Jeffery Shaw, The Legible City, 1989. Computergraphic Installation. Collection of ZKM-Medienmuseum, Karlsruhe, Germany.
Digital archiving has lately become a much-discussed topic. The illusion of “everlasting” files, advocated at the beginning of the digital revolution started crumbling away, giving way to a perception of digital formats as one of the most ephemeral documents. “We ought to have a very good strategy for digital archiving” says Hiroko Myokan, former curator at Inter Communication Center (ICC), Tokyo and currently working on archiving the very first media art festival in Japan between 1986–1999, for the Agency for Culture in Japan. On a recent visit to Montreal for BIAN 2012, Mutek and Elektra festivals, Myokan and M-KOS resident editor and digital artist Oli Sorenson freely discuss digital archiving as a key phenomenon to our contemporary condition.
Oli Sorenson [OS]: When we first met in Japan two years ago, we had an interesting talked about digital archiving. You were also in a transition period from working as a curator for ICC to going back to studying. Are you still studying now?
Hiroko Myokan [HM]: Yes, I’m still studying archiving and preservation of media art in
Linz Krems, Austria but I’m also doing research for the Agency for Cultural Affairs in Tokyo about the first video and media art festival that happened in Japan between 1985 and 1999, in the Fukui prefecture.
OS: Were these well archived?
HM: Actually, yes. It’s a very rare case. They don’t have any video documentation but only printed materials as well as some broadcasting archives from the local TV broadcast company.
Posted in Archiving, Digital Arts, Interview, Visual Arts
Tagged Daniel Langlois Foundation, Digital archiving, DOCAM, Elektra, Fluxus, Hiroko Myokan, ICC, International Digital Arts Biennale, Moment Factory, Montréal, MUTEK, Vox
Alain Thibault (Right) with artist Robert Lepage at the opening of BIAN. Courtesy of BIAN 2012. Photo: Conception
Alain Thibault is the founder and artistic director of the International Digital Arts Biennale (BIAN), inaugurating its first edition in April 2012. Unlike his sister electronic music event Elektra, BIAN focuses on digital forms of contemporary art, hosted in numerous museums, art galleries, artist-run centres and other venues throughout the city of Montreal. BIAN invited artists from Germany, Japan, France, Switzerland, Austria, The Netherlands, Turkey, USA as well as Quebec and Canada, including renowned names such as Carsten Nicolai and Ryoji Ikeda. Thibault talked to M-KOS about his motivation to take digital arts to the next level, while he enjoys the taste of success of the first edition of his biennale.
M-KOS [MKOS]: As founder for the International Digital Arts Biennale (BIAN), how would you describe your motivation to do such a festival?
Alain Thibault [AT]: In fact I started out with Elektra in 1999, which is also an international festival of digital arts. The focus with Elektra was mainly about concerts and performances, but still with a mandate of blending experimental electronic music with visuals. This could be audiovisual performance, robotic performance, but there was always a central axis on experimental electronic music combined with a visual element. So that began in ’99, and gradually we evolved out of Usine C which is our main headquarters and quite an extraordinary venue for presenting this type of show. By 2005 we started adding more and more installations to the usual performance program, and these slowly spread to other venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal and the Cinémathèque. In 2009 the installation program exceeded the allocated duration of the whole [Elektra] festival and that was when I said to myself I should make another event out of this, entirely devoted to the installation component. This is more or less how BIAN was born. And also this was about highlighting the idea that we arrived at a point in time where major artists were doing major works [in a digital format] and for me it was important to mark that moment.
Posted in Biennale/Triennale, Digital Arts
Tagged Alain Thibault, Articule, Cinematheque, Clark, DHC/ART, Elektra, Hexagram, International Digital Arts Biennale, Montréal, Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, Oboro, SKOL
ELEKTRA 12 – International Digital Arts Festival
04-08 May 2011
Various venues in Montréal
(Clockwork from top left) Cod.Act “Cycledïd-E” (2009) kinetic installation. courtesy of the artist ©Xavier Voirol; Martin Messier “Sewing Machine Orchestra” (2010) AV performance. courtesy of the artist; 1024 Architecture “Euphorie” (2010) AV performance courtesy of the artist; Mary Ellen Bute (1906–1983) film screening curated by Sandra Naumann, courtesy of S.Naumann and Elektra; Yam Lau “Rehearsal” (2011) installation. courtesy of the artist; Kurt Hentschläger “Feed” (2005–06) AV performance. courtesy of the artist
For its 12th edition, ELEKTRA offers a wide selection of the recent digital creations. Based on this year’s theme “Visualising Sound” the festival showcases diverse programs of audiovisual performances, as well as robotics, interactive art and installations, hosted at several Montréal venues.