Tuesday, March 10, 2009
ARTFORUM March 2009

It seems ARTFORUM has gone all CRITICALARTWARE with the current March 2009 edition.

This edition carries the two covers above and leads with the feature: "IN CONVERSATION: DARA BIRNBAUM AND CORY ARCANGEL" which is an interview/discussion between (Video) artist Dara Birnbaum and (New Media) artist Cory Arcangel. The cover images ARTFORUM chose are from Dara Birnbaum's 1978/1979 video "Technology Transformation: Wonder Woman" and Cory Arcangel's "Super Mario Clouds" project from 2002.

The pairing of Birnbaum and Arcangel creates a dynamic resonance for considering certain Media Art Historical connections, tensions and/or dislocations between the histories of experimental Media Art through Video Art and New Media Art. Birnbaum's Wonder Woman is well known and historically recognized Video Art, i.e. as included on the Video Data Bank's seminal anthology "Surveying the First Decade: Video Art and Alternative Media in the U.S." Similarly, Arcangel's Super Mario Clouds has been quickly cannonized into recent New Media Art Histories as an emblematic work, i.e. in Mark Tribe and Reena Jana's "Art in the Age of Digital Distribution".

criticalartware 2002 - 2006

By performing this pairing, ARTFORUM is repeating and reiterating a position of the criticalartware collaborative. From 2002 until 2006, the criticalartware group developed discursive projects that drew parallels and paths between the early Video Art of the 1970's and New Media Art Histories of the early 2000's, particularly in the field of Artware (also known as Software Art). In order to do this, we created various artware applications, conducted interviews with key participants from those eras (such as Kate Horsfield, low-fi, Sherry Miller Hocking, Peter Luining, Dan Sandin, Josh Goldberg, Jane Veeder, Josh Kit Clayton, Tom Betts, Golan Levin, Olga Goriunova, Alexei Shulgin, matthew fuller, Rene Beekman, Joe Gilmore, Simon Yuill, Sergey Teterin, LoVid, JODI and others) and both literally and figuratively put these people in conversation through various events and networks.

It's refreshingly intriguing to read Birnbaum and Arcangel "in conversation" and perhaps encouraging to see Artforum taking up a position that criticalartware put forward when such positions were not as always already/often recognized in (to quote Birnbaum) "the frameworks of institutional art spaces" or even New Media Art discourses...

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(Film, Video and New Media department at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago; New Media Art Histories; Art Games + Independent Gaming Cultures; Open Source, Artware + early Video Art; Computer Witchcraft + Majikal Media Art)

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