Media Art and the Art Market – Speakers
Symposium OCT-10-2016 // LENTOS Kunstmuseum Linz
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Reinhard Kannonier
Rector of the University of Art and Design, Linz
Dr. Stella Rollig
Director of LENTOS Kunstmuseum, Linz
Dipl. Ing. Gerfried Stocker
Director of the Ars Electronica, GmbH, Linz
Ars Electronica – 37 Years of Supporting Electronic Art
Gerfried Stocker is a media artist and telecommunications engineer. In 1991, he founded x-space, a team formed to carry out interdisciplinary projects, which went on to produce numerous installations and performances featuring elements of interaction, robotics and telecommunications. Since 1995, Gerfried Stocker has been artistic director of Ars Electronica. In 1995-96, he headed the crew of artists and technicians that developed the Ars Electronica Center’s pioneering new exhibition strategies and set up the facility’s in-house R&D department, the Ars Electronica Futurelab. He has been chiefly responsible for conceiving and implementing the series of international exhibitions that Ars Electronica has staged since 2004, and, beginning in 2005, for the planning and thematic
repositioning of the new, expanded Ars Electronica Center.
Dr. Christa Sommerer
Head of Interface Cultures, University of Art and Design, Linz
Media Art and the Art Market – New Challenges and Opportunities
Due to the proliferation of study programs at universities and academies, media art is increasingly becoming an accepted art form. It has its roots in early electronic, participatory and communication art; a significant body of work of this kind has already been produced and many of the pioneering projects have also been presented at the Ars Electronica festivals in Linz during the past 37 years. While one could assume that media art and contemporary art have finally merged, there is still a significant gap between these fields. This is especially evident when we consider the art market. One of the reasons why collectors and museums still shy away from buying and collecting media art, might be its materiality. Media art is often based on processes and code; it is ephemeral by nature. During the past 10 years, however, more and more galleries, art fairs, museums and collections have started to pay attention to this particular form of art practice. By bringing media art works into the art market these new stakeholders demonstrate their appreciation of its historic importance and show that they see a benefit in enhancing its economic value.
Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau are internationally renowned media artist, researcher and pioneers of interactive art. After working, researching and teaching in the US and Japan for 10 years, they set up the department for Interface Cultures at the University of Art and Design in Linz, Austria, where they are both professors. Sommerer is also an Obel Guest Professor at Aalborg University, Denmark, and Laurent Mignoneau was Chaire International Guest Professor at the Université Paris 8 in Paris, France. Together Sommerer and Mignonneau created around 30 interactive artworks, for which they received numerous awards: the 2016 ARCO BEEP Award in Madrid Spain, the 2012 Wu Guanzhong Art and Science Innovation Prize which was bestowed by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China; the 1994 Golden Nica Prix Ars Electronica Award; the 1995 Ovation Award of the Interactive Media Festival in Los Angeles; the Multi Media Award’95 of the Multimedia Association Japan, the 2001 World Technology Award of the World Technology Network in London UK and the PRIZE 2008 – uni:invent Award, which was bestowed by the Ministry of Science and Research in Austria.
Co-Founder of the gallery Carroll/Fletcher, London
13 Confusions: reflections of a gallerist on media art and the art market
In his 1966 essay ‘Thirteen Confusions’, Amos Vogel, founder of New York’s avant-garde ciné-club Cinema 16 and author of ‘Film as a Subversive Art’ (1974), set out to “represent a criticism from within, fully cognizant of the movement’s many achievements”. In the January 2011 edition of frieze magazine, Dan Fox revisited and “re-tool[ed] Vogel’s list, expanding its remit from the underground film of the ’60s to what could be called the above-ground art world of 2010.” The lecture will reflect upon and update the lists of Vogel and Fox from the perspective of Media Art.
Carroll/Fletcher was co-founded in 2012 by Jonathon Carroll and Steve Fletcher. The gallery has quickly emerged as a leading platform for contemporary art with an emphasis on multimedia and new technologies, and a commitment to exploring socio-political and technological themes. To complement the exhibition programme in the gallery’s central London space, Carroll/Fletcher hosts talks, film screenings and live performances, and curates a programme of online exhibitions and experimental and artists’ film in its online space – www.carrollfletcheronscreen.com.
