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
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
effective exchange of information between
professionals, as well as between professionals and audience;
mechanisms for inclusion of creative research, projects or ideas into this
conditions for knowledge accumulation, exchange and reproduction (education,
but most essential for the above elements’
- a platform for culture valorization of the
This was the main goal in organizing the "Access
to Excess" international conference as part of the second Media Forum.
- 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
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
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
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
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.