[artinfo] CfP: REFRESH! conference on Media Art History

Andreas Broeckmann abroeck at transmediale.de
Tue Oct 26 18:21:59 CEST 2004

Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 20:09:14 +0200
From: Oliver Grau <oliver.grau at culture.hu-berlin.de>

Banff New Media Institute, Canada, September 28 - October 3, 2005
http://www.mediaarthistory.org		Deadline: Dec. 1st 2004

"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 (Evening of Sept. 28th, Sept. 29th, 30th, October
1st) 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,
Banff New Media Institute the Database for Virtual Art 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.

Held at The Banff Centre, featuring lectures by invited and selected
speakers, the latter being chosen by an international jury from a
call for papers, the main event will be followed by a two-day summit
meeting (October 2-3, 2005) for in-depth dialogues and international
project initiation (proposals welcome).

For more information on the conference, please visit:

Papers are invited from scholars and postgraduates in any relevant
discipline, particularly art history and new media, art and
technology, the interaction of art and science, and media history,
are encouraged to submit for the following sessions:  (Please address
your proposals to the sessions with the Priority A to C)

I.  MediaArtHistories: Times and Landscapes I and II
I.  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, telematic and
nano art). 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. This panel tries to clarify, if and how
varieties of Media Art have been splitting up during the last
decades. It examines also how far back Media Art reaches as a
historical category within the history of Art, Science and Technology.

2. Although there has been important scholarship on intersections
between art and technology, there is no comprehensive technological
history of art (as there are feminist and Marxist histories of art,
for example.)  Canonical histories of art fail to sufficiently
address the inter-relatedness of developments in science, technology,
and art.  What similarities and differences, continuities and
discontinuities, can be mapped onto artistic uses of technology and
the role of artists in shaping technology throughout the history of
art?  This panel seeks to take account of extant literature on this
history in order to establish foundations for further research and to
gain perspective on its place with respect to larger
historiographical concerns.

II. Methodologies
This session tries to give a critical overview of which methods art
history has been using during the past to approach media art. Papers
regarding media archaeological, anthropological, narrative and
observer oriented approaches are welcome. Equally encouraged are
proposals on iconological, semiotic and cyberfeministic methods.

III. Art as Research / Artists as Inventors
Do "innovations" and "inventions" in the field of art differ from
those in the field of technology and science? Do artists still
contribute anything "new" to those fields of research - and did they
ever in history? Which inventions changed the arts as well as
technology and the media? These questions will be discussed in a
frame from the 19th century until today, special foci of interest are:
- modernism and the birth of media technology 1840 - 1880
- the utopia of merging art and technology in the 1920s and 1960s
- the crisis of the "new" vs. digital media art innovations since the 1980s

IV. Image Science and 'Representation': From a Cognitive Point of View
Although much recent scholarship in the Humanities and Social
Sciences has been "body-minded," this research has yet to grapple
with a major problem familiar to contemporary cognitive scientists
and neuroscientists. How do we reconcile a top-down, functional view
of cognition with a view of human beings as elements of a culturally
shaped biological world? Current scientific investigations into
autopoiesis, emotion, symbolization, mind-body relations,
consciousness, "mental representations", visual and perceptual
systems Šopen up fresh ways of not only figuring the self but of
approaching historical as well as elusive electronic media --again or
anew--from the deeper vantage of an embodied and distributed brain.
Papers that struggle concretely to relate and integrate aspects of
the brain basis of cognition with any number of pattern-making media
are solicited to stimulate debate.

V. Collaborative Practice/ Networking (history)
In a network people are working together, they share resources and
knowledge with each other - and they compete with each other. This
process has sped up enormously within a few decades and has reached a
new quality/dimension. It is the computer who had and has a forming
influence on this change - from the Mainframes of the 50s and 60s to
the PCs of the 70s and the growing popularity of the Internet during
the 90s of the past century. The dataflow created new economies and
new forms of human communication - and last but not least the
so-called globalization.

VI. Pop/Mass/Society
The dividing lines between art products and consumer products have
been disappearing more and more since the Pop Art of the 1960s. The
distinction between artist and recipient has also become blurred.
Most recently, the digitalization of our society has sped up this
process enormously. In principle, more and more artworks are no
longer bound to a specific place and can be further developed
relatively freely. The cut-and-paste principle has become an
essential characteristic of contemporary culture production. The
spread of access to the computer and the internet gives more people
the possibility to participate in this production. The panel examines
concrete forms, as for example computer games, determining the
cultural context and what consequences they could have for the
understanding of art in the 21st century.

VII a. Collecting, preserving and archiving the media arts
Collections grow because of different influences such as art dealers, the art
market, curators and currents in the international contemporary art scene.
What are the conditions necessary for a wider consideration of media art
works and of new media in these collections?

VII b. Database/New Scientific Tools
Accessing and browsing the immense amount of data produced by
individuals, institutions, and archives has become a key question to
our information society. In which way can new scientific tools of
structuring and visualizing data provide new contexts and enhance our
understanding of semantics?

VIII. Cross-Culture - Global Art
Issues of cultural difference will be included throughout Refresh!
However, the panels in Cross-Culture--Global Art provide an
opportunity to examine cross-cultural influences, the global and the
local.  Through these sessions we hope to construct the histories,
influences and parallels to new media art and even the definitions of
what constitutes new media from varied cultural perspectives.  For
example, how what are the impacts of narrative structures from
Aboriginal and other oral cultures on the analysis and practice of
new media?  How do notions of identity shift across cultures
historically, how are these embedded and transformed by new media
practice?  What philosophical perspectives can ground our
understandings of new media aesthetics?  How does globalization and
the construction of global contexts such as festivals and biennials
effect local new media practices? We encourage papers from diverse
cultural perspectives and methodologies.

IX. What can the History of New Media Learn from History of
Science/Science Studies?
As in the case of artists working in traditional media who have
engaged science and technology, new media artists must be situated
contextually in the "cultural field" (Kate Hayles) in which they have
worked or are working.  Science and technology have been an important
part of that cultural field in the twentieth century, and the history
of science and science studies-along with the field of literature and
science--offer important lessons for art historians writing the
history of new media art.  This session invites papers from art
historians and scholars in science-related disciplines which explore
methodological and theoretical issues as well as those that put
interdisciplinary approaches into practice in studying new media art.

X. Rejuvenate: Film, sound and music in media arts history
During an earlier period of new media arts discourse, time-based
media were often considered to be "old media." While this conceit has
been tempered, we still need to consider the sophistication and
provocation of film, sound and music from the perspective of media
arts history. This session invites papers, which examine the return
of old media, thick in their natural habitat of the discourses,
practices and institutions of the arts, entertainment,
science, everyday life, wherever they existed.

Please send a 200 word proposal and a very brief curriculum vitae by
December 1st, 2004
via e-mail to: MediaArtHistories at culture.hu-berlin.de.
Full papers (5000 to 7000 word long) must be received via e-mail
by July 1st., 2005. Details about their format will be sent separately
to the participants. All Papers will be considered for publication.
Registration information soon: www.banffcentre.ca/bnmi/

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