Refresh! program


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Day 1
Thursday, 29 September 2005
Day 2
Friday, 30 September 2005
Day 3
Saturday, 1 October 2005
8:30am – 9:20am Max Bell Aud.
London 3:30pm, Moscow 6:30pm, Tokyo 11:30pm
Welcome Address
by Conf. Chair Oliver Grau (8:30am)
Address Sara Diamond/Susan Kennard – Roger MalinaKeynoteIntroduction: Ryszard Kluszczynski

Edmond Couchot: Media Art: Hybridization and Autonomy

Towards the Autonomous Image

Opening Plenary (9:20am -11:05am, Max Bell Aud.)
London 4:20pm, Moscow 7:20pm, Tokyo 12:20am

Session I:
MediaArtHistories: Times & Landscapes 1
(Chairs: Oliver Grau and Gunalan Nadarajan )

After photography, film, video, and the little known media art history of the 1960s-80s, today media artists are active in a wide range of digital areas (including interactive, genetic, telematic and nanoart). Media Art History offers a basis for attempting an evolutionary history of the audiovisual media, from the Laterna Magica to the Panorama, Phantasmagoria, Film, and the Virtual Art of recent decades. This panel tries to clarify, if and how varieties of Media Art have been splitting up during the last decades. It examines also how far back Media Art reaches as a historical category within the history of Art, Science and Technology. This session will offer a first overview about the visible influence of media art on all fields of art.


11:05am -11:20am
Coffee break

Plenary (11:20am – 1:10pm, Max Bell Aud.)
London 6:20pm, Moscow 9:20pm, (fri)Tokyo 2:20

Session II: Methodologies (Chairs: Mark Hansen and Erkki Huhtamo)
This session tries to give a critical overview of which methods art history has been using during the past to approach media art. Papers regarding media archaeological, anthropological, narrative and observer oriented approaches are welcome. Equally encouraged are proposals on iconological, semiotic and cyberfeministic methods.

1:10pm – 2:10pm
Lunch break

Plenary (2:10pm -4:10pm, Max Bell Aud.)
London 9:10pm, Moscow 12:10am, (fri)Tokyo 5:10
Session III: Image Science and ‘Representation’: From a Cognitive Point of View (Chair: Barbara Stafford)
Although much recent scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences has been “body-minded,” this research has yet to grapple with a major problem familiar to contemporary cognitive scientists and neuroscientists. How do we reconcile a top-down, functional view of cognition with a view of human beings as elements of a culturally shaped biological world? Current scientific investigations into autopoiesis, emotion, symbolization, mind-body relations, consciousness, “mental representations”, visual and perceptual systems …open up fresh ways of not only figuring the self but of approaching historical as well as elusive electronic media –again or anew–from the deeper vantage of an embodied and distributed brain. Papers that struggle concretely to relate and integrate aspects of the brain basis of cognition with any number of pattern-making media are solicited to stimulate debate.


4:10pm – 4:25pm

CONCURRENT SESSION 1 (4:25pm – 6:25pm)
London 11:25pm, (fri)Moscow 2:25, (fri)Tokyo 7amSession IV: Art as Research / Artists as Inventors
(Chair: Dieter Daniels)

Do “innovations” and “inventions” in the field of art differ from those in the field of technology and science? Do artists still contribute anything “new” to those fields of research – and did they ever in history? Which inventions changed the arts as well as technology and the media? These questions will be discussed in a frame from the 19th century until today, special foci of interest are:
– modernism and the birth of media technology 1840 – 1880
– the utopia of merging art and technology in the 1920s and 1960s
– the crisis of the “new” vs. digital media art innovations since the 1980s


CONCURRENT SESSION 2 (4:25pm-6:25pm, Max Bell Aud.)
London 11:25pm, (fri)Moscow 2:25, (fri)Tokyo 7am
Session V: MediaArtHistories: Times and Landscapes 2
(Chairs: Edward Shanken and Charlie Gere)

Although there has been important scholar-ship on intersections between art and tech-nology, there is no comprehensive techno-logical history of art (as there are feminist and Marxist histories of art, for example.) Canonical histories of art fail to sufficiently address the inter-relatedness of develop-ments in science, technology, and art. What similarities and differences, continuities and discontinuities, can be mapped onto artistic uses of technology and the role of artists in shaping technology throughout the history of art? This panel seeks to take account of extant literature on this history in order to establish foundations for further research and to gain perspective on its place with respect to larger historiographical concerns.