Dr. Christiane Paul
Associate Professor at the School of Media Studies, The New School, and Adjunct Curator of New Media Arts at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Collecting the Digital — Materials, Markets, Models
The different materialities of digital art — from hardware- to software-based or online projects — each have posed specific challenges to private collectors and institutions. Artworks may reside online, being accessible to anyone at any time or even easily downloadable; they may involve specialized technology that will quickly become obsolete or even third-party services and databases. In the case of digital art, traditional characteristics of creating value, such as scarcity or controlled access, do not necessarily apply. The talk will outline the challenges that different materialities pose to collectability and give a brief survey of models for collecting that have emerged for museums and private collectors. The ways these models have changed over time and the evolution of the markets for digital art will also be discussed.
Dr. Christiane Paul has written extensively on new media arts and lectured internationally on art and technology. She has been awarded the Thoma Foundation’s 2016 Arts Writing Award in Digital Art. Her recent books are: A Companion to Digital Art (Wiley Blackwell, 2016), Digital Art (Thames and Hudson, 3rd revised edition, 2015), Context Providers – Conditions of Meaning in Media Arts (Intellect, 2011; Chinese edition, 2012), co-edited with Margot Lovejoy and Victoria Vesna, and New Media in the White Cube and Beyond (UC Press, 2008). As Adjunct Curator of New Media Arts at the Whitney Museum of American Art, she curated several exhibitions—including Cory Arcangel: Pro Tools (2011), Profiling (2007), Data Dynamics (2001), and the net art selection for the 2002 Whitney Biennial—and is responsible for artport, the Whitney Museum’s website devoted to Internet art. Other recent curatorial work of hers includes: Little Sister (is watching you, too) (Pratt Manhattan Gallery, NYC, 2015); What Lies Beneath (Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul, 2015); The Public Private (Kellen Gallery, The New School, Feb. 7 – April 17, 2013), Eduardo Kac: Biotopes, Lagoglyphs and Transgenic Works (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2010); Biennale Quadrilaterale (Rijeka, Croatia, 2009-10); Feedforward – The Angel of History (co-curated with Steve Dietz; Laboral Center for Art and Industrial Creation, Gijon, Spain, Oct. 2009); and INDAF Digital Art Festival (Incheon, Korea, Aug. 2009).
Discussion Panel: Morning Session
With: Gerfried Stocker, Steve Fletcher, Christiane Paul, and Christa Sommerer
Dr. Annette Doms
Artistic Director at UNPAINTED Art Fair, Munich
How to promote media art? From an idea to a business
We are living in an era, where, due to the development of technology, people all around the world can create, edit, and communicate ideas and visions. Especially for artists, new technologies have been opening up new possibilities. But if artists are to benefit, the art market must also be capable of making changes. For collectors, that means that criteria that have until now been valid, require a rethink. Besides, the rapid technological shift and its associated societal changes are compelling the body of art historical considerations to undergo a kind of re-evaluation. The art market is a large ocean, inhabited by many species. Although Media Art only comprises a small proportion of its denizens, more and more people are becoming interested in it. Drawing on her personal experiences, Annette Doms describes the development of an idea up to the recent extensions of the art market. This lecture focuses on the challenges ensuing from, the differences in and the explosion of an exciting niche – the trade with digital art.
Dr.phil. Annette Doms is an independent art historian, art curator and keynote-speaker in the field of Digital Arts. Beginning in 2017 she will hold lectures on the history of digital arts at the Urstein Institute in Salzburg. Doms is Co-Founder and Artistic Director at UNPAINTED art fair, an international fair dedicated to the digital arts. Besides, she operates an independent agency for new art market solutions (ICAA). Since 2010 she has been awarding the ARTWARD Prize for talented young artist. Doms studied art history, archeology and psychology at the Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich, Germany. The subject matter of her PhD thesis was About the Situation and Reception of Modern Art after 1945 (2003). While still a student, she held curatorial internships, worked in the international art market and organized exhibitions of contemporary art in private project rooms. In 2004, Doms became a teaching assistant for the conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth and taught at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich (2005-2007). After that, she was the gallery director at Nusser & Baumgart, and that was followed by national as well as international stations as an independent curator and writer based in Munich, Berlin, Brussels and Rome. In her lectures and articles, Doms comments on digital arts, the collection and conservation of digital arts and digital art market solutions. As a theoretician and art market observer, she pleads for a form of art history that includes digital methodology. Her writings have been published in newspapers and journals such as Furtherfield, Private Wealth Magazine, Artcollectors Magazine, MONOPOL, KÜNSTLER – Kritisches Lexikon der Gegenwartskunst, and other print and online publications. She has written catalog essays for, among others, the Kunsthalle Kiel and MetaDeSIGN – LAb[au] book (Brussels). She has given public lectures at Art Moscow 2013 (Moscow, RU), the Cultural Invest Congress 2014 (Berlin), ISMAR – The IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (2014), FKX – Festival for Media Art & Performance (2014), UBS art dialogue (2016) among other institutions, and she teaches courses on digital arts.
