Centre international d’art contemporain de Montréal

Centre international d’art contemporain de Montréal, Retrospective of net.art features North-South-East-West, 2008.

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The Centre international d’art contemporain de Montréal’s Electronic Magazine,  issue No 32 a Retrospective of net.art, features North-South-East-West Web Site in December 2008.

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The North-South-East-West web site was reviewed as follows:

COSMOGONY ALGONKINE CACHÉE/MONTRÉE?

About the well-known work of Graham Thomson, North-South-East-West, we will recall his operating mode first of all, like its organization.     With the opening of the URL an interface of reception informs us of the format of the work, carried out under Flash.

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If the hyperlector chooses not to have any action, it will discover a sequence of four distinct sequences:

  • a very fast succession of images lets to us guess a plan of country, or city. It is necessary to make use of several captures of screens, then to increase them, to realize that the plan in question is that of the Contracting State of Minnesota (or of the state), the USA. Area bordering, should it be pointed out, of the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario, ancestral grounds of Algonkins;
  • an anthropomorphic figure, that one will be able to associate a totemic representation, becomes animated on a bottom of horizontal screens. A cube drawn in three D also rolls on the space representation which this screen constitutes;
  • in tone bluish, dark, a heavenly object occupies the bottom of a scene which seems left an space-opera. A hinged jib (Canadian technology?) approaches a unit which could be a space base;
  • finally, of the parabolas, fixed on pylons, roofs, seem to receive waves coming from the sky.   Once the hyperlector will have shelled dissolve-connected these four sequences, it will have to click on one or the other of the bonds hypertexts to discover a new interface – which will give him access to the contents of work itself.

In a very simple way, and as many works born on the Web could show it to us, the interface of work is appeared as a space metaphor. In top north, bellow the south, on the left the west and is on the right.

___nsew-summer-02

Under each of the four cardinal points, a list from five to eight names proposes to us, thanks to the hypertext link, to discover an animated sequence. Before returning on their contents, we stop a few moments on another element of the interface, which will be always present at the screen, méta-bars it navigation. The choices suggested by this méta-bar are as follows, rather similar to those which one can find on considerable sites: exit, home, contact, information.

ontario13

The subparagraph “information” will teach us that work is inspired by the symbolic system of the cardinal points traditional of the people algonkin. One will not be thus surprised to have discovered only the plan which ravelled at any speed in introduction was that of a state in the past (and also in a contemporary way) populated algonkins.

All work then, can be included/understood starting from this aspect of the introduction. The history of the American settlement being supposed known of all, one could only be sensitive to the fact that the people algonkin, like all the indigenous people of two Americas, have a report/ratio with the eminently problematic territory, conflict, even painful.

x_east_04a-png-2

This territory, that the Amerindian people had by force to divide with Europeans, it is represented here in extreme cases of the visible one. So much so that one is forced to fix the image by capture of screen, to discover that it was about a plan of Minnesota.

The territory, literally, is hidden, virtual. It is in addition the territory of the other, since the place names are for the majority resulting from the Anglo-Saxon space representation: Cambridge, Turkey Not, Normandale, etc… It is a case emblematic of the use of information technologies and communication – where the appearance and disappearance as well as the tape speed of the images make direction.

This territory hidden, evoked perhaps by this totemic dance of the introduction, then moved in the space, and finally reinvested on ground through the waves received by parabolas, the body of work then proposes to us to discover it.

It while clicking on different the items is contained under the headings North South – East – West that we will be able to open the sequences having for name:    winter, snow, elder, courage, ice, endurance (North), summer, spirit, quest, secrecies, bloom, vision, adolesence, youth (South), birth, dawn, spring, flower, sun (East), automn, adult, thunder, sunset, renewal, (West).

With the choice, one will stop on the sequence “Vision”, in the North heading, to hear the message whereby “Vision C not reveal”; or one will hear, in “Dawn” this thought animist “All that belongs to the earth belongs to me”. But there is not the essence of our reading: the quality of animations, of the spoken or sung sequences, all that is left with the appreciation of each visitor, according to his sensitivity. It will be noticed only that none the many rewards received by this work is usurped.

What must hold our attention, it is connect it simplicity of the device, behind which semiotics questions differently more complex hide.

The list of the items reproduced above informs us indeed that certain sequences are called in reference to the season (winter…) and in connection with such or such cardinal point; other sequences indicate natural phenomena (snow, ice, flower, sun, thunder); others milked in the human condition (elder, adolesence, youth, birth, adult); others still refer to human or animal qualities (courage, endurance…); and others finally with phenomena of calendarity (dawn, sunset, renewal).

What it is necessary to point of the finger, it is the extreme diversity of the items and the extremely different registers which they indicate: natural seasons (long calendarity), phenomena, age group, human and/or animal quality, short calendarity.

Consequently, the action to click on one or the other of these items, and the surprise to each time discover a different sequence by its setting in image, the absence or the presence of a said text, etc… puts the hyperlector in a situation of imbalance with the project openly announced by the work – which is, let us recall it, inspired of the symbolic system of the cardinal points of the nation algonkine. How indeed to build a knowledge of this cosmogony if no methodology is proposed by the author – and whereas we are in a new mode of expression?

Moreover, one will notice the readily enigmatic character of certain sequences – which seem to function according to a logic well more oneiric rational.

In short, none known in the past cognitive maps seems respected here: we find the linearity of the written text and its paratextuelle organization, neither the syntax of the cinematographic writing (fictional or documentary), nor the methodology of the museographic modes of exposure, etc…

It however remains that the work of Graham Thomson transmits a message well to us, and more still that a message the feeling to have shared a significant experiment.

The logic which seems to prevail is well more that of the dream – a dream directly connected to psyché of Amerindian people – a logic which one will be able to say transverse, for want of anything better for the moment.

It is perhaps the greatest quality of this work, which all at the same time enchants us in the most naive way, and reserves questions differently more difficult to us, having milked with semiotics, and the development of a specific critical language.

