(June 23-27, 2001)
 in the frame of XXIII Moscow International Film Festival Rambler's Top100

F e s t i v a l & C o n f e r e n c e



Tatiana Gorucheva.

Value Systems And Their Reproduction:
Historic And Cultural Valorization Of Media Art.


Media Forum as part of the MIFF - being a kind of satellite-festival - is in itself an interesting phenomenon for the analysis of the contemporary cultural situation in which various innovative and experimental art forms are trying to survive and find their way. These forms use new audiovisual and digital technologies and are not set out to make profits by covering as large an audience as possible.

Now, what do these much-used terms, ‘innovative’ and “experimental” actually mean in this context? Their form is that of a “raw” creative idea - not in the sense of not thought out, not finished or not completed. Their content is the essence of a straightforward and uninhibited artistic utterance, an immediate reflection of the developing thought, frequently decorative or shockingly direct.

These uninhibited ideas are free from marketing multistage oscillation.

Nowadays in Russia the normal conditions for this creative laboratory development are practically non-existent, though this laboratory is indispensable for qualitative progress in culture product, or content reproduction.

The necessary conditions of its existence:

effective exchange of information between professionals, as well as between professionals and audience;
mechanisms for inclusion of creative research, projects or ideas into this cultural exchange;
conditions for knowledge accumulation, exchange and reproduction (education, scientific research)

but most essential for the above elements’ development is

- a platform for culture valorization of the creative product.

This was the main goal in organizing the "Access to Excess" international conference as part of the second Media Forum.

Valorization - an economic term meaning the object’s increase in value. It was introduced in the culture studies by Boris Groise to describe the process of exchange between the profane and high or valorized culture, during which previously insignificant elements of no quality status become valuable and are introduced into the cultural exchange.

Creative activity and its results become to be recognized as art only when they can be judged by existing or suggested specific criteria and possess unique value. Thus they become valuable for cultural memory and later for the art market.

It’s evident that the valorization mechanism, with its work based on accumulation and distribution, belongs to certain institutes, confirms to certain logic and conditions. The later are unique for various culture types but through Western expansion have been almost universally unified in accordance to its priorities. The notions of archives and copyright define the principal system formations, the formations in charge of introduction of a cultural product into content consumption and reproduction.

In the first case we’re speaking of a system for organizing culture values in accepted classifications. They condition how the culture capital (works/objects and knowledge) functions. In Foucault’s definition, “Archives are first of all laws, regulating what can be said, a system defining the appearance of utterances as single instances”..

In the second case we’re dealing with a system regulating the exchange of cultural values and what’s more important, distributing profits from their distribution and exploitation. The rapid development of informative-communicative technologies has resulted in qualitative changes of content production and distribution methods, making them less controllable while the interrelations within the systems become more complex. The overall situation turns more dynamic and unstable.

Concerning the contemporary media art situation it is important to point out that though media art gained its place in the official cultural context of museums and educational institutes, though it has acquired a history and a “gold fund” of its own, due to the same rapid development of technology - its media and object - media art remains geterogeneous, methodologically hybrid and open to radical inventions.

Ideas, problems, technologies and methods used by media artists frequently put their work beyond aesthetics as such while promoting their introduction into the sphere of public interests and even that of “big business”’. Innovative technologies, socio-cultural projects, collective creation and political activity define nowadays the contemporary media art and media culture development.

The value of this artistic activity is conditioned by ideas and practices which influence the qualitative transformation of contemporary society, including ethics and morals. Thus the value system is transformed or corrected.

It is evident that contemporary media culture is not concerned with producing material values. Its accumulated problematics is defined not by the aesthetic representation of “real” subjects but by integrating ideas, methods and technologies from various fields in order to produce new meanings and practical solutions.

This is due to the fact that media art is technology determined for the technological environment is aimed at permanent qualitative transformation or in other words - progress. That’s why the problems of media culture inclusion into the historical archives requires solutions adequate to such media culture characteristics as technological hybridity, interdisciplinarity, distribution in space and time, dynamic development.

The other side of these problems is the question of content quality, of developing the criteria for value axis preservation. Or should we do that at all under circumstances of overproduction in all spheres including culture, when new technologies make it possible to produce and distribute rapidly and with a relative ease these creative explorations as well as successfully promote whatever possible?

Moreover, the development of new forms and technologies of content distribution, expansion of the cultural archives (databases) on the Internet with their easy copying and reproduction, open access and flexibility - lead to changes in the notions of personal, corporate or social gain from various forms of creation, possession and distribution of the artistic product. Consequently the approaches to strategy development of these processes organization and technical equipment is also changed.

Apparently it nowadays makes sense to talk of developing professional methodology basis and practical solutions for the effective usage of new possibilities in the interests of both authors and audience, as well as to maintain the qualitative progress of the overall situation.

Key problem of the conference:

The part and form of participation of intermediary institutions (organizations dealing with media art) in developing adequate methods for media art accumulation and distribution. This includes such problems as preserving electronic art works, exhibiting new forms of digital arts (f.ex. web and soft art), making materials and information more easily accessible with network technologies, making the use of information and materials more effective by means of electronic databases; regulating the relationship with authors; developing distributive machinery.


    © 2001 MediaArtLab; design - @division