Ars Electronica Futurelab residency – Work in Progress No.2


Project: Virtual Dialogues: Consent and Control (in the age of Google)

Using the past to make sense of the here and now, taking as its conceptual inspiration a radical and unpublished edition of the international image journal: Ten.8 – Virtual Dialogues (Volume 2 No.4. 1994).

Ten.8’s remit was to explore the relationship between image, knowledge, culture and power. It brought together radical theorists, image-makers and media art writers in order to promote wider discourse. The unpublished issue,Virtual Dialogues, predicted both the arrival and impact of social media and explored contemporary, and still relevant, themes including cyberfeminisation – the disorderly city – and designing desiring machines.

Ten.8 currently exists in limbo on redundant and unstable 20 year-old ‘new media’. The residency project in Linz is concerned to retrieve and re-imagine the ambitions of the original editorial team: Derek Bishton, Tim Druckey and Andy Cameron with Sadie Plant, Darryl Georgiou and Mark Blackstock. It is also a tribute to the late Andy Cameron, a Ten.8 and Ars Electronica colleague.

Some of the issues outlined in Virtual Dialogues mirror Futurelab research themes and Ten.8 is increasingly of interest to curators, researchers, academics and archivists. It’s long and complex history will be told to a new generation through curators such as George Vasey, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland, UK, via engaging and hopefully interactive delivery methods. Horst Hörtner and Claudia Schnugg at Ars Electronica provided many ideas regarding potential development and future collaboration. And to quote Horst Hörtner: “It’s not about the infrastructure – it’s about the strategy.”

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