2020 Retrospective

Authors

, Jan 4, 2021
Arts & Médias' homepage on iPad
Arts & Médias' homepage on iPad. Credit: Mat Janson Blanchet

What a year 2020 has been!

Instead of looking back at the pandemic—although I should mention that it hit the art world as hard as other fields, but other people already wrote about this better than I could—I'd like to look back at the work done on Art & Médias since the soft launch this year.

When trying to inform myself about media art, I found it hard to find news sources specialized on the subject. Contemporary art magazines sometimes have a small feature per release, if that. Galleries and media labs do showcase artists, but unless you know of those organizations already, you would not know about their publications. There are also specialized newsletters, but these end in in the same catch-22 situation. There is a lack of centralized access to all this potential content. There are a few wikis, and some other academic experimental websites on the subject of digital and media art, but they sometimes are outdated, or navigating their content is tedious.

Additionally, much of the content about media art is published in English, which is fine on its own, but this means that all those who speak other languages do not necessarily know where to look for resources on the subject.

So I set out to create this online platform, with the idea that it would be a reference for critical content and resources about contemporary art, with a bias towards media art and installation art. I was looking to create something slick, with an appeal that could reach everyone. Not only should Arts et Médias reach those who already know about media art, but I wanted the student, the professor, the artist, or simply the art aficionado to be comfortable browsing through the content.

Since the initial launch this summer, Arts et Médias grew to now showcases and lists articles, books, organizations, people, projects, events, academic content, and more!

While gathering all this content from notes and bookmarks I had previously saved, I was able to discover quite a few things myself. The few links shared below are by no means exhaustive or authoritative, but they are good starting points.

A Quick Introduction to Media Art

Here are a few introductory articles that may be of interest:

Art as a Challenger

There are obviously many issues that art and media art attempt to tackle. I approach art as concepts, projects, and objects which interact with or critique/criticize art history and institutions. As for media art, it may discuss those themes, but it is most likely to address issues raised by contemporary technology and communications. Still, some crucial subjects—gender equality, culture inequality, and colonialism, economical inequality, etc.—should not be evacuated from media art. Rightfully, there are articles and projects about those subjects:

Curating Media and Digital Art

When we discuss art, we have to discuss art institutions, and whether art happens only in them, or despite them. There are also more mundane subjects, like how to actually maintain media art in a gallery, or how to collect media art works. Here are a few articles that are related to these themes:

Books, Books, Books

There are so many books on the subject, and I wish I knew about so many of those back when I was actually studying fine art myself! Although, to be honest, many of them were not published in the early 2000s...

Nevertheless, the book list grows constantly since this project started, and there is no stopping it!

Resolutions for the New Year

There is still much work left to do to improve the platform, to populate it with more content, and also to bring awareness that Arts et Médias exists.

As mentioned above, much of the content about media art and digital art is published in English. It would be great to hire translators to make that content available to people who do not speak or do not read English. The site currently has a French side, but the plan is to eventually add more languages.

Potentially hiring people forces me to bring up the subject of financing. At this time, all the work I have done—and will continue to do—on Arts et Médias and the expenses all come out of my own pocket. I am someone who values privacy in the face of tech giants, so exploring a way to add advertisement on the site and analytics while respecting visitors' privacy means investigating some potentially costly solutions. Since I believe in being open, once a solution is in place, I will announce it. I am also open to look into crowd sourcing financing solutions.

In the meantime, if you wish to contribute, you are always welcome to, be it by informing me of content to add or update, or be it financially.

Don't hesitate to follow Arts et Médias on Twitter, and to share the site with artists, educators, and anyone who could be interested.


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