[iDC] interesting article on new media scene in LA

Anna Munster A.Munster at unsw.edu.au
Sat Oct 29 21:46:05 EDT 2005

As if the attempt to canonize a swathe of new media art was not enough at
Refresh! - now we need the social centre as well!!
> I agree with Robbin -- this article is, for me, one of those "look
> what we (socal media) invented -- another reason to posit our
> physical location as the center of all things new."

I agree absolutely with John and Robin on their responses to this - and
wonder if this is not simply the work of the techno-economies of Southern
Rim  but a desperate attempt to regather the energies of new media back to
the US West coast after the restructure/fall out of the dotcom crash (and
its subsequent turn to global outsourcing etc). What better to do this
than the convergence of art-research-the academy.

Actually I am a big fan of many of the artists now in the SoCo "hub" but
for god's sake, let's hope they don't get seduced by this pr positioning
(although Naimark has already long gone, I'd say).

What is interesting in such an article is the (unconscious) uptake of a
centre-periphery syntax that is of course common to the ways in which the
global biennale art systems have been vying for and recapturing the
aesthetic imaginary for the last 5-8 years. Biennales springing up
everywhere in order to become the new "centre" or hub for art.

I think this art-research model is actually more militaristic in origin
than business (of course the two converge at a number of places). I'm
speaking from  my own experience in the Australian context here - the
technical and aesthetic outcomes of such models are not to spread and
commercialise research but to maintain a kind of research 'club' of high
level R&D, working behind closed doors on all kinds of technical
applications. The art is the thing that is used to sell this military
model as a public imagining/imaginary.

In such a way, this model is even more than a decade old as John suggests
- it's more like conceiving of art-research as a node in ARPANET!

However, I'm not saying that these kind of node-hubs cannot be exploited
but once again it means that those in the network must work hard to
"out_network" without simply outsourcing...


Dr. Anna Munster
Senior Lecturer,
Postgraduate Co-ordinator
School of Art History and Theory
College of Fine Arts
University of New South Wales
P.O Box 259
NSW 2021
ph: 612 9385 0741
fx: 612 9385 0615

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