Article by Genco Gülan.
Translation by Elif Met.
In the first decade of 21st century, technology did not develop enough to satisfy the expectations imposed with Hollywood movies. Human beings still travel with primitive vehicles that consume fossil fuel, and manned flights to space are very limited. However, when we look back at the past twenty years that encompass the razzle-dazzle around the turn of the millennium, we see that the transformation in communication technologies has indeed had been remarkable. Today, people communicate in an entirely different way compared to twenty years earlier. This development, which can be considered as a positive, even a revolutionary development, remains quite insufficient when reflections social conditions, philosophy and/ or its echoes on art are concerned. Still, I believe that current technologies can do more. Even a close look on a few Wiki examples, the power of interaction and electronic participation is enough to make us dizzy thus prove the power of possible transformation.
Personally, I have been involved in new technology and art for more than fifteen years. I have worked with many institutions, scholars, artists in the field; the technological change is mind-blowing, I have hard times trying to keep up with the pace. It is the same in New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Istanbul and Seoul… I even stopped drinking in order for my brain to work better, but the progress in the field of software is above my level of intellect. An inevitable evolution is going on at full speed, there is no turning back: but where are we going and what are we doing? In order to turn the change into a positive one, art must not ever give up its social pioneering role. Colors have to run faster than money so that we don’t paint open seas with oil wastes... In the absolute reign of the wild capitalism, the only remaining innocence is in art…
The Web Biennial, which easily stands out among its competition, is a solid example of the fact that new technologies may transform art, both theoretically and practically. WB as the initiative of Istanbul Contemporary Art Museum, iS.CaM, is an experiment and at the same time a concrete formation: collaboration of artists, full independency of 256 colors, eye candy finger amusement park, the temporary Republic of virtual art… Yes, temporary because as Hakim Bey suggests, virtual space offers us only a temporary autonomy.
Web Biennial started out in the beginning of 2000’s as an limited online net art exhibition. It got into the international circulation in no time and turned into an international collaborative project widely participated through totally voluntary contributions. It has been referenced to by serious publications and institutions. The project asked significant questions on the material, location, and relations of art; and also suggested answers. Now, Web Biennial has to transform as always… Because a re-generation in the name of art could stand as the only alternative to a social de-generation.
A Selection of The Web Biennial Revealing The Poetics and Politics of Net Art/
20 January – 20 March 2011/
Artists: Magda Bielesz, Alan Bigelow, Immo Blaese, Andrew Chee, Martin John Callanan, Andy Deck, Dimitrios Fotiou, Matthias Fritsch, Genco Gülan, Elli Harrison, Sachiko Hayashi, Anni Holm, Aoghus Kneeshaw, Cardarelli Luigia, Marcello Mercado, Alexander Mouton, Christian Rupp, Evelyn Stermitz, Jürgen Trautwein, Merve Ünsal, Nanette Wylde, Jody Zellen, Ricardo Miranda Zuniga.//
Curator: Marcus Graf/
Regeneration.011 / A Selection of The Web Biennial Revealing the Poetics and Politics of Net Art exhibition that is presented in Plato Art Space is the first and unique Web Biennial in the world. Former biennials 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2010 was carried out by the initiation of Turkish contemporary artist Genco Gülan (http://www.webbiennial.org/). Till today Web Biennial has exhibited hundreds of works of approximately 400 artists on the net and it will be presented to the audience collectively in Plato Art Space, for the first time./
The exhibition mainly consists of works of 23 international artists as well as a selected archive from the previous Biennials and an anthology of Web Biennial 2010. Some works are displayed on screens, some are projected on various surfaces and some are interactive that require the active participation of the audience./
Internet has contributed to the transformation and spreading of new forms of art, provided boundless creating, exhibiting and consuming opportunities. Regeneration.011, in this context, is presenting works that deal with freedom of speech and anti-war activism as well as revealing the political and poetical aspects of contemporary net art. Plato Art Space, by this project, aims to draw attention to net art which gained considerable importance in the recent years as an alternative space for contemporary art.
The exhibition will be accompanied with a panel and workshops.