Xavier Malbreil

The Centre international d’art contemporain de Montréal Overview

The Centre international d’art contemporain de Montréal (CIAC) is a non-profit organisation administered by a board of directors and managed by personnel with an expertise in artistic production, communications and arts administration. The mandate of the CIAC is to disseminate contemporary art from Québec, Canada and abroad. Initially identified with the visual arts, the CIAC also showcases the creative practices of artists working in design, graphic art, art film and video, architecture and urbanism, and landscape architecture.

The CIAC’s aim is to make its activities accessible to the greatest possible number of visitors. It employs various strategies to achieve this, including exhibitions, conferences, discussions between artists and the public and educational activities for a variety of target groups. The CIAC has no permanent space for its activities. It temporarily occupies various locations suited to each event, whether a museum, an unused warehouse, a park or other public space, a gallery or exhibition venue, etc. First identified with the visual arts, the CIAC also disseminates the work of professionals in object design and graphic design, video and art film, architecture and town planning, architecture landscape.

From 1985 to 1996, the CWC was mainly noted for organizing the hundred days of Contemporary Art of Montreal.  In 1998, he set up the Montreal Biennale (BNL MTL), an international biennial included in the biennial network of major cities in the world. In addition to the organization of artistic events, the CIAC also carries out cultural work, aimed at an in-depth understanding of the stakes of contemporary art, which took the form of various programs of activities, in particular the annual competition Of Young Critics in Visual Arts (1997 to 2007).

Finally, the CIAC online edits the CIAC’s Electronic Magazine. This bilingual magazine (English and French) offers critical works and general information on active artists in the middle of the web art (or line art ) and the institutions that disseminate it.

Le Centre int’l d’art contemporain de Montréal

North-South-East-West reviewed by Xavier Marbeil of the Magazine électronique du CIAC – The Centre international d’art contemporain de Montréal

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Graham Thompson’s North-South-East-West Net.art guide to the Annishinabe Medicine was reviewed by Xavier Marbeil in issue #25, Summer 2006 Theme : Paysages (Landscapes) of the Magazine électronique du CIAC – The Centre international d’art contemporain de Montréal

North-South-East-West Net.art

It is not surprising that the creative process at the origin of many contemporary artworks takes place, in whole or in part, on the Net : interaction, collaboration, collage, remix… The Net constitutes for these modes of creation a natural habitat, in which the limits of space, time and matter are abolished. The works of netart, designed for, on and with the web, have gone one step further in taking the network itself as an object of their art. These works refer to the initial ideals of the Net, cooperation, free-trade, emphasis on the collective rather than the individual, but also underline the fact that navigation creates a visual trace which becomes an information, itself immediately transformed into a spectacle. Check out North-South-East-West Online.

North-South-East-West by Xavier Mabreil (Screen Captures)

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North-South-East-West by Xavier Mabreil (Google Translation)

North-South-East-West, of Graham Thomson (Canada), 2003 COSMOGONY ALGONKINE CACHÉE/MONTRÉE? About the well-known work of Graham Thompson, North-South-East-West, we will recall his operating mode first of all, like its organization. With the opening of the URL an interface of reception informs us of the format of the work, carried out under Flash.

nsew-intrface-01-w600

If the hyperlector chooses not to have any action, it will discover a sequence of four distinct sequences:

  1. a very fast succession of images lets to us guess a plan of country, or city. It is necessary to make use of several captures of screens, then to increase them, to realize that the plan in question is that of the Contracting State of Minnesota (or of the state), the USA. Area bordering, should it be pointed out, of the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario, ancestral grounds of Algonkins;

  2. an anthropomorphic figure, that one will be able to associate a totemic representation, becomes animated on a bottom of horizontal screens. A cube drawn in three D also rolls on the space representation which this screen constitutes;

  3. in tone bluish, dark, a heavenly object occupies the bottom of a scene which seems left an space-opera. A hinged jib (Canadian technology?) approaches a unit which could be a space base;

  4. finally, of the parabolas, fixed on pylons, roofs, seem to receive waves coming from the sky. Once the hyperlector will have shelled dissolve-connected these four sequences, it will have to click on one or the other of the bonds hypertexts to discover a new interface – which will give him access to the contents of work itself.

13-no-text2-2

In a very simple way, and as many works born on the Web could show it to us, the interface of work is appeared as a space metaphor. In top north, bellow the south, on the left the west and is on the right.

Under each of the four cardinal points, a list from five to eight names proposes to us, thanks to the hypertext link, to discover an animated sequence. Before returning on their contents, we stop a few moments on another element of the interface, which will be always present at the screen, méta-bars it navigation. The choices suggested by this méta-bar are as follows, rather similar to those which one can find on considerable sites: exit, home, contact, information.

The subparagraph “information” will teach us that work is inspired by the symbolic system of the cardinal points traditional of the people algonkin. One will not be thus surprised to have discovered only the plan which ravelled at any speed in introduction was that of a state in the past (and also in a contemporary way) populated algonkins.

All work then, can be included/understood starting from this aspect of the introduction. The history of the American settlement being supposed known of all, one could only be sensitive to the fact that the people algonkin, like all the indigenous people of two Americas, have a report/ratio with the eminently problematic territory, conflict, even painful.

This territory, that the Amerindian people had by force to divide with Europeans, it is represented here in extreme cases of the visible one. So much so that one is forced to fix the image by capture of screen, to discover that it was about a plan of Minnesota.

The territory, literally, is hidden, virtual. It is in addition the territory of the other, since the place names are for the majority resulting from the Anglo-Saxon space representation: Cambridge, Turkey Not, Normandale, etc… It is a case emblematic of the use of information technologies and communication – where the appearance and disappearance as well as the tape speed of the images make direction.

This territory hidden, evoked perhaps by this totemic dance of the introduction, then moved in the space, and finally reinvested on ground through the waves received by parabolas, the body of work then proposes to us to discover it.

It while clicking on different the items is contained under the headings North South – East – West that we will be able to open the sequences having for name: winter, snow, elder, courage, ice, endurance (North), summer, spirit, quest, secrets, bloom, vision, adolescence, youth (South), birth, dawn, spring, flower, sun (East), autumn, adult, thunder, sunset, renewal, (West).

