Audience Participation in Digital Culture

Art Recognition in the Information Age by Bojana Romic

Posted by Pavel Sedlak on May 18, 2008

Art Recognition in the Information Age

Bojana Romic

The presentation will address two problems that in connection with the position of being a Serbian artist, and more general question about possibility of art recognition in the information age.

Being a multimedia artist of today, demands quite a financial investment, and often lot of research. In Serbia, there are just a few NGO’s and other organizations that may provide funding, but under specific circumstances – for example, only for the projects that are made in cooperation with artists from the country that organization represents. During 90s, artists from Serbia were more likely to get funds from such organizations if their artwork deals with current political situation in the country. The result was that many young artists started making artworks that address the political context, even if they had completely different area of interest, just in order to get funding, and because they hoped they could make themselves “visible” in terms of European market. As information age and development of nano-technology affected the current art practice in the world, it became fashionable to make experiments with touch-sensitive fibers, sonic sculptures, wearable interactive textile and the like – unfortunately, that sort of art practice is not likely to be developed in countries like Serbia, just because the technical equipment for such works is so costly. On the other hand, art groups sometimes produce low-cost works that deal with video gaming and net art, and are usually made by artists and programmers who work together on voluntary-basis. Internet seems to offer infinite possibilities: you may think that now, when you have such perfect tool to express yourself, you can beat the traditional pathway in building your career, and avoid showing off at traditionally important festivals/meetings/biennials in order to become a recognized artist. We need to have on mind that we’re all facing information overload, to many data, too poorly organized – and we CAN imagine that cyberspace is “perfectly democratic place where it makes no difference whether you’re man or woman, black or white”, and that only good idea matters, but as Tim Jordan points out: “power is pre- and postpolitics, pre- and postculture and pre- and postauthority – power is the condition and limit of politics, culture and authority /1/”. So do you (in the information age) can get recognized even if you avoid art establishment, or you still have to get recognized by the curatorial “owner of the gaze/ owner of the power” via traditional sources? In short, what is fundamentally changed in such system with the information age? Personally, I’m closer to the opinion that information age didn’t bring a huge change in this economy of power/technopower in curatorial praxis until now, but yet I still think that Internet offers nice opportunities for selfpromotion. Manuel Castells points out that spaces of places are connected with space of flows /2/ (interactive network), which means that topological map of today should be changed up to distinctive level. On that behalf, there is a potential that New York-London-Berlin axis should share more/less the same relevance with virtual spaces in curatorial praxis in future. If that’s the case, it would be useful to discuss how to what are the rules of the game in this new, augmented reality.

/1/ Tim Jordan, one of the participants of <eyebeam> forum, later published in Interaction – artistic practice in the network, edited by Amy Scholder with Jordan Crandall, Distributed Art Publishers, New York, 107, /2/ Manuel Castells “Space of Flows, Space of Places: Materials for a Theory of Urbanism in the Information Age” in The Cybercities Reader, Routledge, London and New York, 2004

Bio: Bojana Romic (SRB), visual artist and theoretician, graduated at the department for visual arts at the University of Fine Arts in Belgrade. Right now on PhD studies on Theory of Art and New Media Department, University of Arts, Belgrade, with the main field of intertest in cybercultures.

One Response to “Art Recognition in the Information Age by Bojana Romic”

  1. […] 17.20–17.50 Bojana Romic: Art Recognition in the Information Age […]

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