Session Title:

  • Unsitely Aesthetics: the Reconfiguring of Public Space in Electronic Art

Presentation Title:

  • Untitled



  • Chair Per­son: Maria Mi­randa
    Pre­sen­ters: Bran­don La­Belle, Dar­ren Tofts, Re­nate Ferro & Tim­o­thy Mur­ray

    With the growth of the in­ter­net and mo­bile tele­phony across the globe we are wit­ness­ing new con­fig­u­ra­tions of pub­lic space and pub­lic cul­ture. In his con­clu­sion to the book Net­worked Publics, Kazys Var­nelis de­scribes this new state of af­fairs as net­work cul­ture and pro­poses that net­work cul­ture has re­placed the log­ics of both mod­ernism and post­mod­ernism, be­com­ing the dom­i­nant cul­tural logic of our age. As the con­di­tions of net­work cul­ture ex­pand many artists are forg­ing a new re­la­tion­ship with the in­ter­net, not as a medium, but rather as an­other site of their work. Today it is not the vir­tual as a sep­a­rate space apart that is of in­ter­est, but the fact that the lay­er­ing of the vir­tual sits be­side every­day life through con­nec­tion. For many artists the in­ter­net is now act­ing as one site of the work as well as an­other form of pub­lic space. These artists are leav­ing the stu­dio be­hind, mov­ing and work­ing in pub­lic spaces, in a process that is both mo­bile and no­madic.

    Un­sitely Aes­thet­ics refers to a par­tic­u­lar aes­thet­ics that has emerged with this mo­bile and no­madic shift in artis­tic prac­tices. Un­sitely plays with the fig­ure of site, a well-re­hearsed fig­ure in con­tem­po­rary art, but sug­gests a cur­rent dis­tur­bance of both sit­ed­ness and sight­li­ness. These un­sitely/un­sightly works utilise a DIY ap­proach un­con­cerned with is­sues of beauty or tra­di­tional no­tions of spec­ta­tor­ship, and they often use laugh­ter and hu­mour to get at some­thing else. While un­sitely up­sets site’s sin­gu­lar lo­ca­tion it sug­gests a space of ten­sion, am­bi­gu­ity and po­ten­tial. This panel ex­plores the mul­ti­ple and di­verse ways artists are work­ing in pub­lic space within the con­text of net­work cul­ture where being in two places at once, or the su­per­im­pos­ti­tion of real and vir­tual space has be­come the com­mon ex­pe­ri­ence. How is net­work cul­ture shift­ing the no­tion of both place and pub­lic art for spa­tial media art prac­tices? In par­tic­u­lar how is the in­ter­net a site/un­site of pub­lic art? How does site work in media art prac­tices that exist across media and in dif­fer­ent places?