[ISEA2011] Panel: Piibe Pi­irma – ES­TON­IAN EX­PE­RI­ENCE: non-in­sti­tu­tional media art pro­duc­tion in Estronia

Panel Statement

Panel: New Media Art Education in Central and Eastern Europe in the Last Two Decades: experiments and transition

Speak­ing of non-in­sti­tu­tional media art pro­duc­tion in Es­to­nia I rely on my per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence of or­gan­is­ing an­nual media art fes­ti­val in Tallinn.  We are a small and quite poor coun­try in a sit­u­a­tion where most of “cul­ture mak­ers” must be able to be suc­cess­ful by them­selves. On the other hand this poor­ness sit­u­ates us to be more cre­ative and look after new ex­tra­or­di­nary forms of co­op­er­a­tion, shar­ing ideas and con­tin­ious self-learn­ing.  I think that liv­ing and cre­at­ing art in small so­ci­ety gives us many ben­e­fits – fact that every­body knows each other makes re­la­tion­ships and group­works much eas­ier. On the other hand we have in sit­u­a­ton where we have less au­di­ence. What char­ac­ter­izes non-in­sti­tu­tional media art in Es­to­nia?  First and best phe­nom­e­non is DIY – pro­jects are born with hands-on method by using low-tech tools. Artists are often work­ing in cel­lars or garages, old fac­to­ries or rooftop flats. So I should say that artis­tic work and cre­ativ­ity do not de­pend on lo­ca­tion. Sec­ondly I would say that media art does not de­pend of small bud­get.  Vice versa, I am happy to say that media art is evolv­ing and con­stantly finds new out­comes. Third and more broad phe­nom­e­non is that media art is dis­solved with other cul­tural forms and can be found every­where. And this is con­tin­u­ing and ever-ris­ing trend. Fourth is artists pe­cu­liar at­ti­tude of “big” prob­lems. For ex­am­ple prob­lems of sur­veil­lance so­ci­ety that have be­come pop­u­lar abroad didn’t pro­voke fears or neg­a­tively minded works at all, in­stead our artists joy­fully ex­pressed con­de­scen­sion about it. Through art­works it was con­cluded that the sur­round­ing cam­eras and care­fully in­spected per­sonal data are an in­evitable part of today’s so­ci­ety, which must be ac­cepted and which should be used in art in the best way.

  • Piibe Pi­irma is media artist, or­ga­nizer and teacher based in Tallinn, Es­to­nia.  She has worked as de­signer and vi­sual artist since 2002, also as teacher at new media de­part­ment of Es­ton­ian Acad­emy of Arts, in Uni­ver­sity of Tartu Vil­jandi Cul­ture Acad­emy and Es­ton­ian En­tre­pre­neur­ship Uni­ver­sity of Ap­plied Sci­ences (EUAS). Since 2006 Piibe Pi­irma was one  of or­ga­niz­ing team of Plek­trum, an an­nual vi­sual cul­ture fes­ti­val in Tallinn. She also worked as as­sis­tant on new media events like RAM3 (2003) and ISEA2004 in Tallinn. Piibe Pi­irma has or­ga­nized sev­eral dig­i­tal art work­shops at Poly­mer Fac­tory (al­ter­na­tive cul­ture cen­ter in Tallinn) and Old Town Ed­u­ca­tional Col­lege. Since 2009  Piibe Pi­irma is doc­toral stu­dent at Es­ton­ian Acad­emy of Arts.

Full text (PDF) p. 1925-1927