Focus Artistic Research

Artistic Technology Research

Matthias Tarasiewicz

Center of Art and Knowledge Transfer
Art does not only reflect new technologies and how they transform society, art is also a crucial laboratory both for the development of technology itself and for critical discourse. The project aims to work on a discursive and practical level, approaching critical media arts through research intertwined with artistic practice. Research occupies a fundamental position between the development of new media technologies and the critical media arts, both as a motor for innovation and as a tool with which it is possible to assess the social and artistic significance of new forms of expression and dissemination. It is important not only to integrate critical media arts into an existing theoretical academic discourse, but also to make the results of these studies and the subsequent critical works accessible to the public.

The project is composed of artistic interventions, public workshops and interactions that will involve diverse audiences and is intended to measure and discuss contemporary media art practices and offer "connections" to social sciences/cultural sciences.
Using the method "action research" and extending it to include "documentation as a method," the two-year project is designed with workshops, presentations and artistic practice connected to open research and open discourses. Bringing artists together with new media theoreticians, the whole process will work according to an interdisciplinary approach of knowledge-building (combining artistic knowledge and new media knowledge) and at the same time support popular awareness of the implications of looking at new media arts as both practice and research.
In order to explore and react to the apparent but also often opaque processes of how new media transform artistic processes and reflects on society, the project will concentrate on three thematic points relevant to contemporary media-arts practices:

  • production and innovation: media art-work as a process artefact
  • new public(s) in interaction: knowledge-gain and mediation in new media arts
  • aesthetics of new media arts in "economies of attention"

The project RESEARCHING CRITICAL NEW MEDIA ARTS & ARTISTIC TECHNOLOGY tackles these issues by analysing and documenting 'research methods' used by artists and through a mapping of technological innovation developed in media art. The project will map this tacit knowledge, transforming it into structural methodology that can be used by other artists and employed in teaching curricula. Deliberately, this project also draws on historical genealogies of media art and the use of technology by revisiting art history. In experimental workshops with artists and hackers, the current state of experimental technology in use and its conceptual employment for art will be analysed and documented and brought into a theoretical and practical context in master classes with art students.
The project is located at the University of applied Arts Vienna (Centre for Art and Knowledge Transfer) and extends its field of research and practice throughout the whole process to an international context. In a mixture of 12 research partners in cooperation with art groups, academic research and practice based research is brought together.