With the choice, one will stop on the sequence “Vision”, in the North heading, to hear the message whereby “Vision C not reveal”; or one will hear, in “Dawn” this thought animist “All that belongs to the earth belongs to me”. But there is not the essence of our reading: the quality of animations, of the spoken or sung sequences, all that is left with the appreciation of each visitor, according to his sensitivity. It will be noticed only that none the many rewards received by this work is usurped.

What must hold our attention, it is connect it simplicity of the device, behind which semiotics questions differently more complex hide.

The list of the items reproduced above informs us indeed that certain sequences are called in reference to the season (winter…) and in connection with such or such cardinal point; other sequences indicate natural phenomena (snow, ice, flower, sun, thunder); others milked in the human condition (elder, adolescence, youth, birth, adult); others still refer to human or animal qualities (courage, endurance…); and others finally with phenomena of calendarity (dawn, sunset, renewal).

What it is necessary to point of the finger, it is the extreme diversity of the items and the extremely different registers which they indicate: natural seasons (long calendarity), phenomena, age group, human and/or animal quality, short calendarity.

Consequently, the action to click on one or the other of these items, and the surprise to each time discover a different sequence by its setting in image, the absence or the presence of a said text, etc… puts the hyperlector in a situation of imbalance with the project openly announced by the work – which is, let us recall it, inspired of the symbolic system of the cardinal points of the nation algonkine. How indeed to build a knowledge of this cosmogony if no methodology is proposed by the author – and whereas we are in a new mode of expression?

Moreover, one will notice the readily enigmatic character of certain sequences – which seem to function according to a logic well more oneiric rational.

In short, none known in the past cognitive maps seems respected here: we find the linearity of the written text and its paratextuelle organization, neither the syntax of the cinematographic writing (fictional or documentary), nor the methodology of the museographic modes of exposure, etc…

It however remains that the work of Graham Thomson transmits a message well to us, and more still that a message the feeling to have shared a significant experiment.

The logic which seems to prevail is well more that of the dream – a dream directly connected to psyché of Amerindian people – a logic which one will be able to say transverse, for want of anything better for the moment.

It is perhaps the greatest quality of this work, which all at the same time enchants us in the most naive way, and reserves questions differently more difficult to us, having milked with semiotics, and the development of a specific critical language.

Xavier Malbreil

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The Centre international d’art contemporain de Montréal Backgrounder

1983 The CIAC is founded. 1984 Claude Gosselin, founder of the CIAC, curates the visual arts, photography, video and cinema section for Québec ‘84, an event marking the 400th anniversary of the founding of Québec City. 1985 The exhibition Aurora Borealis opens the first edition of Les Cent jours d’art contemporain de Montréal, curated by René Blouin, Claude Gosselin and Normand Thériault. 1986 Traces, an exhibition of drawings by Canadian artists, is curated for the Department of External Affairs of Canada to be toured internationally. 1996 The final edition of Les Cent jours d’art contemporain de Montréal is held. 1997 The first bilingual on-line electronic arts magazine in Canada, the Magazine électronique, is launched. It is devoted to promoting electronic art and to the discussion of new technologies in visual art. 1998 The first edition of La Biennale de Montréal (BNL MTL), an international biennal. Subsequent editions have been held in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007,2009. 2009 The CIAC celebrates 25 years of active involvement on the cultural scene. The CIAC has thrice won the Grand Prix of the Conseil des arts de Montréal. The prize in the visual arts category was awarded to it in 1985, 1992 and 2000.

Noirlac Abbey France, Medicine Wheel

North-South-East-West exhibited at 2006 Les Futurs de l’écrit Art Biennial at Abbey of Noirlac in Orléans France.

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The North-South-East-West DVD was exhibited at the 2006 Les Futurs de l’écrit Art Biennial at the Abbey of Noirlac in Orléans France.  The Future of Writing ( Les Futurs de l’écrit) is a biennial event that exhibits literature, theater, music, sound, image, visual arts and dance within a beautifully restored Cistercian abbey.

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Abbey of Noirlac in Orléans France

The construction of the Abbey of Noirlac was started in 1150 by a small group of monks who came from Clairvaux. The abbey expressed the monastic asceticism of the Cistercian order founded by Saint Robert and Saint Bernard.

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From the XVth century to the French Revolution, the few monks in residence dedicated their time to the management of the community estate as well as to the spiritual life. Visit the Abbey de Norlac with 360 degree views.

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North-South-East-West Overview

The North-South-East-West was inspired by the  ancient Medicine Wheel belief system of the Annishinabe Peoples of North America. The presentation has an introduction that illustrates Ontario’s past, its present day mass media culture, and its technological future.

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The main section of NSEW begins in the east where the earth gives birth to a new day, to a new life and to the feeling of deep peace and belongingness. As well the east represents the first challenge in life – the test of survival. The animation celebrates the tiny frail flowers that live another day and open to greet the sun.

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Birth, Sunrise, Spring and the Challenge of Survival

The eastern section is followed by illustrations of the earth’s southern personality. The south brings the heat of the summer, the bloom of adolescence and the quest for a vision. The south represents the time we are given to discover our meaning and the ability to hold the power of this vision as our secret.

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The southern section is followed by meditations on the west. The west represents adulthood, autumn and the path of the vision discovered in our youth. In autumn the cool winds of the west signal the end of summer and a time of preparation – an adult time. In this direction or season of life, we learn that the path of our vision is not easy. The difficulties come like thunder clouds, yet they bring rains that “wash away yesterday” and allow us to renew ourselves and continue our work as in adulthood we realize that the sun will set before our path is complete.

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The piece completes the cycle of directions, seasons and stages of life in the north. The north represents winter, old age and the wisdom of the path of the vision. It is at this stage that our view of life is simple and uncomplicated, like a landscape where blankets of snow hide the complexities of the terrain. This is the time to have courage to live and embrace the changes of the final stage of life.

