic landscape, and the aftermath of debris flow, in the wake of global warming. Upcoming exhibitions in 2006 will include a solo installation, “La Conchita mon amour,’ at Sara Tecchia New York in October; and, at Cartes Centre for Art and Technology, Espoo, Finland, a five year retrospective of her work will be on from May to September. In 2005, a solo exhibition at Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden, followed participation in Groundworks: Environmental Collaboration and Contemporary Art at Carnegie Mellon University, Regina Goucher Gallery, and two exhibitions in San Francisco and LA.. Her perfomances and net art have been part of many new media festivals since 2001 including Cybersonica at the ICA London (2002), FILE 2002 Sao Paulo, Digital Arts and Culture Melbourne (2003), and is online in the Whitney Museum of American Art artport, ctheorymultimedia at Cornell University Electronic Media Archives, and chairetmetal (Montreal). www.christinamcphee.net, www.naxsmash.net