Histories of Post Digital: 1960s and 1970s Media Art Snapshots


text from the press release:

“Histories of Post Digital: 1960s and 1970s Media Art Snapshots”
will be take place at the Akbank Sanat Beyoğlu, Istanbul,
between 17 December 2014 – 21 February 2015

Curator: Ekmel Ertan
Co-curator: Darko Fritz

This exhibition aims to explore the histories of media art after the real and seemingly permanent entry of the digital into our lives. It does so beginning from the beginning and looking at the first attempts, first digital artistic products of the 1960s and 1970s. It attempts to read from the present perspective the histories that were written with each event, each research and artwork and that are part of the paradigm we live in now.

The exhibition has two main axes. The first one “9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering” focuses on a legendary series of performances that took place at the Regiment Armory building in New York in 1966. With performances by 10 artists, 9 Evenings is a milestone in the field of art and technology, an event where many of this field’s firsts originated. The second is about the 4th and 5th exhibitions of the (New) Tendencies movement, organized in Zagreb in 1968-69 and 1973. These two vanguard exhibitions that took place in the relative periphery of Europe at an early date and the discussion they inspired meant that the computer has come of age as an artistic medium. In collaboration with the MSU – Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb and an international network of collectors and private archives, this exhibition offers the overview of the original early digital artworks including Waldemar Cordeiro, Gustav Metzger, Vladimir Bonačić, Frieder Nake among others.

There will be first time presented computer installation with anti Vietnam war slogan Nixon Murderer conceived back in 1969 by Remko Scha. First time after 35 years will be publicly presented Mobilodrom – “a vehicle producing sounds in reaction to its environment” from 1979 by Michael Fahres, now in the form of multimedia documentation.

The Off-Line Media Space, which takes up a large section of the exhibition, will offer a wide array of resources in field of media. A large collection of books, Transmediale and Art Electronica catalogs from the last 30 years as well as entire collections of the magazines Neural and Mediamatic will be on hand here. In addition, there will be three computer stations in this space dedicated solely to the voluntary endeavour of translating the rapidly growing media archive artelectronicmedia.com, The Art and Electronic Media Online Companion by Edward A. Shanken in Turkish. This is certainly not a one-way translation, it will also allow the works and events realized in Turkey to be archived in a universal manner.

The Saturday Seminars will take place during the exhibition and aim to give the audience an opportunity to hear about media histories from a group of artists and researchers who actively contributed to these histories though artistic creation and writing.

The Wednesday conversations aim to deepen and broaden the conversation around specific topics and works. They will also provide an open and live resource as well as a space to work and converse.

“9 Evenings of Theatre and Engineering”

10 films, 10 artists and avant-garde performers in collaboration with 30 engineers from Bell Telephone Laboratories in New York, by Barbro Schultz Lundestam, series director and E.A.T. Julie Martin, executive producer.

John Cage - Variations VII
Lucinda Childs - Vehicle
Öyvind Fahlström - Kisses Sweeter Than Wine
Alex Hay - Grass Field
Deborah Hay - Solo
Steve Paxton - Physical Things
Yvonne Rainer - Carriage Discreteness
Robert Rauschenberg - Open Score
David Tudor - Bandoneon! (a combine)
Robert Whitman - Two Holes of Water-3

Documentary film: New Tendencies, 2008, directed by Vladislav Knežević, HRT, Croatian National TV.

Digital artists, exhibited:

Marc Adrian, Jan Baptists Bedaux, Vladimir Bonačić, Frank Böttger, Jeroen Clausman, Compos 68, Waldemar Cordeiro, Charles Csury, D. E. Evans, Michael Fahres, David R. Garrison, Hans Köhler, Auro Lecci, Robert Mallary, Jean Claude Marquette, Gustav Metzger, Tomislav Mikulić, Petar Milojević, Jorge Moscati, Frieder Nake, Georg Nees, A.Michael Noll, Ivan Picelj, Ludwig Rase, Sylvia Roubaud, Beverly Rowe, Remko Scha, Manfred Robert Schroeder, Arthur Veen, Aron Warszawski, Gerold Weiss, Rolf Wölk, Edward Zajec, Vilko Žiljak, Anton Zöttl

Saturday Seminars:

20 December 2014
“Agents of Social Change in 1960s and 1970s Digital Art”
Darko Fritz

10 January 2015
“9 Evenings of Engineering and Theatre””
Sylvie Lacerte

17 January 2015
“Histories of Post Digital: Media Art in Turkey”
Ekmel Ertan

24 January 2015
“The Complex Expression of Digital Art: MediaArtHistories and its Impact on Archives and Humanities”
Oliver Grau

7 February 2015
“An Archaeological Rewiring of the Contemporary in Arts”
Jussi Parikka

14 February 2015
“The Technological Unconscious and Digital Art”
Armin Medosch

21 February 2015
“Genealogies of the Digital: A ‘Post’-Critique”
Christiane Paul


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