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The North South East West new media series can be summarized by mapping the geographic and climatic themes onto a matrix as shown below

Childhood

Youth

Adulthood

Old Age

Survival

Vision

Path

Wisdom

East

South

West

North

Spring

Summer

Autumn

Winter

Sunrise

Noon

Sunset

Evening

Hope, Optimism and Belonging

Bloom and Identity

Westerly Winds Bring Clouds

Life Review Like a Snow Covered Forest

Darayonan Centre of Coron Philippines

Medicine Wheel Video Installation exhibited in Coron Philippines, February 2005.

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North South East West, the New Media Installation, inspired by the traditional knowledge of the Anishinaabe Peoples was shown February 17th 2005 in Coron Philippines at the Darayonan Centre.

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The show was part of a 10 city tour of the Philippines and Taiwan, February 12 to March 7 of 2005, that included presentations at the Tamawan Village Art Gallery Baguio, Ateneo Art Gallery Manila, Darayonan Centre in Coron, and the Kamarikutan Gallery in Puerto Princessa. Check out North-South-East-West Online.

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As well as the show was also exhibited at the University of the Philippines Mindanao Cultural Centre Davao, Regional Education Learning Centre of Cotobato City, Lumad groups of Cotabato City, Western Mindanao State University in Zamboanga, Pingdong Aboriginal Cultural Park, Taipei National University of the Art, Taiwan Public Television System, National Donghua University, Aboriginal Art Institute, and the ShunYi Taiwan Aboriginal Museum.

National Donghua University, Hualien Taiwan

North-South-East-West at Nat’l Donghua University, Hualien Taiwan, 2005.

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The North-South-East-West Video Installation with Metis storyteller Graham Thompson was presented at the National Donghua University in Hualien Taiwan in March 2005.

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National Dong Hwa University

The National Dong Hwa University a comprehensive public institution of higher learning in Hualien County, Taiwan. The school serves over 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The name Dong Hwa signifies NDHU’s East Asia location while inviting a poetic allusion to the image of flowers. The school colours are green and yellow. The mascot is a native pheasant. The present university results from the 2008 merger of two public institutions: the National Dong Hwa University founded in 1994 (today’s Shoufeng campus in Shoufeng Township), and the National Hualien University of Education founded in 1947 (today’s Meilun campus in Hualien City)

Thailand 3rd New Media Arts Festival

North-South-East-West at the Thailand 3rd New Media Arts Festival, 2005.

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The North-South-East-West Web Site presented at the Thailand 3rd New Media Arts Festival – MAF05, in Bangkok Thailand. This exhibition of NetArt, curated in June 2005, is an International Summit on Creativity in Multimedia & Communications. The event presents a series of audio-visual programs, performances and presentations that explore the growing interest in electronic arts and new media in Thailand.

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Opening: 25 Jun 2005, the Thailand New Media Arts Festival 2005 is Dedicated to the exchange, innovation and celebration of ideas in the merger of art and technology. The Third Annual Thailand New Media Art Festival 2005 includes a special ‘invitation only’ opening night event at the Playground, 2nd Fl, Sukhumvit 55, Tonglor (next to Thonglor police station) on Saturday, 25th June 2005, 6:00 pm.

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This opening features ikaPika – a live electronic art performance by Curtis Bahn and Tomie Hahn (USA) from 7:00 – 8:00 pm, followed by an interactive live performance by Thai new media artist Mr Jakraphun Thanateeranon starting at 8:00 pm.

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The schedule for the week will include exhibitions at the Playground from 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, and workshops at the British Council (Siam Square) by visiting artist U-Zone from 3:00 pm – 6 pm on 26-28 June, as well as open-air screening of video-art on ake-A-Look open air screen located at Bangkok Central Word Plaza.

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Thailand New Media Arts Festival by Janine Yasovant a writer from Chiangmai Thailand. Posted on Scene4.

“Art is a way of life for Thais, whether it is traditional mural art, or post-modern installations, art isn’t defined with stereotypes; it’s constantly redefining itself to suit the needs of contemporary Thais.  Art is a reflection of a culture.  And with Thai art it’s a fine balance of traditional art forged with new contemporary ideas, making the local art scene fertile for fecund movements to spring.  ”

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This is what attracted Francis Wittenberger to Thailand in 2002 to establish the New Media Arts Festival as part of the Institute for Cultural Exchange and Computer Arts Thailand (ICECA).  The festival was a three week event spanning March and April 2003.  The timing was perfect because of Thai New Year celebrations with the Songkran festival.  Over 4000 visitors came to the first Media Art Festival at ChiangMai University.

Wittenberger is a Hungarian/Israeli inventor, artist, and musician.  He studied with the St. Petersburg artist Boris Svirsky from 1982 to 1989 and they co-founded the avant-garde electronic noise band SHARMUTA FLYING IN THE MOUNTAINS in 1986. Wittenberger and Svirsky developed the series of PARANOIDICO electro-acoustic synthesizers and transformed the Israeli underground music scene with their performances. Wittenberger eventually left Israel and continued his new media activity in Germany for 8 years, then to Thailand.

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Francis Wittenberger is a good friend of mine and I work for him as a translator. Almost a year before the first festival took place, he came to work in my office behind the Holiday Inn in Chiang Mai.  He needed someone to translate his project papers from English to Thai. At that time I was an instructor in the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and taught a seminar for the fourth year students. He needed someone who spoke English and Thai and I began working with him as the Thai director of the festival.

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In an interview with the Bangkok Post,  he outlined his initial work in Chiang Mai and his expectations that Chiang Mai could become a hub for new media art. Strong IT infrastructure, coupled with an Internet culture and a dynamic society to embrace it — most Thai students use email and spend considerable hours surfing the Web at internet cafes — has put Chiang Mai in the front seat of this IT revolution.

Chiang Mai has just been declared Thailand’s IT CITY by the Ministry of Information Communication Technology. A DesignCenter and a SoftwarePark are being developed at ChiangMaiUniversity and a related campus. Both The Design Center and the SoftwarePark will help the development of the local software industry and provide qualified professionals to support local business. This will not only make Northern Thailand famed for its festivals, but also for its technological initiative.

