[ISEA97] Paper: Diana McCarty & Janos Sugar: Paradigm Shift Interruptus: An Anecdotal History of Hungarian Media


The new, unprecedented media, is a product of the combi­nation of technical progress and a booming specialization, because of this it has no cultural references, past or history of any kind. The avant-garde has the tradition of radical use of (any) established media, and this experience (the so-called didactic message of the avant-garde) appears in the usage, testing and research of the new media. Looking for and charting the borders, finding a limitless self-expression —the avant-garde discipline of total compe­tence, vital in the days of global symbiosis and the grow­ing complexity. In the medialized public world, the research (browsing, surfing) becomes the symbol of exis­tence — the subversion becomes the obligatory tool of per­ception. The role of art in the net just begins to open up new ways and possibilities and the culture follows; tries to manifest in a didactic way the unused possibilities. It is didactic as the classical avant-garde was didactic: it edu­cated the cultural perception.The culture functions always as a blueprint for an information society: context is the content (wrong context = no contrast, new context = content)… in other words, to shuffle the information until it finds the biggest contrast — to be efficient.

  • Janos Sugar (Hungary b. 1958) attended the Department of Sculpture of the Hungarian Academy of Fine Art, Budapest from 1979 to 1984. Between 1980 and 1986 he was active­ly involved in the exhibitions and performances of Indigo, an interdisciplinary art group, led by Miklos Erdely. Janos Sugar has participated in national and international exhibi­tions since 1980 and has also created several perfor­mances, films and videos. Between 1990 and 1995 he was one of the board members of the Bela Balazs Film Studio, Budapest. He is a founding member of the Media Research Foundation. Since 1990 he has been a lecturer at the Intermedia Dept. of the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts, which was established in 1990 by he and Miklos Peternak. In 1992 he exhibited at the documenta IX, Kassel. He com­pleted an Artslink residency at the Clevelend Institute of Art in 1994. Since 1994 he organizes the MetaForum con­ferences with Geert Lovink and Diana McCarty).
  • Diana McCarty is an American who lives in Budapest where she is a member of the Media Research Foundation which organized the MetaForum Conference Series. Her recent projects include organizing the Remote C and Syndicate Net.Shop projects at the Am Electronica Festival; co-moderating the FACES mailing list for women in media,with Kathy Rae Huffman and Cornelia Sollfrank; co-editing the Nettime readers -ZKP-; co-found­ing NICE, (Network Interface for Cultural Exchange); and par­ticipating in the Hybrid Workspace at Documenta X in Kassel. Future plans include establishing Nettime.hu with Gabor Bora,Geert Lovink, Agnes (vacs, Pit Schultz and Janos Sugar. McCarty has participated in the Next Five Minutes conference in Amsterdam, Cybeifonf 5 in Madrid, Art + Communication in Riga, Anti with an E in London, and Beauty and the East in Ljubljana. Prior to moving to Hungary, McCarty was the Director of the Southwest Film Center, a member of MeChA, and participated in the National Association for Chicano Studies Conference in San Jose, and the National Chicano Students Conference in Albuquerque. Diana McCarty gradu­ated from the University of New Mexico in 1993 with a Bachelor of Fine Art in Photography.