Digital art or net.art is beginning to receive attention from museums and other public exhibition spaces. Still, it is necessary to know these places.
Already in 2008, Jocelyne Quélo (1) had drawn up a list of the various spaces of access to net.art:
- Annual event of European scope, festival type
- Temporary or permanent exhibitions
- Works on the network
- Open days
- Hosting of one-off events, workshop types, performances, concerts...
- European circuit for the dissemination of works.
Here is a short selection, without any ambition of exhaustiveness, of spaces allowing to see, listen and especially live the net.art.
IMAL, Brussels. The association Interactive Media Art Laboratory opened in 2007 an exhibition space, the center for digital cultures and technology, in the center of Brussels, a European crossroads. It is both an exhibition space and a media lab. On the spot, one can visit numerous exhibitions and installations, attend performances, workshops and conferences, listen to electro music and see it being made. Online, the IMAL website provides many links to the websites of the invited artists, descriptions of present and past exhibitions and many photos.
ERG, MultimediaLab. The MultimediaLab is the site of the courses given by Marc Wathieu at the Graphic Research School of Brussels and the Haute Ecole Albert Jacquard of Namur. Beside the references used in the courses, one finds notably on this site an impressive list of places and institutions dedicated to net.art or presenting it. They are thus nearly 40 places which are referred in Belgium. Netherlands, Germany, France, Canada... are also well endowed. An essential directory.
Digital arts, places and institutions. MultimediaLab, ERG website.
Centre Pompidou, Paris. The Centre Pompidou (Beaubourg) in Paris
La Gaîté Lyrique. Here is a new Parisian exhibition and experimental space, entirely dedicated to electronic music and net.art. Let's bet that a good part of the European geeks will rush there. it's also an opportunity for the curious to discover the creative abundance at work in this vast field, with playful installations. On the site, the Gaîté Live section provides the Internet user with numerous visual and sound works, a blog, ideas for outings... A site and a place that will quickly become essential.
Les Subsistances, Lyon. Les Subsistances, an international laboratory for artistic creation, reserves a nice place for net.art.
Electronic music festivals. Despite its well-known centralism, France is home to many, many electronic music festivals. Among the best known are Lyon's Nuits Sonores, which takes place every May and sees hundreds of artists perform throughout the city, from the most prestigious to the most unlikely venues. The Nantes Scopitone festival takes place in September. It combines electronic music and net.art. During the summer, to dance, we'll turn to Calvi On the Rocks in Corsica, or we'll invest Les Plages Electroniques in Cannes.
Electron Festival, Geneva. Geneva's electronic culture festival mixes electro music, net.art, video, dance and workshop. It took place in April 2012, and the site allows you to see the best moments.
International Digital Art Biennial, Montreal. The first edition of this new event ends on June 13, 2012. Fortunately, the site is full of articles and links about the exhibitions and artists present during this biennial. Enough to make great discoveries throughout the province and whet your appetite for the next edition, which will take place in 2014.
MUTEK Festival, Montreal. Cecile Chandran featured on Thot the MUTEK festival in Montreal, International Festival of Digital Creativity and Electronic Music. Again, the site allows you to extend the experience by offering many sound and video resources.
Reviews and resource sites
Digital Art Museum. The DAM (German site, all in English) is a must space dedicated to net.art. It is a virtual museum, which offers many exhibitions and resources. We will find there for example the history of the net.art, visual and sound archives, and an important section presenting the events dedicated to the net.art in Europe and in America. Access by artist is also possible.
Music and Digital Cultures. MCD is a French magazine, first published in paper format (the magazine still exists) then on the web. Initially dedicated to electronic music, it now covers French and international net.art news to a lesser extent.
Arché. Archée is a Quebec-based online journal dedicated to net.art. It is a demanding, "research" oriented journal. Many works are presented and commented.
Of course, the best source of net.art, the most accessible, the one that is always open, is the web itself! Many, many artists offer their works there, not always easy to find. but the quest is part of the experience:
"Contemporary art has sought to deconstruct space, to change our anchor points, and digital art is just the natural extension of this enterprise: digital works are in a virtual space and we find them thanks to addresses, organized sequences of letters and numbers that, outside of the network are totally obsolete. Even now, it is not so easy to find them. Even though some sites do their best to list URL links to works, we still have to work our way through them. What if this was part of the process of experiencing art on the Web? That of the search where we get lost, where, by groping and gradually, we begin to discover a world larger than we imagined. The search invites us to experience the fullness of discovery here and now." (Claudine Hubert, Archea)
In this issue you'll find an article featuring a "top ten" of must-see net.art artists. You can also venture to the following sites:
Complexification.net. Jared Tarbell's site, which gives us the opportunity to choose templates for artwork to create. So you choose a template from the home page, then the format of the work to produce. The work is born before your eyes, and you can renew it endlessly. Very aesthetic.
Number27.org. Jonathan Harris' site, which explores messages posted on online networks and turns them into works of art. J. Harris is notably the author of the famous We feel fine, which shows in graphic form and almost in real time the state of feelings expressed by users of social networks. many works are experimentable from the site (page "work"). A reference in net.art.
Don't hesitate to let us know about sites, events and places you think are must-see about net.art!
(1): the site on which this article was posted is no longer online. we found it thanks to Jacques Delcuvellerie
Top illustration: Happy Place, by Jared Tarbell.
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