Thailand is openly embracing new media art, a linear extension of contemporary art that combines new technology and lateral thinking, facilitating new meaning from preconceived traditions. The IT revolution is bridging cultural difference and enabling an exchange of traditional ideas that collectively celebrate diversity while pushing the boundaries of art in a modern context.

Media art in Thailand is now at a critical point in its realization. The IT infrastructure is rapidly maturing and facilitating new art expressions, therefore, making new media art an exciting new field for Thais and providing a platform for new ideas for the IT prospect.”

His house was not far from my office, it was a very nice space with a large garden and bamboo fences, and Francis lived there with his Thai girlfriend and a dog. He rented a house for artist friends to plan the festival and he told me that the accommodation sponsor was some foundation for media arts in Berlin. Francis can work under pressure in the land of a thousand smiles. He likes Thailand very much as a place to live and considers the country different from anywhere else in the world.

We eventually set the terms of the ICECA foundation, started its mission in the northern city of Chiang Mai and created the first collaboration with Chiang Mai University’s art museum in early 2002; linking European media artists with a Thai institution. A vision of bridging cultures through new media arts proved successful from the earliest stage and soon this small-scale series of cultural exchange activities turned into an ambitious project: Thailand’s First New Media Art Festival.  Though realized on a shoestring-budget the festival was  successful and initiated a sudden interest in new media in Chiang Mai.

ICECA: Initiative for Cultural Exchange and Computer Arts

The Initiative for Cultural Exchange and Computer Arts is a non-profit foundation formed in 2001 and officially founded in 2002 to promote cultural exchange between Thai artists and new media artists from around the world. Furthermore, we aim to establish the Center for Art and Media (CAM Thailand) as well as a networked, public access New Media Art library. To date, ICECA has organized visits for over 20 artists from Europe,Japan,Israel and Australia, providing accommodation for their stay in Chiang Mai.

At the present time the genre of new media art lacks an established forum in this region and, therefore, ICECA’s main objective is to create a Center for Art and Media and encourage the growth of a supportive environment. ICECA, active for over one year in Chiangmai, regularly conducts free-of-charge workshops and lectures by visiting artists. ICECA is also maintaining its own independent network for international Cultural Exchange.

ICECA is the founder and major organizer of Thailand’s First New Media Festival which took place in Chiang Mai in cooperation with several partner institutions. The Festival is planned to take place annually on the CMU campus and consists of simultaneous exhibitions, conferences, art film screenings and media art workshops.

A special effort will be made to translate all possible material into Thai language and introduce a special Thai glossary of new media art and other technical terms. The library will also include an adaptive indexing system that captures user interaction and uses it to aid other users. After ICECA’s digital library is installed it will be easy to access from any location where high speed internet or local area connectivity is available.

The first New Media Arts Festival took place in 2003 at ChiangMai University.  The festival featured two exhibitions, presentations and workshops with visiting artists.

The Festival took place at three locations at ChiangMai University – CMU Faculty of Fine Arts’ Museum exhibition hall, CMUArt Museum theater and the CMU Faculty of Architecture.  Special video contributions from the following institutions were screened: Academy of Fine Arts Prague, Academy of Media Arts Köln, Experimental Festival, Australia, Audiovisuals Programme, Austria, and MBC Berlin, provided a curated program of recent German Art films

The Thailand New Media Art Festival 2004 aimed to serve the art community by being a platform and a motivator – enabling both Thai and international artists to exchange ideas. We wished to encourage Thai artists in their new media work and provide them with networking opportunities and new channels of communication with foreign artists.

The increasing use of communication technology in Thailand combined with the unique Thai lifestyle and culture creates an excellent environment for new and exciting media art to emerge and fertilize the global art scene.

In 2004 the Festival was hosted by Srinakarinwirot University in Bangkok and was a collaboration with the Imaging Department of the Faculty of Fine Arts SWU, Alliance Française Bangkok, The Goethe Institut Bangkok, The British Council Thailand, The Oddyssee Siam, Banrie Café, and Media Shaker Siam.

The Festival in 2004 hosted works from over 30 countries. The works presented dealt with many topics associated with New Media in all forms. The Festival took place at 7 venues linked by the Bangkok Sky-train (BTS). We welcomed all residents of Bangkok city, its inhabitants, tourists, casual visitors, Thai artists and especially Thai students and teenagers to enjoy a week of contemporary media art events, exhibitions, workshops and intellectual discussion.

Over a dozen visiting artists, media professors, and performers presented their ideas in seminars, workshops, symposia and screenings. Admission to all events was free.

The Thailand New Media Festival 2005 was dedicated to the victims of the tsunami and fostered global solidarity and cultural rebuilding. Alongside international forums, there were performances, screenings and lectures by international visiting artists. The festival was in two sections: during February and June.

The MAF05 in June was planned as a full scale multi-media extravaganza on a scale never seen before in Thailand. The festival drew on the innovations of MAF’s recent annual new media festivals and was especially linked to the first part of MAF05 in February. MAF05 June hosted a full range of lectures, presentations, exhibits, interactive installations, and performances.

MAF05 June’s innovation was the Thai Commissioned New Media Art section – a first in the history of contemporary art in Thailand. Financial grants awarded to young Thai artists support the creation of original media art and this art was highlighted both at this festival and abroad, at partnering arts festivals.

MAF05 June also presented our partnership with international curators as a platform for the exchange of ideas. MAF05 June established exchange links with BananaRAM Festival to offer a selection of multi-user interactive network exhibits: with ArtBots Festival from the USA to bring a selection of art-making-robots to Thailand; and with The IDEA from India to present a show of net-art, digital-imaging, interactive and sound projects.

MAF05 June presented over sixty works submitted to MAF05 but their exhibition was postponed due to the tsunami disaster. These artworks and installations were showcased at MAF05 June in four venues: [MediaArtVenue] Bed SupperClub, [art@bar] British Council of Thailand, [MAF05_screen] Alliance Francaise of Bangkok,Siam Square [CenterPoint] open air giant screen, [Public_Attraction] at Playground! Thong Lor.

