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<nettime> mapping the FIELDS
Armin Medosch on Thu, 21 Feb 2013 21:38:09 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> mapping the FIELDS

Dear All,

We live in an unprecedented era of historical change. The web was/is part of an assemblage of ideologies and empirical realities that can be summarised under terms such as neo-liberal information societies. Since 2008 it is clear that this very system is in crisis. In the past, financial crises have hit the so called peripheries hard, Asia in 1997, Brasil, Russia, in 1998, Argentine in 2001. Now the former West is in the eye of the hurricaine. This is not just about a short dip in the GNP, it is a major transitional crisis, a crisis of the world system and of a specific developmental model in which those digital technologies which we all so love ;-) have played a particular role.

It has become increasingly clear that digitech is part of the problem, rather than the solution (or maybe both). Is it justifiable that data warehouses be built which have the energy consumption of a medium sized town just so that bored teenies can remix manga (sorry for the exmaple it could be anything) so that salaried academics theorise this as the latest fad of remix-society's empowerment?

This is where the Fields project comes in which I have initiated together with Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits of RIXC, Riga. I am posting an early call for participation below.

I have also written a longer text which gives a bit more background:

The gist of the argument is that there is no single term anymore that can serve as an umbrella term for those practices, neither digital art nor media art. We also cannot settle to live comfortably in a post-media condition if this implies the stagnation so characteristic for anything post- (remember, after postmodernism came a phase of hyperactivity, of hyper-modernism, just look at the Shard). We need to move beyond this situation and not just invent a new aesthetics but new forms of living, of coopperation, of exchange. Technologies will play a role in this, but not such a privileged anymore. The vantage point of media as THE key viewpoint from where to conceptualise change has outlived its usefulness. Something new has to come into existence, and this will grow from a multiplicity of interconnected fields.

This is why we are posting such an early call. We are not just making an exhibition, but starting a conversation. So if you do want to participate in this experiment, please respond to the call below (and not to my email address). This is not just for artists but you can also respond as a curator, theorist, activist: put yourself on the map


Call for Participation

Fields starts from the assumption that the changing role of art in society is one where it becomes a critical interloper in patterns of social, scientific, and technological transformations. The range of practices which were once subsumed under terms such as media art, digital art, art and technology, art and science, have experienced such growth and diversification that no single term can work as a signpost any more. Fields is about mapping those expanded fields of artistic practices which are contextual seedbeds for ideas and practices aiming at overcoming the crisis of the present, inventing new avenues for future developments by bringing together traditionally separated domains. Fields is about new ecological and transversal trends in art, outlining potential future trajectories for multifarious types of activities that merge politics, technology, ecology, gender, semiology.

Which Fields act as catalysts and underpin those artistic practices which offer the greatest potential for social change towards more imaginative and sustainable ways of living? Which pre-cursors in the last 30-40 years did exist and what can we learn from those often untold stories? Areas that we will be looking at include but are not restricted to

* real fields, fields as in agricultural fields, works relating to fields, food growing, water, seeds, plant ecologies and communications; eco-activism, agro-socio-political projects * field as metaphor, semiotic field theories and meta-field theories; work as decoding and recoding of cultural patterns of social use of images; * electromagnetic fields: and their experimental epistomologies (quantum field theory); notion of relational field (Burnham 1968); the epistemological implications of quantum theory in art * gendered fields, field as a psychological relation, psychological and psycho-analytical field theories
* field theories of perception
* social field theories, theories of masses and of emotional 'contagion'; relational field theories, notion of culture as a relational field

If you have an art or artistic-research project that fits one of those categories or where you feel that it extends this concept, please send a short description to: fields {AT} rixc.lv

This is a first round call, the deadline is 31st of May, 2013.

In 2013 we aim at organising a number of workshops and event, beginning with Transmediale 2013, where the initial matrix of Fields gets jointly developed. This work is a step to the launch of the final exhibition Fields from May 15 to August 03 as part of Riga Culture Capital 2014, at Arsenals Exhibition Hall of National Art Museum in Riga. Fields is co-curated by Armin Medosch, Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits, and will get produced by RIXC in collaboration with a growing number of networks and partners.



Art, Technology and Social Change

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