05 October, 15

Founders – Culture – Technology: The Use of Open Space

The “Founders – Culture – Technology: The Use of Open Space” discussion supported by the Aksenov Family Foundation was held at the discussion platform of the viennacontemporary 2015 Art Fair.

The “Founders – Culture – Technology: The Use of Open Space” discussion supported by the Aksenov Family Foundation was held at the discussion platform of the viennacontemporary 2015 Art Fair on 26 September, 2015. Markus Lust, Editor-in-Chief of Vice Magazine, chaired the discussion with Marko Košnik, polymedia artist; Oliver Holle, founder and CEO of Speedinvest; Rupert Huber, composer and musician; Michael Breidenbrücker, artist and serial entrepreneur, as deliberators. The rethinking of new distinctive cultural elements of society, which arise when people offer their pioneering spirit and new forms of cultural production, aesthetics and perception come to being, was the topic of the talk.

The world of art is presently experiencing a huge impact of digital culture. Lust noted that digital culture has come to the point where it has acquired its own conventions. Therefore, its re-definition and re-framing constitute a perpetual challenge for artists and all those involved with digital technologies.

Currently, one of the functions of digital data processing is forecasting the future or its exact evaluation. This function of a foreteller was once attributed to artists. And this is what brings together art and digital culture. Marko Košnik told about a comics published in the leading alternative magazine of Slovenia in 1978. The story comprised a sequence of tragic events: a murder of a politician, an explosion in a hotel during a communist youth conference, tanks entering a city and weaponry stolen from governmental barracks. Surprising as it may seem, these events were repeated actually in the 1990s. A Slovenian politician was indeed shot after giving a speech during the first elections of the independent government in 1992. Weapons were stolen from the military barracks around 1994. The explosion also occurred precisely in the hotel that served as a prototype for the artist a while ago.

Oliver Holle, whose goal is to foresee the most talented and successful start-ups in the digital field and invest into them, described the shift in culture that appeared as a direct result of advances in digital technologies. If 10 or 20 years ago kids were fascinated with rock stars, now they are looking at people in the digital field like Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg.

The digital format is a new perspective, a new counter-culture, and the people involved are the new aspirants to change the world.

On the other hand, Holle admits, it is important that this rapidly developing segment at the junction of technologies and art does not turn into the new Silicon Valley which is now void of everything other than money.

As Rupert Huber claims, the digital format offers the advantage of, access for everybody and the opportunity change a recipient into a creator or at least a participant of cultural production. When we are talking about music now what is implied is mostly recorded music, Michael Breidenbrücker noted. This became possible due to the breakthrough made by the invention of radio and vinyl. Thus, everyone who listens music can become its curator. The opportunity to reproduce individually certain sounds and even symphonies, making a new piece out of different musical sections, transforms a listener into a curator. As a result, culture develops owing to the content generated not only by professional artists or musicians, but also by the audience that is mastering modern technologies.

All this constitutes the open space which is emerging as a brand new working format. This format offers unexpected opportunities to its adherents, but also poses a number of questions. For example, what working formats for a piece of digital art – authoritarian or democratic – are more suitable and inherent to it? How to consider a viewer’s right to interpretation of an artwork and the right to attribute his/her own meaning to it?

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