ISEA97 on Fri, 28 Feb 97 21:59 MET

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nettime: Re: representation again

>>Announcement: ISEA97 Initiative to Promote Diversity

Well I can respond to some of your issues.  It appears that you have not
attended such a conference -- we are not the 'bad guy', but rather trying
to make positive changes/contributions.

>Even if there are some good intentions - why was there never an ISEA in all
>the continents you mention to 'better representate now'?

Each location must bid to host the conference.  Conferences are highly
costly to produce.  Many of the continents mentioned have 1) extremely
limited access to computers, not to mention the internet. 2) more crucial
issues to contend with

Little reforms are
>sometimes worse then fully realising needed changes. I find it disappointing
>that especially from an ISEA in the US and the reported extreme socio-economic
>problems there, such half-hearted 'promotion of diversity' is getting
>In the context of the US-centered Internet and its questions regarding
>overcoding and homogenizing regional cultural differences and establishing a
>'digital pax americana' it just becomes more dubious.

The ISEA in the US is taking place at an art school, not the pentagon or
through a corporate entity.

>And i doubt that Cultural Diversity is something which can be easyly
>planned or
>announced. Instead of an amorph diversity i could experience the problems and
>the productivity of a hard cultural difference. I am working+living in East
>Berlin. If i would get invited to an 'exhibition' not because of my work, but
>because where i come from, i would tend to feel embarrased about getting
>like a tourist attraction. (i fact im not even a real Ossi or Berliner)
>Many of
>the cultural producers in the East experienced inner alienation in their
>scenes' when it came to certain 'careers' in representing authentic
>otherness to
>the West. I don't want to come with a solution here, the adressed problems are
>important and complex enough,  but i strongly doubt any fast adapted
>tactiques of correctness to update the own outdated models of defining culture
>and harmonizing difference.

All submissions, regardless of origin, undergo a rigorous selection process.

>It is not the place to criticize the pragmatism of artist struggling to make
>a living. I also don't want to say that these problems don't exist in Europe.
>We soon will be able to discuss and criticize similar problems within the
>centralized model of representation of 'marginal' cultural practises at
>the Dokumenta X in Kassel which made 'globalization' as one of its top
>It would be very good, for example, if ISEA would start an open mailinglist
>for open discussion. Where projects could get presented, abstracts sent,
>different englishes mixed and representational diversity emerge and clash.
>Instead of 'pushing' centralised models of representation through electronic
>media into the finest fabrics of regional cultures, we have a real chance
>that 'the other calls back' - perhaps via e-mail. Providing free Server space,
>especially for the upcoming net-video standards would be also very useful.
>The result may be not what one is expecting as 'good art' within
>'academic standards'.

See our website -- this is exactly the type of thing we are looking for!
I will route your suggestions to the ISEA97 committees, and forward it to
the head group Inter-Society on elelctronic arts to be sure your concerns
are voiced.

Kind regards,

>oops it wasn't short enough.. maybe i'm totally wrong and already hurted some
>sensitive souls, so please respond. (and forgive me for the frequent use of
>'I' - it is a write error too)

Joelle Rabion
ISEA97* Conference Coordinator
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Department of Art & Technology
112 S. Michigan Avenue, 4th Floor
Chicago, IL  60603
312/345-3571 phone
312/541-8078 fax

*The Eighth International Symposium of Electronic Arts being held at
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, September 22 -27, 1997

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