Dr. Pau Waelder
Art Critic, Curator and Researcher, Mallorca
Browse, Download, Subscribe: Selling Art Online
Over the last few years, the contemporary art market has enhanced its activities on the Internet with the help of special online platforms and services. These utilize innovative and increasingly effective approaches to bring the art of the galleries to collectors. At the same time, emerging formats for collecting and distributing art are transcending the traditional dynamics of the market by selling artworks in the form of digital files and turning access into a kind of ownership. Art lovers can now browse art, buy it (either as an object or a file) or simply subscribe to curated playlists that are displayed on a screen of their choosing. These new forms of acquiring and experiencing art have been accompanied by substantial changes in the structure of the art market, the nature of the artwork as a unique object, and the roles of artists, dealers, and collectors. By examining some of the most prominent platforms and initiatives launched between 2010 and 2016, the current interactions between the contemporary art market and new media will be outlined. The speaker will address the potential development of a different market for art and a new conception of what constitutes an artwork.
Dr. Paul Waelder is an art critic, curator, and researcher. He has a PhD in Information and Knowledge Society from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), where he is a lecturer in the humanities. His recent curatorial projects include the exhibitions Real Time (Arts Santa Mònica, Barcelona), Remote Signals (ARS, Tallinn), Data Cinema (Media Art Futures Festival, Murcia) and Extimacy. Art, intimacy and technology (Es Baluard Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Palma). His articles and essays have appeared in several publications, including the contemporary art magazines ETC MEDIA (Canada), artpress (France), Input (Spain) and a:minima (Spain), as well as the peer-reviewed journals Leonardo (US), M/C Journal (Australia) and Artnodes (Spain), among others. He is currently the editor of the Media Art section at art.es magazine, and also regularly writes texts for art exhibition catalogues and other publications. www.pauwaelder.com
DAM Gallery, Berlin
How Digital Art has Affected the Art Market
In its pure essence digital art is based on code, that is, on 0s and 1s; it therefore stands for immateriality, for pure information. Marketing software or animations, which are merely files, on a market, that has for ages been based on the concept of collecting unique artifacts, has proved to be a real challenge for collectors as well as for institutions. This kind of marketing is still in its initial phase, so we have good reason to be curious about how it will develop in the future.
Wolf Lieser, originally an artist working with photography, began soon to manage an artist friend. Since 1990 he has been working as an art consultant, mostly developing art projects for companies. In 1994 he opened his first gallery in Wiesbaden. In 1998 he founded the Digital Art Museum [DAM], an online museum, which was developed in collaboration with Metropolitan University, London between 2000 and 2002. At the same time he managed Colville Place Gallery, London, together with Keith Watson, the first commercial gallery dedicated to Digital Art.
In 2003 he relocated to Berlin, where he opened DAM Berlin, the commercial addition to the online-museum with the purpose to develop a market for these artists. In 2005 DAM launched the DAM DIGITAL ART AWARD |DDAA|, a biannual lifetime-award for pioneers in Digital Media, in cooperation with Kunsthalle Bremen and Agentur LOHNZICH, which was bestowed until 2012. His book “Digital Art” was published in 2009 in 6 languages by h.f.ullmann Publishing . From 2010 to 2012 DAM operated an additional gallery in Cologne and from 2013 – 2014 in Frankfurt/Main. Since 2006 DAM collaborates with Sony Center am Potsdamer Platz, which presents several times a day Digital Art on large public screen. Wolf Lieser has lectured at various institutions like the Sorbonne University, Paris, Kunsthalle Bremen,University of Bournemouth, the Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften and the Universität der Künste in Berlin, beside festivals and conferences.
Discussion Panel: Afternoon Session
With: Annette Doms, Paul Waelder, Wolf Lieser, and Christa Sommerer