Refresh! 2005

Recognizing the increasing significance of media art for our culture, this Conference on the Histories of Media Art will discuss for the first time the history of media art within the interdisciplinary and intercultural contexts of the histories of art. Banff New Media Institute, the Database for Virtual Art, Leonardo/ISAST and UNESCO DigiArts are collaborating to produce the first international art history conference covering art and new media, art and technology, art-science interaction, and the history of media as pertinent to contemporary art.
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, and telematic art). Even in robotics and nanotechnology, artists design and conduct experiments. This dynamic process has triggered intense discussion about images in the disciplines of art history, media studies, and neighboring cultural disciplines. The Media Art History Project 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. It is an evolution with breaks and detours; however, all its stages are distinguished by a close relationship between art, science, and technology.
Refresh! will discuss questions of historiography, methodology and the role of institutions of media art. The Conference will contain key debates about the function of inventions, artistic practice in collaborative networks, the prominent role of sound during the last decades and will emphasize the importance of intercultural and pop culture themes in the Histories of Media Art. Readings of new media art histories vary richly depending on cultural contexts. This event calls upon scholarship from a strongly international perspective.
Therefore Refresh! will represent and address the wide array of disciplines involved in the emerging field of Media Art. Beside Art History these include the Histories of Sciences and Technologies , Film-, Sound-, Media-, Visual and Theatre Studies, Architecture, Visual Psychology, just to name a few.