MAF05 presented a large array of screenings, lectures, performances, and presentations as well as exhibitions and installations in two separate parts. Over 200 international new media artists from 42 countries presented their cutting edge work on the vital topic of the effect of digital technology on our notions of boundaries.

The festival explored the increasingly available communication technology that is now blurring boundaries between virtual and physical space. Topics included new distinctions of personal privacy, cyberspace communities and biological innovations; literally and metaphorically, “digital skin” is a new term for cross-platform hyper-connective interfacing.

MAF has established a strategic alliance with the Bangkok based media creations company Modern Formulations Co. Ltd. and with the London Development Company Ltd. MAF06 will be the third time MAF works in a joint event production environment with Oxygen Holding’s BED Supperclub and for the fifth time with the new media department at the Czech Academy of Fine Arts, under the supervision of Professor Michael Bielicky.

Our network extends annually to working with local and international institutions such as the British Council Thailand, formerly with the Alliance Francais Bangkok, the Goethe institute, the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne and others. During each year’s festival the collaboration extends to working directly with many individual artists, co-curators and various venues to host smaller MAF events across Bangkok.

MAF06 features a new collaboration with the Bangkok non-profit events organizer Dude/Sweet, best known for their fine networking in the local art scene. Dude/Sweet will act as our event promoter.

MAF06-May takes place in Bangkok at several locations, among which are some well known venues, and indoor and outdoor public screens. Confirmed venues include: BED Supperclub with exhibitions, performances and an opening party. HOF Art Gallery with an exhibition and closing party. Chulalongkorn University with workshops and special presentations.

In May 2006, MAF06 will present the first part of the festival with a series of audio-visual programs, performances and presentations that explore the growing interest in electronic arts and new media in Thailand since we first organized MAF.

For those who see MAF as the window into which they can view the development of new media in the region, we send the message that “new media is here to stay”. MAF is exploring the opportunity of setting up a permanent not-for-profit Center for Arts and Media in the heart ofBangkok. In recent years, Bangkok has experienced a dramatic increase in interest because of the developing range of new media arts and creative design taking place in the city.

National Chengchi University, Taipei Taiwan

North-South-East-West at National Chengchi University Taipei Taiwan, December 2005.

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Thompson presented the North-South-East-West DVD and medicine wheel talk to Dr. John Antoine Labadie’s graduate students at the Center for Creativity and Innovation Studies at National Chengchi University in Taipei Taiwan in December 2005.

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National Chengchi University

The National Chengchi University is a national co-educational research university located in Taipei. The university was established in Nanjing in 1927, and relocated to Taipei in 1954. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious and important universities of Taiwan. The university, abbreviated as NCCU, specializes in arts and humanities, mass media, social sciences, management, politics, and international affairs programs. It is the only public university in Taiwan which provides courses in journalism, advertising, radio and television, diplomacy, and several languages which are not taught at other institutions. The name Chengchi (政治) means governance or politics, and refers to its founding in 1927 as an incubator for senior civil service for the Nanjing Nationalist government of China.

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Dr. John Antoine Labadie

John Antoine Labadie was trained as a sculptor at the Dayton Art Institute and then earned a bachelor’s degree in painting from the University of Dayton (1973), a Master’s, in perceptual psychology, from Wright State University (1980) and an interdisciplinary Doctorate from the College of Design , Architecture Art & Planning at the University of Cincinnati (1993).

John Antoine Labadie
Professor
Art
Phone: 910-521-6618
Email: john.labadie@uncp.edu

Labadie has held positions with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Edison State College, Wright State University , Urbana University , the University of Dayton , the University of Texas at Austin , Boston University , and the University of North Carolina Pembroke . Dr. Labadie has been a faculty member in the Art Department at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke since 1994 and is the founder of their Digital Arts and Media Integration Studies programs. During the past ten years Dr. Labadie’s artworks have been exhibited in more than 200 national and international exhibitions and are held in numerous private and museum collections. John Antoine Labadie has been an advisor and board member with numerous international projects including: the International Digital Arts Association (Melbourne , Australia); the Academy of Electronic Arts (New Delhi, India); the International Association of Computer Graphics (St. Petersburg, Russia); and the Museum of Computer Art (Brooklyn, New York).

Dr. Labadie regularly serves an artist-in-residence or a visiting artist/scholar internationally. Labadie was a 2005-2006 Fulbright Senior Scholar in digital art for the “Center for Creativity and Innovation Studies” at National Chengchi University in Taipei , Taiwan . Other recent appointments include: National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, Taiwan; The National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India; Banasthali Vidyapith University in Jaipur, India; the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts in Taichung, Taiwan; Chung Yuan Christian University in Jhongli City, Taiwan; Taipei National University of the Arts in Beitou, Taiwan; the Beijing Film Academy in Beijing, China; Fo Guang University in Yilan, Taiwan; and Nanjing Normal University in Nanjing, China; as well as numerous institutions in the USA.

 

Int’l Fest of Touristic, Eco and Sport Films of Serbia

North-South-East-West wins Award from Int’l Film Festival of Serbia, September 2004.

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North-South-East-West the video, also known as The First Sunrise won The Special Award of the Festival from MEFEST, the 12th International Festival of Touristic, Ecological and Sport Films held from September 23-26, 2004 in Zlatibor Serbia.

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The First Sunrise

The First Sunrise was inspired by the meaning of the east, as taught by the Anishinaabe Peoples of North America. This video seeks to express the beauty, power and mystery of the east. As it is from the east that we witness the sunrise, the start of a new day and symbolically the birth of man and our universe.

The First Sunrise is apart of the “North-South-East-West” new media series. The series involves the use of Web sites, CD-ROMs, DVDs, digital video, streaming media and webcasts.

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MEFEST

For 16 years MEFEST is depicted over 1,600 films, of which more than 800 from 50 countries. Great recognition for the quality and the unique concept of the program and the professional organization MEFEST received in 1996, when he was admitted to the European association of tourism film festival CIFFT, which is based in Vienna, and since 2007 a member of the newly formed association ITCO, the European Federation of Tourist Press , based in Rome.

