Media Art Needs Global Networked Organisation & Support

An International Declaration

State of Affairs

Digital technology has fundamentally changed the way art is made. Over
the last forty years, Media Art has become a significant part of our
networked information society. Although there are well-attended
international festivals, collaborative research projects, exhibitions
and database documentation resources, Media Art research is still
marginal in universities, museums and archives. It remains largely
under-resourced in our core cultural institutions.

As a result of rapid changes in technology, many major works made even
10 years ago can no longer be shown or are disappearing without a trace.
If this situation is not addressed, we face losing an art form that is a
central part of our post-industrial digital culture. To date, systematic
global preservation and documentation campaigns do not exist.

Many important online documentation and research projects are also
disappearing from the web. As they falter, we risk losing their valuable
material forever. Contemporary scientific research relies on access to
shared data. The same is true of the Arts and Humanities, which lack a
concerted international policy for sustainability and support of the
digital heritage, such as exists partly in the natural sciences.

Several science disciplines have developed large collective projects to
address the challenges and opportunities of our time by way of networked
digital environments, based on a sustainable and international support
structure. International Media Art research needs similar global
organisation and collaboration.

Goals

a.) Establish international and sustainable funding structures

Therefore it is essential to establish international and sustainable
funding structures that can guarantee the persistence of these valuable
resources, and to make use of networked collaboration to archive key
data in a cooperative process of knowledge transfer between artists,
institutions and researchers internationally. While many nations are
devoting funds for interdisciplinary e-research, we urgently need global
networked collaboration in Media Art research.

Such an international structure/alliance needs the actively supported
membership of media art organisations, archives and individuals. It
should be supported with adequate funding and expertise from the
existing networks of funding agencies, archives, online initiatives and
research institutions.

b.) Supporting an International Association/Institution for Shared Data

We urgently need global networked collaboration in Media Art research
across the aforementioned networks. We need as many bridges into society
as possible: archives, conferences, text repositories, collective
database documentation, and preservation.

This alliance will promote collaboration and advocate the
sustainability, understanding and appreciation of media art heritage by:

  • Recognizing and building upon existing knowledge and resources
  • Providing and fostering channels of communication
  • Enabling the international research community to create/upload/access data to be shared.
  • Encouraging peer exchange and addressing the new challenges of
  • Media Art
  • Developing scientific technologies for documentation and
  • preservation of Media Art
  • Providing inspiration and resources for curators, artists,
  • scholars, educators and audiences
  • Supporting the Media Art History network, its conference series,
  • text repositories and scientific publications
  • Promotion of new ways of understanding media art, science,
  • technology and its histories
  • Only when we develop systematic strategies to address these challenges
    will we be able to fulfill the task that digital culture and its research
    demands of us in the 21st Century.

    Signing Instructions

    Governments, universities, research institutions, researchers, artists,
    academics, funding agencies, foundations, libraries, museums, archives,
    learned societies and professional associations who share the vision
    expressed in this Declaration are invited to join the signatories that
    have already signed the Declaration.

    October 2011

    Sean Cubitt, Winchester School of Art, Southampton, UK
    Oliver Grau, Danube University Krems, Austria
    Ross Harley, COFA, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
    Christiane Paul, The New School, New York, USA
    Diana Domingues, Universidade de Brasília, Brazil
    Lanfranco Aceti, Goldsmiths and Sabanci University, UK and Turkey
    Vanina Hofman, Taxonomedia, Argentina / Spain
    Frieder Nake, University of Bremen, Germany
    Anna Munster, National Institute for Experimental Arts, Sydney, Australia
    Darko Fritz, freelance curator, researcher and artist, Croatia / Netherlands
    Lisa Gye, Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia
    Roy Ascott, University of Plymouth, UK
    Ianina Prudenko, National Pedagogical Dragomanov University, Kyiv, Ukraine.
    Martin Warnke, Leuphana University, Germany
    Mike Stubbs, FACT Liverpool, UK
    Stephen Jones, Stephen Jones & Associates P/L (Video Conservation), Sydney, Australia.
    Andy Williamson, Digital Strategist and Commentator, UK
    Winnie Fu, Microwave International New Media Arts Festival, Hong Kong
    Stephen Partridge, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee, UK
    Paul Thomas, COFA, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
    Alessandro Ludovico, Neural, Italy
    Vince Dziekan, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
    Darren Tofts, Swinburne University, Melbourne Australia
    Itsuo Sakane, Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences, Tokyo, Japan
    Lev Manovich, University of California, San Diego, USA
    ZHANG Ga, The New School / Tsinghua University, US and China
    Andreas Lange, Computerspielemuseum, Berlin, Germany
    Nina Czegledy, University of Toronto, Canada
    Pau Alsina González, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain

     

    The list of signatories continues on the Media Art History site.

    To add your signature send an email to wendy.coones@donau-uni.ac.at