Computer Art Festivals Panel #2: Digital Art and Institutional Models

Creative GC: Art Science Connect
RSVP here.
Thursday, April 28th, 2022
12:00 pm ET

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) and the CUNY Graduate Center’s Art and Science Connect are pleased to co-present a pair of panels inspired by the legacy of the Computer Art Festivals (1973-1975), alongside an online presentation of video works, programs, and materials from the event’s three year history. In the first panel, organizers and artists from the initial festivals will discuss the original impetus for the project, the nature of computer art at the time, and the event’s resonances today. In the second, contemporary digital art practitioners and institutional voices will consider the role of institutions in producing and shaping art made with computers.

At the time of the Computer Art Festivals in the 1970s, art made with computers was largely the domain of institutions. From university and private research laboratories to alternative arts organizations and galleries, institutions were necessary to steward expensive equipment, facilitate information exchange, and build context for emerging forms. In the intervening decades, computer art (now referred to as digital art) has transformed considerably alongside the rapid development of technology and digital culture, and drastic shifts in public and private funding structures. With the advent of personal computing and ostensibly decentralized distribution, the role of such institutions in producing and shaping the context of art made with computers has been questioned and reconfigured. This conversation will engage contemporary artists and institutional voices to consider the role of institutions in digital art today. Has technology made such institutions redundant, or more critical than ever? What roles might institutions play in supporting emerging digital practices, now and in the future?

This panel will include Rebecca Cleman, Auriea Harvey, Kelani Nichole, Lumi Tan, and Addie Wagenknecht, moderated by curator Tina Rivers Ryan. RSVP here. Image: installation shot of Addie Wagenknecht, XXXX.XXX, 2014, photograph by John Berens.

Learn more about Panel #1: A Conversation with Original Participants here.