MEFEST today that our film festival which, in every respect, be proud of Serbian culture and on its open window into the world of new media, culturally refined at the same time and educational. Thanks to the Festival was established in cooperation with other similar festivals in the world, which allows our authors to present their achievements and be recognized outside our country. In addition to the film program, the festival traditionally organized presentation of current topics that are related to tourism, ecology, cooking and sports.

 

 

Int’l Digital Art Awards of Melbourne Australia

North-South-East-West wins 1st Place Digital Art Award Australia, February 2004.

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North-South-East-West  wins the First Place Major New Media Award at the International Digital Art Awards of Melbourne Australia,  February 2004.

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International Digital Art Awards, Founded by Steve Danzig

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Steve Danzig IDAA & IDA projects History

This project began in New York 1999 where I was researching graphical interface protocol for online networks. During this time, I met Laurence Gartel who had worked at the Experimental Television Centre (E.T.C.) in New York with Nam June Paik researching early video paintbox systems in the mid 1970’s. Gartel and I discussed the idea of digital art and how we could create and merge virtual and physical exhibition environments whilst building an online portal and resource for digital art.

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So I set about designing a framework for new connections in the fields of academia, emerging technologies and professional art practice via the World Wide Web officially launching the original project name of International Digital Art Awards (IDAA). We were not the first to exhibit online, however we were the first to set up infrastructure for both virtual and physical exhibitions that were supported by traditional programming frameworks. This saw the foundation of the first lDAA exhibition committee to facilitate in the selecting of work via an online review process. In hindsight the early years were in part about how we engaged new thinking models around technology, digital aesthetics, memetics and cyber-culture over and above any deliberate act of presenting an exhibition of digital art. It was about how anv infrastructure could be set up to coexist and maintain professional standards in display, and documentation whilst providing an avenue for cross cultural exchange in a virtual and physical space. As we were part of a “new” emerging digital time line, it was important that our programming was inclusive of the early digital forms (generative, fractal, paintbox and video). We included early pioneers such as Jean Pierre Herbet, Manfred Mohr, David Em and Laurence Gartel to mention just a few to sit alongside emerging artists. This provided an important platform to open a dialogue about metadata, how it related to mass media and culture as a comparative document to new technologies and the digital aesthetic. It wasn’t until 2005 that we included a full program of new media and time based art. This was partly predicated by the institutions we were working with and what technologies were available. This meant there were significant design concessions to tailor our exhibitions to suit small, medium and large spaces.

New Media winners

1st place: Graham Thompson
/ NORTH-SOUTH-EAST-WEST
<http://medicine-wheel.co>
PRIZE: Macromedia Studio; MX 2004

2nd place: zsd
/ untitled
PRIZE: Macromedia Director; MX 2004

3rd place: Miah Morshed & Soma Ray
/ Gravity
<http://www.projectmiso.com/artwork/gravity.html>
PRIZE: Macromedia Flash; MX 2004

Still Image winners

1st place: Anne Maree Taranto (Australia)
AMT
PRIZE: Minolta A1 digital camera; Canto Software; Best Software; Desktop magazine; IDAA exhibition; Dimi subscription

2nd place: Jiri David
/ ANAN /Blair /Bush /Chirac
PRIZES: Minolta F300 digital camera; Desktop magazine; IDAA exhibition; Dimi subscription

3rd place: Sabrina Raaf
/ Never Alone
PRIZES: Minolta F200 digital camera; Terry’s Toffees (as selected
by Terry); Desktop magazine; IDAA exhibition; Dimi subscription

4th place: Ray Caesar
/ Companion
PRIZES: Desktop magazine; IDAA exhibition; Dimi subscription

5th place: Magdalena Kourti
/ Birth of Wave
PRIZES: ADOBE Creative Suite (Adobe Achievement Award); Desktop magazine; IDAA exhibition; Dimi subscription

6th place: Reinhardt Sobye
/ 1961
PRIZES: Desktop magazine; IDAA exhibition; Dimi subscription

7th place: Leah King-Smith (Australia)
/ Look Up
PRIZES: Desktop magazine; IDAA exhibition; Dimi subscription

8th place: Richard Wazejewski
/ Opus Pocus I, II & III
PRIZES: Desktop magazine; IDAA exhibition; Dimi subscription

9th place: Ian Gwilt (Australia)
/ Storage Space
PRIZES: Desktop magazine; IDAA exhibition; Dimi subscription

10th place: Ricardo Báez-Duarte
/ H
PRIZES: Desktop magazine; IDAA exhibition; Dimi subscription

Juror’s Statements

JOHN ANTIONE LABADIE,
Associate Professor of Art, Director, Digital Academy
University of North Carolina Pembroke

In the three years I have served a a juror for the IDAA the quality of the    online submissions has risen steadily each year. Let me qualify this statement:    not only has the digital-technical proficiency evidenced by the IDAA entrants    observably increased with each iteration of this worldwide exhibition, the    originality of the pieces submitted for jurying has also soared to new heights    and dimensions. IMHO the 2004 IDAA exhibition represents the very best to    be seen in contemporary digital fine arts across a wide range of genre in    both still and time-based media. The 2004 IDAA is a “must see” exhibition    for all those who seek to understand what happens when talented people choose    digital tools to as a primary means to make their art.

LAURANCE GARTEL,
PRINCIPAL  JUROR/DIGITAL PIONEER, LAURENCE GARTEL AWARD FOR DIGITAL EXCELLENCE

The winning imagists have translated the digital process into a hyper elevated
medium. The words “ULTRA KOOL” seem to fall of the tip of my tongue.    And what
a delicacy it is indeed. It seems that our post 9/11 society has felt so much    that
our outer skin is teflon: The images unstoppable. They have felt so much that    the
emotional impact these images give off cannot be “penentratable.”    The beauty here
is that whether it be an abstract image by Nick Karlovich, to the surrealistic    image
of Ray Caesar, these images show perfection. As I wrestled with Sabrina Raaf’s
bathroom pictures looking for “something wrong with her picture”    I just couldn’t
find it! All made perfect sense, in a perfect world. The “cherry on the    sundae” for
me was Juri David’s portraits. WHY in any other moment of time, would anyone
care about a picture of a president in such disdain? It is a brilliant execution    to see
the man we love to hate. “Globalness” and “Americanizing the    World” brings back
nightmare’s of George Orwell’s 1984. Ian Gwilt’s image “Pool Elevate”    summarizes
the entries of the IDAA and that state of affairs, at least from a public    relations
point of view. – “We live in a perfect world.”

