Life-based media

A child with Apple iPad
By Intel Free Press, CC BY-SA 2.0

The New Art Fest ’18

When Art Becomes Data

Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea do Chiado

Lisbon, November 9th

Because net art has no market value so far, the Museu Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo (MEIAC), a provincial museum in Badajoz, may justifiably claim to guard one of the largest and best art collections Internet-based. For the last twenty-five years (1993-2018) thousands of post-contemporary artworks have been uploaded to the web in almost every corner of the planet. More than six hundred of these are now being properly archived at the above mentioned Spanish museum under Antonio Franco Domínguez direction, since 1995.

We might call, as has been said during the morning session of When Art Becomes Data, these digital times, previous to Web 2.0 and to cloud computing, the childhood or the naive times of a hard-core cybernetic world—just before its complete digitalization and capture by invisible algorithms, as well as heavy complex code. The future of open source and online authorship is now almost over. ANTs are coming!

Nevertheless, collecting old hardware, old software, deprecated code and vanishing online artworks should be not only a good bet on future value, as an institutional obligation.

Generations of new media and digital migrants (those born before 1980) are now giving pace to the so-called digital natives, also known as Generation Z, iGeneration, Plurals, and Net Gen. Digital immigrants are mainly associated with spacial and time-based arts, like painting, theatre, dance, photography, film, and video, on one hand, and with sculpture, as a walking media, on the other. Digital natives belong to a completely new race of humans as the development of their bodies and minds splits between the atomic and the computational realms. Net gen neurons grow in an entirely different pool of signals. The native digital child grows differently from all his ancestors. All their sensors and feedback loops are educated on a bi-natural environment: part IRL (carbon copied), part evolving into states of organic computing, artificial intelligence, and in the near future, into quantum realms. Being so, one of the thoughts brought up at this conference is the idea of life-based art as a prototype of a post-contemporary art form.

Antonio Cerveira Pinto





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