duminică, 24 iulie 2011

Oslo, Norway Bombing Linked To Utøya Shooting

A suspect in the shootings and the Oslo explosion was arrested. Though police did not release his name, Norwegian national broadcaster NRK identified him as 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik and said police searched his Oslo apartment overnight. NRK and other Norwegian media posted pictures of the blond, blue-eyed Norwegian.

A Norwegian who dressed as a police officer to gun down summer campers killed at least 80 people at an island retreat, horrified police said early Saturday. It took investigators several hours to begin the realize the full scope of Friday's massacre, which followed an explosion in nearby Oslo that killed seven and that police say was set off by the same suspect.

The mass shootings are among the worst in history. With the blast outside the prime minister's office, they formed the deadliest day of terror in Western Europe since the 2004 Madrid train bombings killed 191.

Police initially said about 10 were killed at the forested camp on the island of Utoya, but some survivors said they thought the toll was much higher. Police director Oystein Maeland told reporters early Saturday they had discovered many more victims.

"It's taken time to search the area. What we know now is that we can say that there are at least 80 killed at Utoya," Maeland said. "It goes without saying that this gives dimensions to this incident that are exceptional."

Maeland said the death toll could rise even more. He said others were severely injured, but police didn't know how many were hurt.


marți, 5 aprilie 2011

Collecting the virtual: acquiring digital media, by Beth Jackson (2001)

In order to arrive at processes for acquiring digital media, we need to explore the complex inter-relationship between art, technology, and the museum. I would like to begin by exploring a work of multimedia art which is held in the Griffith University Collection, namely the CD ROM, Virgin with Hard Drive (1999) by young Brisbane-based artist Lucy Francis.

Virgin with Hard Drive adopts its narrative and aesthetic from popular culture and science fiction. We enter the work in the passive, voyeuristic mode of the consumer – we are given instructions, advertisements, and told we have won a trip to Earth. The year, we are told, is 2082, the Earth has become a giant museum, looked after by drones or keepers who perform the role of cataloguer and conservator. It has been this way since 2010, when Cultural Reorganisation occurred – the event that stopped history. We are invited to travel back to earth and live life for one week as a keeper. In the next level we read the diary of one keeper, sent to Earth to restore the precious treasures of the past, but who finds greater beauty and pleasure in destruction.

A Critique of Jonathan Zittrain, The Future of the Internet–and How to Stop It, by Geert Lovink

Jonathan Zittrain’s Future of the Internet is based on a myth. Zittrain needs a foundational myth of the Internet in order to praise it’s past openness and warn for a future lockdown of PCs and mobile phones. From the ancient world of Theory we know why people invent foundational myths: to protect those in power (in this case US-American IT firms and their academic-military science structures that are losing global hegemony). The Zittrain myth says that, compared to centralized, content-controlled systems such as AOL, CompuServe and Prodigy, the ‘generative’ Internet of the late 1980s was an open network. But this was simply not the case, it was closed to the general public. This foundational myth is then used to warn the freedom-loving guys for the Downfall of Civilization.

The first decades the Internet was a closed world, only accessible to (Western) academics and the U.S. military. In order to access the Internet one had to be an academic computer scientist or a physicist. Until the early nineties it was not possible for ordinary citizens, artists, business or activists, in the USA or elsewhere, to obtain an email address and make use of the rudimentary UNIX-based applications. Remember, this was the period between, roughly speaking, 1987 and 1993, before the World Wide Web when fancy multimedia CD-ROMs already ruled the PC world and the txt-only command line Internet already looked geeky and painfully outdated. Back then, the advancement of the ugly looking Internet was its interoperability. It was a network of networks–but still a closed one. This only changed gradually, depending on the country you lived in, in the early-mid nineties.

Public Relations – Nicolas Bourriaud – Interview, by Bennet Simpson (2001)

Fot evidence of art’s recent love affair with “interactivity” and “connectivity,” one need look no further than the pair of digital art surveys currently playing at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. For less literal proof, however, one might consider the recent appointment of Nicolas Bourriaud as codirector, with Jerome Sans, of the newly created Palais de Tokyo contemporary art center in Paris. As a young critic in the ’90s, Bourriaud offered one of the earliest readings of the emergent metaphors of artistic production engendered by information culture. The name he coined for his ideas–”relational aesthetics”–would become the title of his first book of criticism in 1997 and one of the more frequently heard catchphrases, at least in Europe, when it came to the practices of artists like Rirkrit Tiravanija, Philippe Parreno, Liam Gillick, Pierre Huyghe, Maurizio Cattelan, and Vanessa Beecroft, all of whom were included in Bourriaud’s 1996 exhibition “Traffic” at th e capcMusee d’Art Contemporain in Bordeaux.

Relational aesthetics was formulated at an auspicious moment in the technological arc of ’90s art. Midway between the critical and socially diffuse ethos of institutional critique at the beginning of the decade and art’s full-tilt into entertainment and digital production by decade’s end, it might be said that Bourriaud anticipated the future by looking backward. Hardly a techie, Bourriaud was greatly influenced by critical art’s focus on the sphere of reception, which had newly privileged questions of site and audience, and on the social network of art itself. By the mid-’90s, however, the artists with whom Bourriaud worked most closely tended to locate their practices not in relation to art’s own apparatuses but in the metaphorical (and often literal) spaces colonized by mass media and spectacle culture. In Bourriaud’s framework, artists like Tiravanija and Beecroft had become postpolitical producers of cultural services: get people together, give them some terms, provide an experience. Indeed, against the quintessentially late-’90s backdrop of dot-comism and user empowerment, relational aesthetics seems most a product of its time. With Bourriaud’s third book, Post-Production, due out this fall (Lukas & Sternberg) and the English translation of Esthetique relationnelle (les Presses du Reel, 1997) set to appear later this year, I sat down with the curator in February in the start-up-style offices of the Palais de Tokyo to ask him how his ideas are evolving.