[ISEA2011] Panel: Melinda Rack­ham – Data Trash

Panel Statement

Panel: Compumorphic Art: The Computer as Muse

Data Trash looks crit­i­cally at the evo­lu­tion of the on­line in­ter­face and its ap­pro­pri­a­tion back into ob­ject based ar­ti­facts, clar­i­fy­ing the piv­otal place of the net­work in our cul­tural realm.  Archiv­ing and the doc­u­men­tary have come to the fore in many are­nas of arts prac­tice, and the web has changed print de­sign for­ever. Net­worked art how­ever has often re­lied on non-stan­dard soft­ware and hard­ware, glitches, and happy ac­ci­dents, but archives usu­ally only re­tain works which are easy to con­serve, be­cause they use com­mon and sta­ble for­mats. With the cer­tainty of cor­rup­tion, mu­ta­tion and decay, on­line art as­sumes the man­tle of data trash.  In re­sponse a mu­tant field of mi­gra­tory prac­tice emerged from net.art cul­ture. Artists started pro­duc­ing sta­tic arte­facts from the ephemeral on­line world in me­dias such as em­broi­dery, paint­ings, draw­ings, en­grav­ing, sculp­tures, ma­chin­ima, etch­ings and vinyl records.  Oddly these mi­gra­tions to other media have a ready-made fu­ture while the ephemeral coded works they are de­rived from do not.

  • Melinda Rack­ham has en­gaged with sculp­tural, dis­trib­uted, emer­gent and re­spon­sive media art­forms as an artist, cu­ra­tor and cul­tural pro­ducer for twenty-five years, ex­hibit­ing, pub­lish­ing and speak­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally.  In 2002 Melinda es­tab­lished -empyre-, one of the worlds lead­ing on­line crit­i­cal media art the­ory fo­rums, and was the first Cu­ra­tor of Net­worked Media at the Aus­tralian Cen­tre for Mov­ing Image. As Di­rec­tor of Aus­tralian Net­work for Art and Tech­nol­ogy from 2005 till 2009 she el­e­vated pub­lic en­gage­ment and cri­tique of prac­tices in art, sci­ence and new tech­nolo­gies. Cur­rently a Cu­ra­to­r­ial Part­ner at the Royal In­sti­tu­tion of Aus­tralia (RiAus) and Ad­junct Pro­fes­sor at RMIT Uni­ver­sity, Dr Rack­ham’s focus is on cu­rat­ing and writ­ing on the emerg­ing art and cul­tures man­i­fest across net­worked, re­spon­sive and ma­te­r­ial prac­tices and their im­pact on our every­day lives.

Full text (PDF) p. 1978-1980