Thanks Luke and Damian for your input in regard to the problematics of
practice and highlighting this aspect of the documentation condition of
I suppose I had been viewing this from a more experiential perspective.
Keith Armstrong (http://embodiedmedia.com/
) who has done some amazing
work, truly, and did rise quickly in the scheme of things. He was also
an early adopter of video as a documentation tool for projects and I
always saw his rise and the use of video as related. Keiths origin was
not in the visual or media arts initially, but outside which is an
interesting side note to this.
All of us regularly apply for exhibitions, awards and projects using
documentation. Consequently although it seems a bit weird to write it
now, creative practice in electronic media appears bookended by
documentation. Use documentation to apply, if accepted document the
project and add it to your archive or site. Perhaps this goes some way
to explaining how documentation got into the position that Damian and
Luke are talking about?
In terms of education context as a result of these considerations, in my
New Media class the final project is the work and the video
documentation of the work.
But as I say, up till now I saw this mostly from the basis of personal
experience (Keith and I shared a room at Solar Circuit Tasmania in 2002
and have kept in touch since) and the pragmatics of applying. But
perhaps it is much more of a broad feature of practice today.
So is there further comment on this, or other issues of practice that
are worthwhile taking into account?
From: Luke Munn [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Fri 2/21/2014 1:27 PM
To: Ian Clothier
Cc: Aotearoa Digital Arts
Subject: Re: [Ada_list] The problematics of practice currently
I'm going to take documentation to mean work documented in media form
and residing online. Damian's point is well observed, although it's
not just a media art issue and stems from the shift in art consumption
from on site to online. One curator I recently spoke to said the ratio
is about 90/10: visitors to the exhibition website versus physical
There's a great essay on this shift from the gallery to the phone in
Artforum, and some of the particular qualities that experience
foregrounds. It notes, for example, that the grey, monochromatic
paintings of Fredrik Vaerslev tend to break the 'pattern matching'
visual behaviour which we engage in when consuming art in this
infinite scrolling mode (tumblr especially but also facebook, g
images, et al). Here's a copy from Tanya Leighton because the Artforum
version is now behind a paywall
Actually media arts has an advantage here, in that in many cases the
work was conceived and produced specifically to be presented /
experienced / executed online. Particularly in terms of software or
code-based art, the 'primary work' enjoys all the advantages of the
network in terms of accessibility and distribution, making any
documentation (stills, screencaps, etc) rather moot. Artists like
Rafael Rozendaal or Jonas Lund, making work specifically for the
browser, or the Speed Show format which rents net cafes and presents
one work on each machine, are great examples of leveraging the medium.
I know Damian and others make more installation-based or physical
media work, and as mentioned it's a harder task to shoot, edit and
communicate this back to an online audience. I blame Kickstarter in
setting up an expectation where everyone needs a professionally
produced video under 3 minutes to convey any idea. ;-)
Interestingly though over the last couple years I've noted several
artists, media especially, who have opted to keep these spaces
somewhat separate. That is, letting events and performances IRL occur
while their web presence (site, fb, twitter) is left 'incomplete' or
tangential. Incomplete in that works are just listed in plain text or
referenced, or tangential in that their own work is hardly referred
to, other/wider topics frequently tweeted about, social connections
become more important, etc. Jesse Darling and Ryan Trecartin exemplify
this latter approach, while Brad Troemel (he of thejogging fame) has a
great essay on some of these strategies in "artists looking for an
On 21 February 2014 12:21, Ian Clothier <I.Clothier(a)witt.ac.nz> wrote:
Forwarded below is a message from Damian Stewart. What he talks about
one facet of a bunch of issues for media practice.
To my mind the biggest 'problematic of practice' is that work exists
primarily in documentation: that the immediacy of experiencing a work
person becomes secondary to the quality of the
means, that both a) having a nice camera and a good eye for film
techniques (or budget to hire someone who does) is
more important than
the actual work itself, and b) works that film well get more exposure.
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