[ISEA2011] Paper: Sander Veenhof & Kasia Molga – Investigating the notion of Art2.0

Abstract

In their attempt to find a proper definition of the term Art2.0, the two artists Kasia Molga and Sander Veenhof came to the realization that much of all presumed Art2.0 is hardly any different than what could be labeled as Art1.0. In search for the factors that truly differentiate between art which is basically a reflection on web2.0 technologies and artworks intrinsically structured according to contemporary 2.0 principles, Molga and Veenhof concluded that there is yet another radical shift taking place on the axis of artist and audience dynamics. We live in an era in which users/viewers have become responsible for their own experience by contributing to and customizing the content and that the distinction between artist and audience seems to disappear. The audience has changed from consumers to co-producers. In some remarkable cases of mass worldwide cooperative creativity, the resulting outputs could very well be defined as Art 2.0 according to the criteria specified by Molga and Veenhof, while an artist as an initiator or author could even be absent. That doesn’t mean that the concept of ‘artist’ is fully out of the equation. Artists are resettling at a higher level of abstraction in a new role, not asking their audiences only to contribute to an artwork but giving the entire control over the artwork away. Either by publishing the artwork as a creative tool, or by releasing the artwork as a reusable module to be integrated into a larger framework by means of an API specification of inputs and outputs, in analogy to how the world wide web is currently structured as a mash-up universe.

The investigation of these developments has been carried out through a study of the phenomena uncovered as being Art2.0 and several iconic “2.0” artworks, and by reflecting on a selection of works from their own artistic practice, in which Molga and Veenhof share a similar approach and interest on giving viewers the power of co-creation in various experimental forms, aware of the impact of their projects on their own position as artists in a 2.0 art world.

  • Sander Veenhof. I’m an Amsterdam based artist (NL, 1973) with a hybrid background in computer science and media art, graduating at the ‘instable media’ department Gerrit Rietveld Academy. In my work I focus on the connections between beings in whatever form. Most often my (participative) audience consists of people, but I have been developing multi-touch screens for plants for a while, trying to find out the qualities of plants as a new audience for interactive media, since humans nowadays seem to be too restless and too busy as creators themselves, to properly be an audience. Which is not a problem. I facilitate the upgrade of the people formerly known as audience into a creatively active crowd. I try to let a new creative sphere appear where there wasn’t one before, sometimes in abstract ways, on a meta-level. Either because it comes to existence as the newly made connections between nodes, or it appears truly virtual, as an augmented reality manifestation. I then continue to explore the new opportunities and possibilities of the domains I bring into existence. sndrv.nl
  • Kasia Molga is a visual artist and interaction designer whose practice is concerned with our relationship with the planet – Buckminster-Fuller’s concept of a “Spaceship Earth”; and changes in our perception: of ourselves and our roles in the context of nature, climate, environment and community in this increasingly technologically mediated world.She often interrogates the tension between what can be defined as “urban western bubble” and “the rest of the world” as a consequence of the rapid development of the internet, communication and social media.  She deals with the “aesthetics of interconnectedness” through which she questions whether we are conscious and ready to take a full responsibility for our actions knowing that they provoke reaction elsewhere – even very far away… In her work she reaches out to technologies such as social media, data visualization, geo-locative technologies, augmented realities to create participatory interactive pieces through which she invites spectators to have a playful dialogue with an artwork. Thus the spectator becomes a co-creators himself, partially conducting his own experience and being responsible for the experience of other spectators. This part of the practice is often complemented with fine art paintings, drawings or sketches – by making them she observes and takes notes while analyzing her “escapades” around these hidden layers of our planet.  She exhibits worldwide – among many others in the Museum of Modern Art (NY),  ICA (UK), Contemporary Arts Space Osaka (Japan), London Fashion Week (UK), Sao Paulo Museum of Image and Sound (Brazil), ), BBC Short Film Festival or (UK)  Design Mai (Berlin).   kasiamolga.net