While I expected to see artists fighting back with anger and hostility due    to our
global economy, instead we see resilience and courage. It is a great surprise    and
tribute to all contributors to this years IDAA, stating, that “no body    is going down
without a fight.” That artists will continue to make real art through    hard political
and economic times. John Vucic-Wolfpup’s apocalyptic ending “Desire is    Suffering”
is one of the few works that follows my own world sensibilities to which I    would
expect others to share. However Wolfpup’s cool colors, illustrate our defiance.
In summary, this year’s IDAA announces to the world, that the digital genre    is
more than thriving, and that the medium can make humane statements above and    beyond
all art forms.

I salute all those that have participated in the creative process, the selection,    and
for those that gave their spirit in the struggle to be heard.

TOM CHAMBERS,
CO DIRECTOR IDAA NEW MEDIA

TomChambers.com

IDAA PRINT:
“A    sweeping view of this year’s IDAA reveals mainly a figurative approach concomitant    with photo-based and manipulative expression as a part of the digital medium    that rivals the same in other media. Abstraction and Abstract Expressionism    are alive and well within various works that also rival these movements in    other media. As an overview, the exhibition confirms that the digital medium    is indeed “Fine” as it relates to the Arts and in some instances,    surpasses other media according to the ability of the creator. In the hands    of a “Master” and evidently seen in many of the works as a part    of this IDAA, the digital medium is playing a viable and vital role in redefining  and/or expanding the artist’s tools for self-expression. As the view is narrowed or focused per work, a great deal of evocation or imaginative re-creation is felt. This is due to the multifaceted nature of the digital medium and how its diverseness is interpreted and utilized. The IDAA 2004 is all of this and possibly more.“

IDAA    NEW MEDIA:
“From Joaquin Baron Herranz’s ‘How To Make  A Possible Perfect Christmas Tree’ to Graham Thompson’s ‘North-South-East-West’, the New Media section of the IDAA 2004 comprises a good range of movement/sequential-art, which sometimes require participation to move the meaning along. Videos via QuickTime, Flash and series of Web pages project the artists’ concepts at a level of expression that equate with installation/experimental art in real space. The New Media entries this year go beyond mere technical wizardry to move towards a level of evocation that can be called Fine Art.”

VICKI McCONVILLE,
Visual Artist, Board of Directors, NAVA (National Association for the Visual Arts) Australia

As an Artist and as a Juror, it has been inspirational to see the development    of the International Digital Art Award over the past three years. The quality    and depth of the work submitted, not to mention the volume of work submitted, has increased immeasurably.

The 2004 IDAA indicates a shift in style and direction and I am pleased to    see the exceptional work being produced in both contemporary digital printmaking    as well as the inclusion of new media works. Congratulations to
all of our exhibitors in the 2004 IDAA.

WAYNE J COSSHALL,
Assistant Director IDAA/CO-Director New Media, Editor,Writer, Co-Founder Digital Art Association Australia

The 2004 IDAA represents a significant stage in the IDAA’s development. Firstly,    the incorporation of a good body of work in the IDAA New Media section nicely    compliments and contrasts with the IDAA Still Image section. Since contemporary   digital art practice covers both areas, it not only makes the IDAA a more  representational living documentation of the state of digital art practice    in 2004, but also allows viewers to make their own, interesting connections    between the two. The IDAA Still Image section raises the quality bar yet again    and is the strongest IDAA yet from a fine art perspective. It heartens me    that, yet again, all areas of digital still image art practice are represented    and you will find examples of the best digital art in each category and style. It shows that no one area of digital practice, such as 3D, has become the  dominant voice of digital still image. This diversity of approach is the strength    of digital art practice and provides a rich ground for cross-fertilization    and the continuing development of digital art. My thanks to everyone who entered    and my congratulations to everyone accepted to the list of finalists. You    can rightly feel that your work has been judged against some of the best digital    art internationally, and been found comparable.
Wayne J. Cosshall, Assistant Director, IDAA

Digital Giraffe California, Site of the Month

North-South-East-West at Digital Giraffe of California, January 2004.

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Thompson’s North-South-East-West  was Site of the Month at the technology web site the Digital Giraffe of California in January 2004.

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The Digital Giraffe

Corinne Whitaker founder of the Digital Giraffe in 1994, an online monthly art journal, is an American artist who works in digital imaging and digital sculpture.  Her work has been exhibited at the Biennale International Art Exhibition in Florence Italy, Austin Museum of Digital Art,  the Ansel Adams Center in San Francisco, the Peninsula Museum of Art in Burlingame,  the United States Biennale in New York City, the Evolve the Gallery in Sacramento, California,  the New York Digital Salon/Visual Arts Museum, the Centre for Photography as an Art-Form Bombay India,  the Atelier Nord Electronic Gallery Norway, the Cyberkind Electronic Journal, the Brandstater Gallery Riverside California, the Lightfantastic Gallery Michigan State University, the Institute for Design and Experimental Art Sacramento, the Museum of Art California, the Kansas City Art Institute Missouri, the Festival Internazionale di Computer Art Riccione Italy, and the John Michael Kohler Art Center Gallery,Wisconsin.

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“Creating 3 dimensional forms electronically has been a holy grail for artists since Macintosh recreated the desktop in 1984. Parallel processing, multi-tasking, faster clock speeds and ever more powerful computers have finally brought us within reach of that goal. As is often the case, artists had to wait for technology to catch up with their visions.” … Corinne Whitaker