Exhibition Opening (8:30pm, Reception at the Walter Phillips Gallery) Sara Cook/Steve Dietz
Sara Diamond: Introduction
Anthony Kiendl: Greeting

The Art Formerly Known As New Media
“The Art Formerly Known As New Media” is an exhibition at the Walter Phillips Gallery (Sept. 17 – Oct. 23) curated by Sarah Cook and Steve Dietz on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Banff New Media Insti-tute. Selected from the hundreds of artists who have participated in the Institute’s programming (symposia, co-productions, labs), the exhibition is not an historical retrospective of work commissioned, pro-duced or previously presented at Banff. It is a “refreshed” look at how traditional forms of new media work such as interactive install-ations, interfaces, software, responsive performances, immersive spaces, and the world wide web have been explored through BNMI’s programming in terms of broader questions of economics, politics, social rela-tions, public space, memory, leisure, contemporary art, and what it means to be human as we increasingly become machine.


Plenary (8:45am – 10:45am, Max Bell Aud.)
London 3:45pm, Moscow 6:45pm, Tokyo 11:45pm
Session VI: Collecting, Preserving and Archiving the Media Arts
(Chair: Steve Dietz)

Collections grow because of different influences such as art dealers, the art
market, curators and currents in the international contemporary art scene.
What are the conditions necessary for a wider consideration of media art
works and of new media in these collections?

10:45am -11:00am
Coffee break

CONCURRENT SESSION 1 (11am -1:00pm, Max Bell Aud.)
London 6pm, Moscow 9pm, (sat)Tokyo 2am
Session VII: Database/New Scientific Tools
(Chairs: Rudolf Frieling and Oliver Grau)

Accessing and browsing the immense amount of data produced by individuals, institutions, and archives has become a key question to our information society. In which way can new scientific tools of structuring and visualizing data provide new contexts and enhance our understanding of semantics?


CONCURRENT SESSION 2 (11am-1:00pm) London 6pm, Moscow 9pm, (sat)Tokyo 2am Session VIII: Pop/Mass/Society
(Chairs: Machiko Kusahara and Andreas Lange)

The dividing lines between art products and consumer products have been disappearing more and more since the Pop Art of the 1960s. The distinction between artist and recipient has also become blurred. Most recently, the digitalization of our society has sped up this process enormously. In principle, more and more artworks are no longer bound to a specific place and can be further developed relatively freely. The cut-and-paste principle has become an essential characteristic of contemporary culture production. The spread of access to the computer and the internet gives more people the possibility to participate in this production. The panel examines concrete forms, as for example computer games, determining the cultural context and what consequences they could have for the understanding of art in the 21st century.


1:00pm – 2:00pm
Lunch break

Poster Session (2:00pm – 4:00pm)
London 9pm, Moscow 12am, (sat)Tokyo 5am
Experts of the field will be invited to present their research visually. In a large space at the Banff New Media Institute every presenter will have his own poster board space. During the presentation, the presenter remains at the display board to answer questions and discuss the contents of the display.


4:00pm – 7:00pm

Lab walk-thru

RUDOLF ARNHEIM LECTURE (8:00pm – 9:00pm, Max Bell Aud.) (sat) London 3am, (sat) Moscow 6am, (sat)Tokyo 11am

Introduction: Roger Malina
SARAT MAHARAJ: Post-Guten(morgen)berg: Soundings for a North/South Atlas of Art and New Media Histories.

Plenary (8:30am – 10:30am, Max Bell Aud.)
London 3:30pm, Moscow 6:30pm, Tokyo 11:30pm Session IX: Cross-Culture – Global Art
(Chairs: Sara Diamond)

Issues of cultural difference will be included throughout Refresh! However, the panels in Cross-Culture–Global Art provide an opportunity to examine cross-cultural influences, the global and the local. Through these sessions we hope to construct the histories, influences and parallels to new media art and even the definitions of what constitutes new media from varied cultural perspectives. For example, how what are the impacts of narrative structures from Aboriginal and other oral cultures on the analysis and practice of new media? How do notions of identity shift across cultures historically, how are these embedded and transformed by new media practice? What philosophical perspectives can ground our understandings of new media aesthetics? How does globalization and the construction of global contexts such as festivals and biennials effect local new media practices? We encourage papers from diverse cultural perspectives and methodologies.

