Chair Person: Lorenzo Taiuti
Presenters: Ekmel Ertan, Dia Hamed, Venzha Christ & Willem Velthoven
Let’s start from the title of the panel. In Europe the other/cultures were traditionally defined as eastern, Oriental, far out, a way of defining that establishes our borderlines and present in different ways in all cultures, since all cultures start from themselves. So it’s important to change the “Geographic” definition that underlines distance and re-place it with a moving mind geography rhizome/like & multi/centres, beyond any post/colonialist and any self centered cultures. The great developement of digital media in the east and more generally in the non/western cultures challenges the early asset of the digital cultures. Not only Silicon Valley, Japan and Europe ( the source developers of the 80’s), but many other cultures with a cross over of points of view ( and new uses of digital cultures) that change the old digital geography. The panel will try to make a point about what’s happening today, and what’s the “state of the art” of relationships and exchanges between East & West, and what are the differencies in the digital global society. We start from those points to confront positions and interrogate experiences of work and collaboration between East and West on issues of creativity and sharing. The ties have been made on mutual interests and cultural synergies from Cairo “Medrar for contemporary art” and Barcellona’s “Hangar”, Amsterdam “Waag” and Indonesia’s “Honf”, and from “Mediamatic” on islamic cultures in Europe, between “Amber Festival” in Istanbul with Europe and different cultures of the east. “East & West” interrogates as well the assumption that digital “parifies” cultures and tries to re-assume the data of cultural differencies, and of the changements on the early ideas of the “digital culture” of the 90’s. Beyond the myth of unfailing global comunications, we might find different layered ways of creating comunication and creativity through digital exchange. “East & West” would like to indicate new solutions or underlines the solutions that seem to fit better with a new cultural pattern where the geographic directions are right & left & everywhere. Digital languages seem to be the “immaterial” “melting pot” that traces, in the contexts of contemporary comunications and contemporary art, similarities and contrasts of the different global cultures. In recent happenings in Egypt and Tunisia the use of technologies it’s been strong and visible. Social networks like Facebook, Google, Youtube have been used in many ways as well as it was usual to see women using cellular phones taking videos during manifestations. One of the deads during the clashes in Cairo, Ahmed Basiony, was a young artist using digital media for installations. One of them it’s a very interesting questioning of the digital language “Ascii not speak arabic”, where the shadows of the viewers make appear arabic letters on a screen covered by ascii code. There is a growing number of workshops, labs, festivals going on involving contemporary art and digital all over the “East” of the world. It will be a charming perspective to see what will come out of those new energies and cultures involved in the field of digital languages. The panel wants to bring people together to interrogate the actual activities, create new ideas and collaborations, incite creativity, new dialogues and try to foresee what’s happening in a new global digital culture where geographic definitions are changing but cultures maintain their singularities.
- Lorenzo Taiuti lives in Rome. He’s been teaching Art and Media since mid 80’s in several Art Academies and Universities in Turin, Milan and Rome. He published several books on art and media: “Art and Media-Avantgards and mass comunications” 1996, “Dreaming Bodies – Art in the age of digital” 2001, “Multimedia- The cross over of comunication languages” 2005. Essays in several books and catalogues: “From Videoart to Interactive Art” 1999, “E-Learning- Art and Didactics on the Net” 2004, “From Land Art to Bioart” 2007- “Art from presentation to rappresentation” 2010 – Academy of San Luca, “Art and Digital” Encyclopedia Treccani 2010. Writings on art and media on several italian art magazines and webmagazines, “Art and Critic”, “Juliet”, “D’Ars”, “Drome”,”Digimag”, “Noema”, “Exibart”, “Artribune” etc… Organization of media shows and meetings in Torino, Milan and Rome. Creative works on video and conception of interactive installations and websites, “ImmagineRete”, “Dorkbotroma”, “Jasmine Memory”. Editor’s website: feltrinelli.it