Christiane Paul is Adjunct Curator of New Media Arts at the Whitney Museum of American Art and Associate Prof. at the School of Media Studies, The New School. She has written extensively on new media arts and lectured internationally on art and technology. Her recent books are Context Providers – Conditions of Meaning in Media Arts (Intellect, 2011; Beijing Beepub Media & Culture Publishing Co., 2012), co-edited with Margot Lovejoy and Victoria Vesna; New Media in the White Cube and Beyond (UC Press, 2008); and Digital Art (Thames and Hudson 2003; expanded new edition 2008). As Adjunct Curator of New Media Arts at the Whitney Museum of American Art, she curated several exhibitions—including Cory Arcangel: Pro Tools, Profiling (2007), Data Dynamics (2001) and the net art selection for the 2002 Whitney Biennial—as well as artport, the Whitney Museum’s website devoted to Internet art.
RENEW 2013 – Abstract
Future Histories: Preservation Strategies for Net-based Art (A Case Study) Preserving early net art is now a major concern for the institutions and organizations in the media art world that started supporting and archiving net art in its early years. Net art is intrinsically contextual and the archiving of its context of requires a new understanding of the archive as a “living” environment that can itself adapt to the changing requirements of the mutable “records” it contains. The presentation will outline some of the challenges in the contextualization and archiving of net art by using the Whitney Museum’s preservation of Douglas Davis’ The World’s First Collaborative Sentence, one of the first works of net art to enter a museum collection (1994), as a case study. The project allows online visitors to contribute to an endlessly continuing sentence that takes the form of a series of html pages and raises interesting questions. Since the website was created in HTML in 1994, it looks rather unformatted, with uneven layout and fonts. Should cosmetic changes be made or should the pages retain their “dirt-style” aesthetics? At a certain point, large sections of The Sentence appear garbled, displaying illegible foreign character sets. Should appropriate software be installed to make these sections legible? Should they be translated? The Sentence allows contributors to embed links to external sites or images. After 15 years, the project is suffering from a severe case of link rot. Should the dead links be left alone, pointing to the ephemeral nature of the Web as a habitat for art? Or should one try to retrieve the material to which The Sentence originally linked? The presentation will describe the strategies employed by the Whitney (including the crowdsourcing of preservation) and discuss them as a potential model for net art preservation.
Rewire 2011- Abstract
New Media Art and the Mainstream
refresh! 2005 – Abstract
Media Art Sciences & Feminist Theories: New Alliances? The old and odd discussion concerning High Art versus Low Culture might be still alive in mainstream art history as well as in an advanced media art history and/or media art sciences. I do not want to force this issue because media art or so called new media art has been classified as art in a broad sense – this is no question. Instead of this I would favor new alliances between feminist theories and media art sciences. The recent discourse of cyberfeminism for example shows that the category of gender is not obsolete nor representations of the (virtual) body as a playground of gendered structures (cf. feminist art practices: historical and actual netart and interactive installations). It is more than required to intensify feminist positions in media art sciences specially partial perspectives (Donna Haraway), transversal politics (Nira Yuval-Davis), situated practices as a multicultural feminist attitude (Ella Shohat). Do we need new institutionalization? The virulent discussion offers arguments to promote and to ghettosize feminist media sciences.