[ISEA97] Artist Talk: Michael Maziere – The Art of Lightness (The Power of Content)

Artist Statement

The Art of Lightness is a paper illustrated by video clips and CD-ROM extracts which will investigate artists use of light electronic technology. Over the last few years, this use of low and light technology appears to be one of the most exciting, controversial and dynamic areas in electronic art. Through this presentation, the relationship between technology and creativity will also be explored with specific reference to the contemporary work of visual artists in film, video and new media. The main thrust of the Art of Lightness is that through a form of technological irreverence there has been been a movement towards an ideas, content and concept lead artistic practice.Technology here is a means to an end as opposed to an area of investigation per se. For these artists the challenge is located in a critical and rebellious attitude to visual language and context as opposed to an embracement of the latest new technologies. The artists whose work will be discussed and presented include Anti-ROM, Douglas Gordon, John Maybury, Derek Jarman, Sam-Taylor Wood, Sadie Benning, Gillian Wearing, Jane and Louise Wilson and Soda amongst others. Furthermore, the question of why the dominant discourses in electronic art seem divorced and separate from the current debates in visual arts is extremely pertinent. More and more visual artists in the UK grab and run with low electronic technology in order to express new ideas, particularly in the gallery context.Yet, there is hardly any debate between this highly successfull work and the practice of artists placed within the academic discourses of electronic art. If the debate in electronic art is to be more inclusive, than it needs to be placed within a more pluralistic definition in order to address work which is often subjective, political and addressing crucial notions of content and context.

  • Michael Maziere (UK) 1982 Master of Arts Degree in Film & Television, Royal College of Art, LONDON, England. M.A.(RCA). Michael Maziere was born in France in 1957 and moved to London in 1963, where he still lives and works. He has exhibited his film and video works and lectured extensively world­-wide and has published critical writings in numerous art publications. He is currently Director of London Electronic Arts, the UK’s National Centre for Video and New Media and founder and artistic director of Pandaemonium, London’s Festival of the Moving Image. His latest video work Remember Me, will be broadcast on Channel 4, BS and Kunstkanaal in 1997. Recent solo exhibitions/screenings include MOMA New York,Tate Gallery London,Videobrasil Sao Paulo. His works are in the collections of the National Museum of Modern Art, Osaka, Japan, the Universita Degli Studi Di Roma,the Musee National d’Art Moderne, Paris, France,The National Library of Australia,the Media Art Centre, Germany. He is currently working on Black Out, a new film funded by The Arts Council of England and lead­ing the multi-media pound development of the LUX Centre for artists’ film,video and new media in London.