DP0451581: 2004-2006. Funded by the Australian Research Council.
The core aim of this project was to provide a critical analysis of the major changes currently occurring to the production of art and its modes of display and consumption. Our approach was predicated on the identification of an important historical shift, in which digital technologies are promoting a move away from traditional visual art collections based around material objects such as paintings and sculpture. Our hypothesis was that the new modes of aesthetic production, display and consumption provide both a vital index of the cultural dynamics of globalization, and a critical example of the profound redefinition of the social role of art.
The conceptual frame of this project was informed by the interplay of five key questions:
- What is the nature of the emerging sites of artistic production and cultural display?
- What are the cultural metaphors and narratives underlying the interfaces used in contemporary artistic production and display?
- How does new technology alter the modes of engagement between art and its audiences?
- To what extent are the hybrid spaces and fluid interactions sustained by new forms of media art adequately accommodated within established institutions of art and culture?
- How do contemporary modes of artistic production and cultural engagement relate to new forms of human mobility and the spatiality characteristic of the post-industrial landscape?
This framework was designed to historically situate the emergence of new institutions for displaying digital media arts, such as: ZKM (Karlsrhue, Germany); Kiasma (Helsinki, Finland); Mediateque (Sendai, Japan); ICC (Japan); Australian Centre for the Moving Image (Melbourne, Australia); and the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (Liverpool, UK).
A key aim of the project was the generation of a significant platform for formulating cultural policy relating to contemporary art institutions. By developing an historically informed theory of the transformation of the institution of art, the research assisted the development of institutional reflexivity, informing the work of curators, designers and practitioners and funding bodies.