[ISEA2011] Paper: Manthos Santorineos & Stavroula Zoi – Social media as art and vs. art


The space of the Internet, from its very first days, has been an attractive space for artists. It provided a virgin area of unknown characteristics, dispensable to be discovered, with anticipated adventure and new opportunities, an area that had not been recorded, therefore an open space for a new beginning.

Artists, professional pioneers as they are (or addicted to the forefront), found interesting the exploration of the Internet and fascinating the ideas of the hidden surprises. To those familiar with technology as an expressive tool, it was the perfect place to develop their art.

It was a place they could build inexpensively on their own and set their own rules.

The art that first approached the Internet with significant results was literature to which we owe the term cyberspace. Literature is responsible for the mystification of the new space to an extent that the artists, youth, and people who like adventures, consider it as their own space.

The first inhabitants of cyberspace originating from the world of art, as well as programmers who considered programming as creation were characterized as Internet artists, and shaped its initial form. Later came web designers, practicing an applied art, and a modern kind of art related mostly with manipulated images, sounds and texts.

It was a community of cursed, adventurers, explorers, or romantic revolutionaries such as those of the 18 century, in the new American continent that formed the vacant and wild area in a utopian state.

Gradually the situation changed: Internet space was filled with shops, newspapers, yellow pages, maps, classified or even sexual advertisements. It became everyone’s daily routine.

On the other hand, visitors could have their own personal space to post artistic pursuits, to display or discuss them.

Where is the place of the artist in this new situation?  As an animator of visitors through the social web? In the compromise in order to be included to a new populous and commercial Internet? Or in the exploration of virgin areas that are situated on the edge of the Internet?

This presentation will demonstrate the aforementioned experience and will support the idea that artists need to excess current experience.

  • Dr. Manthos Santorineos is an artist and researcher. He is an Assistant Professor in the Athens School of Fine Arts, and the Artistic Director of the Fournos Centre for Digital Culture (http://www.fournos-culture.gr). Since 1984, he has been active in promoting art and technology, having established the Department of Art and Technology at the Ileana Tounta Centre (1987), the Fournos Centre for Digital Culture (1991), and the Mediaterra Festival (1998). He also is responsible for the Multimedia-Hypermedia and Video Art laboratory of the Athens School of Fine Arts. He is  author of the books “De la civilisation du papier a la civilisation du numerique” , L’ Harmatan, Paris, 2007, and “Gaming Realities”, Fournos Centre for Digital Culture, Athens, 2006. medialab.asfa.gr  medialab.asfa.gr/santorineos/en  fournos-culture.gr
  • Dr. Stavroula Zoi received her B.Sc. degree in Informatics from the University of Ioannina, Greece, in 1997. In 2003 she received her Ph.D. degree from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, of the National Technical University of Athens, in the field of networked multimedia applications. During her PhD studies she participated in many Greek and European research projects and gained expertise in the field of interactive multimedia applications and web technologies. In 2004, she was appointed Laboratory and Teaching Assistant in the Multimedia – Hypermedia and Video Art Laboratory of the Athens School of Fine Arts, the aim of which is to introduce artists to digital culture and cultivate a creative dialogue between arts and digital technologies.  Research conducted in this laboratory stands in the intersection of art, technology and philosophy. Dr. Stavroula Zoi, as a member of the research group of this laboratory, is currently working on innovative practices on the education of digital artists, based on collaborative artistic authoring, gaming technologies as art tools, and hybrid platforms for artistic installations. She is also a member of the FournosLab group, established within the Fournos Centre for Digital Culture,  by Manthos Santorineos. It is a multidisciplinary group of artists and scientists, targeting research on social, cultural educational and artistic use of digital technology, as well as on the combination of cultural heritage with contemporary practices of digital culture.

Full text (PDF) p. 2132-2136