Media Arts, seeking a context

An attempt to summarise the issues and questions that the Takeaway Festival is bringing up. Mainly from the lectures but also from the individual parts and the DIY culture of the event. They are similar to issues that have been raised through the development of Node.London.

What roles are there for Artists in a capitalist system? Clearly this isn't a new question but some developments can re-invigorate it:

How can the development of increasingly networked culture provide new opportunities and challenges? and what responsibilities does this bring?

How does the development of new tools and technologies effect (or even determine) this?

Do we need to develop a manual for Do It Yourself Culture and for collaboration? If so how can we do this - Collaboratively?

Can the development of free and open source software / practices (and culture) provide models?

What can we learn from the work of those engaged with similar issues in the past? To what extent do we maintain a sense of art as an object? What value is there in labelling the things we do?

Can we balance our desire / need to gather and understand data and build connections with the exploitation of the tools that we use and the information that we create?

Are 'units of attention' becoming the most relevant measure of value and is this linked to a new 'star system'? How do hierarchies maintain themselves?

How do we make the change from media consumers to producers without becoming the Barons we've replaced? Will the "heroic avant-garde artist of yesterday... become the scab of tomorrow"? Copenhagen Free University

We have been challenged by Armin and others to engage in answering these questions through 'Critical Pragmatism' by 'formulating our own proposition'. This reminds me happily of Trotskyists declaring that we shouldn't lie next to a sewer complaining about the stench.

This involves finding new ways of forging links between previously discrete practices - developing hybrids. For example we can see this in the work and ideas of Jaromil who is one of those making new connections between technology and the social creative practices it is enmeshed with. Maybe Artisan is a more relevant role than Artist?

We've also seen the tensions that exist between practice and contexts, most obviously when they are institutional or commercial. But there are suggestions of the possibilities that these offer when we find new ways to engage with them.

There is a timeline of Node.London being developed in order for those involved to discuss and learn from their experience here. These are also well represented in the publication accompanying the season.

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