REFRESH! FIRST INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE HISTORIES OF MEDIA ART, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY September 28 – October 2, 2005 at Banff New Media Institute, Canada
“The technology of the modern media has produced new possibilities of interaction…What is needed is a wider view encompassing the coming rewards in the context of the treasures left us by the past experiences, possessions, and insights.” (Rudolf Arnheim, Summer 2000)
Recognizing the increasing significance of media art for our culture, this Conference on the Histories of Media Art will discuss for the first time the history of media art within the interdisciplinary and intercultural contexts of the histories of art. Leonardo/ISAST, the Database for Virtual Art, Banff New Media Institute, and UNESCO DigiArts are collaborating to produce the first international art history conference covering art and new media, art and technology, art-science interaction, and the history of media as pertinent to contemporary art.
MEDIA ART HISTORIES After photography, film, video, and the little known media art history of the 1960s-80s, today media artists are active in a wide range of digital areas (including interactive, genetic, and telematic art). Even in robotics and nanotechnology, artists design and conduct experiments. This dynamic process has triggered intense discussion about images in the disciplines of art history, media studies, and neighboring cultural disciplines. The Media Art History Project offers a basis for attempting an evolutionary history of the audiovisual media, from the laterna magica to the panorama, phantasmagoria, film, and the virtual art of recent decades. It is an evolution with breaks and detours; however, all its stages are distinguished by a close relationship between art, science, and technology.
Refresh! will discuss questions of historiography, methodology and the role of institutions of media art. The Conference will contain key debates about the function of inventions, artistic practice in collaborative networks, the prominent role of sound during the last decades and will emphasize the importance of intercultural and pop culture themes in the Histories of Media Art. Readings of new media art histories vary richly depending on cultural contexts. This event calls upon scholarship from a strongly international perspective.
Therefore Refresh! will represent and address the wide array of disciplines involved in the emerging field of Media Art. Beside Art History these include the Histories of Sciences and Technologies , Film-, Sound-, Media-, Visual and Theatre Studies, Architecture, Visual Psychology, just to name a few.
DOCUMENTATION – CURATING – COLLECTION Although the popularity of media art exhibited at exhibitions and art festivals is growing among the public and increasingly influences theory debates, with few exceptions museums and galleries have neglected to systematically collect this present-day art, to preserve it and to demand appropriate conservatory measures. Thus, several decades of international media art is in danger of being lost to the history of collecting and to academic disciplines such as art history. This gap will have far-reaching consequences; therefore, the conference will also discuss the documentation, collection, archiving and preservation of media art. What kind of international networks must be created to advance appropriate policies for collection and conservation? What kind of new technologies do we need to optimize research efforts and information exchange?
CONFERENCE Held at The Banff Centre, featuring lectures by invited speakers as well as others selected by a jury from a call for papers, the main event will be followed by a two-day summit meeting (October 1-2, 2005) for in-depth dialogues and international project initiation. The first call for papers will be in late Summer 2004. In particular, young postgraduates in the research areas of: art history and new media, art and technology, the interaction of art and science, and media history, are encouraged to submit for the following panels:
MEDIA ART HISTORIES Times and Landscapes Methodologies Invention Collaborative Practice Pop Mass Society Cross-Culture, Global Art
ART HISTORY AS IMAGE SCIENCE Film, Sound, Media Art & Performance History of Sciences & Media Art Media & Visual Studies
DOCUMENTATION – CURATING – COLLECTION – RIGHTS New Scientific Tools History of Institutions
CONFERENCE DIRECTOR & ORGANISATION Oliver GRAU, Director Immersive Art & Database of Virtual Art Humboldt University Berlin http://virtualart.hu-berlin.de