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New Media(tors)

The Social Life of Digital Art

Co-organized by the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and GEN ART SF (a nonprofit San Francisco organization aimed at emerging artists and new arts audiences), New Media(tors): The Social Life of Digital Art was a forum for discussion among new media artists and audiences about their role in society and the new economy, and the effects of network culture on the creation, interpretation, collection, and preservation of contemporary visual art. New Media(tors) included three interactive components: an e-mail discussion list, a panel event, and a video conversations kiosk.

The panel took place on Sunday, September 23, 2001, and included participants: Shawn Brixey, artist and professor of digital media, Department of Art Practice, UC Berkeley; Alex Galloway, artist and editor/director of technology, Rhizome.org; Lynn Hershman, artist and professor/director, Media Arts Program, UC Davis; Jason Lewis, artist and founder, Arts Alliance Laboratory. The panel was moderated by Richard Rinehart, artist, director of digital media, BAM/PFA, and faculty, Department of Art Practice, UC Berkeley.

The explosion of digital art has created a new social and economic environment within the arts community and culture at large. Increasing numbers of artists as well as presenters, collectors, media and tech industry partners, and audiences are active agents finding their way through this new digital subculture. This event tracked the new modes of operation being used to adapt in this new environment, considering the questions: How are digital artists surviving in a medium that is difficult to sell? Are presenters changing their own economic models? How are the larger artistic and curatorial professions measuring achievement? How are collectors responding to intangible and ephemeral art works? How does the unique relationship to the technology industry affect digital art? Are the audiences for digital art the same or different from traditional art audiences?

After a lively discussion among speakers and audience members, everyone moved to the museum lobby for a wine reception, where the conversations continued in a less formal setting that included audience members using the Video Conversation Kiosk to record video responses to the event.

Video 1
September 23, 2006; yyyy 43 Minutes; Video
Video 2
September 23, 2006; yyyy 43 Minutes; Video
Video 3
September 23, 2001; yyyy 55 Minutes; Video