Posts Tagged ‘Video Art’

Media Art and Its Critics in the Australian Context

Sunday, November 11th, 2007

Daniel Palmer

Media Art Histories Archive

This paper

explores the critical reception of media ar

t in Australia over the past three decades, with a view to encouraging more situated critical histories and historically aware critical practices. I give particular emphasis to the responses to key electronic and media art exhibitions by non-specialist critics, writing in newspapers and art journals. Starting with so-called ‘experimental video’ in the 1970s, I explore critical coverage of such seminal events as ‘Some Recent Australian Videotapes’ at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1980, curated by Bernice Murphy and Stephen Jones; ‘The Australian Video Festival’ in 1986; the ‘Third International Symposium on Electronic Art’ in 1992; various exhibitions held by Experimenta since the 1990s; ‘ConVerge: Where Art and Science Meet’, the 2002 Adelaide Biennale of Art; ‘2004: Australian Culture Now’, a collaboration between the National Gallery of Victoria and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), and the biennial Anne Landa Award at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. While this survey reveals an ‘anti-science’ bias, to some extent it also challenges the conception that Australian art critics have ignored or dismissed media art on conservative aesthetic grounds. As such, I draw out some consequences of a too-confident avant-gardism on the part of the new media art community, including a collective fascination with the newness of ‘new media’ art. Another key theme to emerge from this local history is the hybrid role of the video interface. I argue that video art helped to enable the development of ‘new media art’ in the late 1980s, and can be seen as part of a broader shift, with performance art, from the representational tradition of visual art to one engaged in the more presentational modes – incorporating the sense of the viewer participating in the space of the object, images or action. The current position of Australian video art as a bridge between media art and mainstream contemporary art raises the complex issue of how national media art histories relate to broader national and international art contexts. More fundamentally, the survey shows the acute impact of media art’s global networks on local artistic and critical practices.

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Electronic Arts in Australia

Thursday, December 3rd, 1992




I offer a very critical account of technology and of technology 's impact on the world. I'm not the only one to do this – everybody speaks of technology in this way. But now having reconsidered technology … I'm beginning to formulate another hypothesis … In other words, there's a difference of vision. Let's say that the rather critical or pejorative vision of technology represents a first position.Now, from a second position, I'm more interested in seeing technology as an instrument of magic … Up to now I think that technology has been analysed in too realistic a way … it has been typecast as a medium of alienation and depersonalisation. That's what we've done, and that's what we're continuing to do in analyses of virtual reality – it's possible to continue forever in this sort of direction.    

But I sense now that a sort of reversal of focus is taking place … I'll always continue to offer a radically critical analysis of media and technology – one's obliged to do this. But it's also necessary to identify another sort of analysis – a more subtle form of analysis than that one.

– Jean Baudrillard (Paris, 4 June, 1993)


INTRODUCTION: Contemplating Electronic Arts

PETER ANDERSON – Tim Gruchy: Electronic Media Art, Popular Culture and the Experimental Avant-Garde

ARF ARF Interviewed by Nicholas Zurbrugg

ROS BANDT Technology in Australian Sound Installations: Three Recent Approaches

WARREN BURT Installation at Experimenta: Fighting the “So-What” Factor in Electronic Art

WARREN BURT Thoughts on Physicality and Interaction in Current Electronic Music and Art

WARREN BURT Collaborating with Amanda Stewart- Interviewed by Nicholas Zurbrugg

PETER CALLAS Interviewed by Nicholas Zurbrugg

SUSAN CHARLTON – Six Degrees of Freedom: Apres Orlan

HENRI CHOPIN – Concerning Chris Mann

JOHN CONOMOS – Rethinking Australian Video in the Nineties

GRAHAM COULTER SM TH – Exploring the Technological Other: Robyn Stacey and Rosemary Laing


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LINDA DEMENT – Interviewed by Glenda Nalder

LINDA DEMENT The Tales of Typhoid Mary Strip #4

LYN GALLACHER Of Course: A Grammatical Tech Check

ERIC GIDNEY & TONI ROBERTSON Computer Communications for Visual Designers

JOHN GILLIES Interviewed by Nicholas Zurbrugg

JAMES HARLEY & SHIRALEE SAUL A.I.P.: An Installation Publication

LEIGH HOBBA 'Between the glaze and the surface' – Five Uneasy Fragments

BETH JACKSON – Self-Inscription in the Work of Doppio Teatro, Tracey Moffatt and Linda Dement: An Interpretation of Feminist Use of Technology according to Deleuze's Writings on Masochism

ANNE KIRKER – Bashir Baraki and Pat Hoffie: Extending the Vernacular of Prints

FELONIUS KRANK The Snuff-Jazz Conspiracy

BRIAN LANGER Video Art and the Australian International Video Festival

BRIAN LANGER – Chronology of the Australian International Video Festival

ANNE MARSH Bad Futures: Performing the Obsolete Body


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MARTIN Hold Back the Dawn: Notes on the Position of Experimental Film in Australia 1993

ANDREW MCLENNAN A Brief Topography of Australian Sound Art and Experimental Broadcasting

CATHIE PAYNE Visible Spaces, Electronic Records: John Conomos and Tracey Moffatt

SIMON PENNY Working in Electronic Media

TONI ROSS – Portrait of the Artist as Photocopier: Jane Richens

SAM SCHOENBAUM – The Electronic Paws of Jill Scott

JILL SCOTT Paradise Tossed

BILL SEAMAN The Emergence of New Electronic Forms in Australian Art – Rodney Berry. John Colette, Linda Dement, Phillip George, Joyce Hinterding, Jon McCormack, Stelarc, VNS Matrix

ZOE SOFIA Technoscientific Poeisis: Joan Brassil, Joyce Hinterding, Sarah Waterson

STELARC – Interviewed by Martin Thomas: “Just Beaut to Have Three Hands”

URSZULA SZULAKOWSKA – Rose Farrell and George Parkin: Art History and “Primitivism” in Contemporary Australian Performance Photography

DAVID TAFLER – Does the Outback Represent the Centre? Tracing Electronic Art Tracks across Australia

VNS MATRIX AND VIRGINIA BARRATT – Interviewed by Bernadette Flynn

LINDA WALLACE 2000 Thunderstorms: Joyce Hinterding

JOHN WALLER – Interviewed by Nicholas Zurbrugg

LARRY WENDT Sentient Percussion: Ernie Althoff's Music Machines

ADAM WOLTER “So you want to be a computer artist”?