Introduction to Media Art
by Héctor González
"Media art" refers to artworks that depend on a technological component to function.
In this denomination, the term "media" is applied to any communication device used to transmit and store information. It also refers to a set of techniques and processes based on scientific knowledge and placed at the service of a systematised artistic creation, but also the products or artworks that result from it - in an 'artifactual' sense. It includes a diverse set of categories such as digital art, computer graphics, computer animation, virtual art, internet art or interactive technologies, but may also pertain to such fields as computer robotics or biotechnology.
Today, new media art is a dynamic creative field that offers new technology-based tools for an artistic expression. It is becoming increasingly popular and accessible - mainly due to the dissemination of personal computers and other emerging technologies, making it accessible to a wider audience. By implementing these new technologies in their artworks, media artists are constantly redefining the traditional categories of contemporary art,
Because of this democratic character of new media, the amount of works being produced is impossible to measure. The discipline has, therefore, become an enticing field of study and a medium of artistic exploration that scapes from the traditional field of curation and exhibition. It opens up unimagined possibilities to showcase technology, science and aesthetic together in complex artworks, but at the same time it challenges the traditional methods in which art is exhibited nowadays.
The problem of exhibiting & archiving
Media Art has traditionally been considered a difficult genre to exhibit. It presents a true challenge for curators, art galleries and museums. Because of the specific technical requirements of these media works, not all galleries and institutions can showcase them. They may lack or technical resources, budget or a theoretical base in their artistic programme to include this kind of projects. Most of the media art formats made today are not accessible to a wider audience and are utterly incompatible for buying or archiving. How can be a living bio-art sculpture achieved and preserved? How can a network art format be kept and transmitted to future audiences, since it only lives in the momentum of internet users interactions? How to keep these visual humanities alive in the memory of an archive?
Besides, media artworks usually address socio-political topics that have to be shown in specific exhibition contexts. During the time between both worldwide wars the concept of media was articulated around the transmissions and communication media, the so-called “mass media”. While the notion of communication itself changed its sign towards information thanks to the mathematical theories of communication of the Cybernetics of Nobert Wiener or the Theory of Information of Shanon and Weaber, the new technologies gave media the chance to raise more social, economic and artistic protagonist with socio-political messages. Very often, these artworks acted as a platform for communication and interaction between the artists and the audience, rather than a closed, inaccessible work. Nowadays most of media artworks have inherited this conception, and they show not only proper aesthetics but social and political messages that are a reflection of nowadays postmodern social culture. Therefore, a cultural and humanistic context has to be considered to include these works in a suitably way inside an exhibition.
EPHS explores the intersection of technology, science
and art creating and exhibiting media artworks.
We create a meeting point between the artists, the gallerists and the audience.
What is Ephemeral Spaces?
EPHEMERAL SPACES (EPHS) in the experimental project of Alexandra Ehrlich Speiser and Héctor González, artists and curators. It creates a meeting point where artists, gallerists, collectors and the general public meet an engage, bringing together different perspectives from creative fields, art collections and market areas. The project targets on a cultural and social approach to this non-canonised art, in an initiative that has remained unequalled in Austria. Furthermore, it promotes a critical discourse that is targeting not only artistic and theoretical art interests, but also social and institutional agendas.
EPHS not only explores the intersection of technology, science and art in the personal artistic projects of its founders, but create approaches to an audience that wants to approach this kind of art. It is based on a theoretical foundation on extensive scholar research on underrepresented artists’ works, as well as on an interpretative discourse that addresses the issues of academic and political aesthetics related to Media Art.
EPHEMERAL SPACES includes two main platforms of media art exhibition. In both platforms, artists that are not yet adequately represented in galleries, museums or collections find a place to showcase their works.
- the EPHS Site, where digital artists can showcase their projects easily through the internet.
- the EPHS Exhibitions were media artworks and genres meets in online expositions, or live events in art galleries and workshops
EPHS is not bound to a specific location or permanent venue, experimenting on different urban, industrial or rural locations. EPHS can be an exhibition space, an event venue, a lecture room or a laboratory for artistic ideas that can be placed anywhere.
EPHS is a privately sponsored initiative based in Vienna (AT) and Munich (ES)
Who is behind EPHS?
Alexandra Ehrlich Speiser
Artist, Researcher and Curator
Alexandra holds a M.A. in Media Art Histories and is certified in Curating on the Web: Exhibiting Internet-based Art.
Her artwork is shown on various Art shows and festivals around the world including ARS Electronica (Austria), European Media Art Festival (Germany), Cairotronica (Egypt), Japan Media Art Festival (Japan).
Video Artist, Curator and Art Director
Héctor holds a M.A. in Media Art Histories and is certified in Exhibition Development.
Want to know more about our exhibitions?
Check our EPHEMERAL SPACES v1
in MuseumsQuartier in Vienna.