10:30am -10:45am
Coffee break

CONCURRENT SESSION 1 (10:45am – 12:45pm)
London 5:45pm, Moscow 8:45pm, (sun)Tokyo 1:45
Session X: Cross-Disciplinary research methods
(Chairs: Frieder Nake and Ron Burnett)

The pressure to become interdisciplinary is very intense — coming from a variety of disciplines and institutions. Ironically, this pressure has been around for a very long time. So, why don’t we just strive for excellence irrespective of discipline? Don’t the artistic practices within the field of New Media push us in that direction anyway?

CONCURRENT SESSION 2 (10:45am-12:45pm)
London 5:45pm, Moscow 8:45pm, (sun)Tokyo 1:45
Session XI: Rejuvenate: Film, Sound and Music in Media Arts History (Chairs: Douglas Kahn and Sean Cubitt)
During an earlier period of new media arts discourse, time-based media were often considered to be “old media.” While this conceit has been tempered, we still need to consider the sophistication and provocation of film, sound and music from the perspective of media arts history. This session invites papers, which examine the return of old media, thick in their natural habitat of the discourses, practices and institutions of the arts, entertainment,
science, everyday life, wherever they existed.


12:45pm – 1:45pm
Lunch break

Keynote (1:45pm – 2:45pm, Max Bell Aud.)
London 8:45pm, Moscow 11:45pm, (fri)Tokyo 4:45

Introduction: Sara Diamond
Lucia Santaella: The Semiosis of Media Art, Science and Technology

CONCURRENT SESSION 1 (2:45pm – 4:45pm)
London 9:45pm, Moscow 12:45am, (sun)Tokyo 5:45

Session XII: Collaborative Practice/ Networking (history)
(Chairs: Ryszard Kluszczynski and Diana Domingues)

In a network people are working together, they share resources and knowledge with each other – and they compete with each other. This process has sped up enormously within a few decades and has reached a new quality/dimension. It is the computer who had and has a forming influence on this change – from the Mainframes of the 50s and 60s to the PCs of the 70s and the growing popularity of the Internet during the 90s of the past century. The dataflow created new economies and new forms of human communication – and last but not least the so-called globalization.

CONCURRENT SESSION 2 (2:45pm-4:45pm, Max Bell Aud.)
London 9:45pm, Moscow 12:45am, (sun)Tokyo 5:45
Session XIII: What Can the History of New Media Learn from History of Science/Science Studies? (Chair: Linda Henderson)
As in the case of artists working in traditional media who have engaged science and technology, new media artists must be situated contextually in the “cultural field” (Kate Hayles) in which they have worked or are working. Science and technology have been an important part of that cultural field in the twentieth century, and the history of science and science studies-along with the field of literature and science–offer important lessons for art historians writing the history of new media art. This session invites papers from art historians and scholars in science-related disciplines which explore methodological and theoretical issues as well as those that put interdisciplinary approaches into practice in studying new media art.


London 12am, (sun) Moscow 3am, (sun )Tokyo 8am
Session XIV: High Art/Low Culture – the Future of Media Art Sciences? (Chair: Karin Bruns)
The panel aims to bring together the methodological fields of media studies and media art history. Rather than limiting their focus to canonical works of art new studies in media art production blend methods and issues from art history and media sciences as well as from communication studies, sociology, techno sciences, art history, cultural and postcolonial studies. To enhance discussions papers of the following topics are invited: methods, history and principles of western media sciences; concepts of techno-cultural media sciences; visual studies, game culture studies and media art; everyday digital culture.


CONCURRENT SESSION 2 (5pm-7pm, Max Bell Aud.)
London 12am, (sun) Moscow 3am, (sun) Tokyo 8am
Session XV: History of Institutions
(Chairs: Itsuo Sakane and Jasia Reichardt)

There are inevitable parallels between the development of what we now call media art and life at large. Excess of information leads to insecurity — what to believe, what to select, what to keep and what to discard.
Sustainability, conservation, education and access are topics relevant to today’s media art, and as relevant to it as to our natural resources. Now that media art has a history, how do we keep track of it and preserve it?