In the time of the lockdown many wondered how art would change, what new languages and modes of use would be invented, the role of the virtual. After all, culture, in all its forms, was, and often is still, seen the closures and the need for social distance, online. We talked about it in the previous article, which dates back to a few months ago. Certainly the wave of virtualization of experiences, from work to cinema to museums, and the constraints to the freedoms of everyone were imposing, so as to make architects reflect (which as a category equip themselves to become prophets of new worlds with lower frequency only than that of artists) about post covid urbanism. Sometimes with strange effects, like those architects who until February designed innovative skyscrapers and in May invited to leave the cities to live in the countryside.
The Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli in front of the mass of museums, galleries, exhibitions, artists who put themselves on the net said “it is not enough to put online contents of the exhibitions to evolve a language that now must be completely dismantled”. The critic Luca Beatrice posted on his youtube channel several videos in which, even taking up Vezzoli’s reflection, he began to make assumptions.
We will probably start to see something new in time. For example, for Italy, the Quadriennale to be held in October and in which it announces an innovative setting for the use of the works that provide interaction with the public, especially for performances.
At the moment, however, the resumption of cultural activities recuses largely as before, only a little less. In the first exhibitions of the post lockdown has kept intact the previous rituality. And so away with the openings, the debates, the buffets, but with the people at a distance. The difference, to tell the truth, is seen precisely in the checkerboard placement, since even before often it is not that there were many people.
This reproduction of consolidated gestures is not only a matter of laziness, it is also objectively difficult for the individual artist to be able to “upset” the language. The Market requires resources and innovation that it is not possible to produce craftsmanship and for this reason the big institutions are favored, even if it means that the spread of innovation in language will germinate by imitation.
Meanwhile in August came to our rescue the opening of NXT Museum in Amsterdam, one of the few spaces dedicated to New Media Art and in September was held the 2020 edition of Ars electronica. We have linked the two events to the current moment because:
1 – The “New Media Art refers to a broad and stratified artistic field, structurally contaminated with the different fields of technological research and related industry (Marco Mancuso, Art, technology and science), and is therefore a form of hybrid art
2 – By producing often abnormal works compared to traditional art forms in order to be able to compare with museums and contemporary art galleries, New Media Art artists had to imagine specific modes of exposure.
3 – He used the network in an innovative way both for the creation and for the dissemination/archiving of artistic production ( e.g. Digicult, Rhizome and, to remind us of when we were young (0100101110101101).
Take for example Face to Facebook.Paolo Cirio and Alessandro Ludovico filtered 1 million Facebook profiles, their faces through a facial recognition program dividing them into some simple categories and placed them in a fake dating site ( www.Lovely-Faces.com). This performance evidently deals with the fragility of social data management systems that are often described as inviolable but above all the casual use of personal data, which also affects our social relations. There have been many attempts to understand how to exhibit this work in a museum, the most successful of which is a graphic of the many faces used.
The trasparency Grenade (2014), work of Julian Olivier, is a grenade that recalls the Soviet ones that captures everything that passes on the net and all the audio around it, filters it and recomposes it on a public online map. Also in this case, the artist is checking the ease with which, in a digital context, the privacy of anyone can be violated.
To change genre we could quote Reflektor Distortion by Carsten Nikolai.Here the work consists of three main components: mirror, reflection and distortion.Basically a basin with water is rotated mind speakers emit variations of low frequency sounds. Water mirrors vertical neon tubes, which are distorted from time to time by sound and rotation. Nikolai says that this installation is based on his thesis that each of us has a distorted perception of reality.
So as not to misunderstand: from now on we do not propose to put ourselves all to deal with Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, robotics, nano and biotechnology, neural networks or put aside the canvases to devote ourselves to writing software (even if they sell well). As you can see, we continue to publish sketches and on the other hand, the very future of New media art is under discussion, given the speed and importance of the succession of innovations that tend to the simultaneous disappearance of mega hardware systems and the the sudden slimming of the connection endings make to imagine a completely different post-digital era.
However, to the increasingly tired reproduction of precovid codes it seems to us that something different should be contrasted, that as said tends to hybridize skills and to give a different role to traditional figures. For example, we think of curators, who should probably implement their capacity to read the potential and problems of spaces and to imagine new and different forms of fruition of all forms of art. Deciding to exhibit only Italian artists or devote themselves to the art of proximity are choices that do not seem convincing to us. Because, while it is true that they could potentially bring to the Market artists who had not had so far the opportunities they deserved, it is true that their landing would be largely on the edge of the Market itself, which certainly did not fall within a national or local dimension.
The need to rethink something is evident if we analyze the effects of the invitation to the use of online culture. Certainly it has led to the introduction of new contents and to the consolidation of the already present experiences, but it is true that the powers of communicative fire are different even there and the contemporary does not seem to have held the comparison, Precisely because of what Vezzoli said at the beginning of this text.
In this sense, in our opinion, the experience of New Media Art can be valuable.
Otherwise we will continue to open Google arts & culture and find, in order, Van Gogh, Monet, Rembrandt, Moma, Starry nigth.
the images are graphic elaborations from the lockdown drawings reported in the previous posts. to know more about