New Media Art Timeline
- The New Media Art Timeline was compiled by Marko Brumen in 2007. It outlines the developments in new media arts, the sector's support infrastructure and funding, artists and art groups, production platforms, training, research and links to online archives of the 1990s and 2000s.
This article focuses on those protagonists who have established their own creative infrastructures, including Marko Košnik (Egon March Institute), Marko Peljhan (Projekt Atol Institute), Igor Štromajer (Intima Virtual Base) and Janez Janša (Aksioma Institute). Other individual authors who broke ground during the 1990s and early 2000s include Vuk Ćosić, Borut Savski, Luka Frelih, Darij Kreuh, Damijan Kracina, Jaka Železnikar and numerous emerging artists who channel their creativity through technology and seek to explore its impact on society.
In 1992 Marko Košnik cooperated with Mike Henz in the Project Van Gogh TV Piazza Virtuale at documenta IX in Kassel. The interactive TV programme was broadcast by Radio Študent (RŠ) and KUD France Prešeren Arts and Culture Association via the satellite programme 3Sat and on the Slovene TV station Kanal A.
In the same year Marko Peljhan founded Projekt Atol Institute, initially as a framework for performances, situations and visual arts works (e.g., Egorhythms staged at the Museum of Modern Art in 1992 and in Giessen and Helsinki in 1993), but later on as the institutional, financial and logistical support frame for several new media projects and initiatives ranging from art production to scientific research and technology prototype development and production. PACT Systems (Projekt Atol Communication Technologies) was founded in 1995, while its flight operations branch, Projekt Atol Flight Operations, was founded in 1999 to support art and cultural activities in the atmosphere, in orbit and beyond.
In 1994 Peljhan conceived the Makrolab project. A 3D animated film entitled Mikrolab, based on Kandinsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, was created by Marko Peljhan and Luka Frelih and projected in real time with music by Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec and Random Logic in the auditorium of the Slovenian Cinematheque, which by then was already becoming an important new media arts venue.
From 1994 a group of artists worked in Internet art: Jodi.org, Alexei Shulgin, Olia Lialina, Heath Bunting and also Vuk Ćosić. Through A. Shulgin the term "net.art" (as a ready-made) is generally attributed to Ćosić.
The year 1995 saw the establishment of Ljudmila - Ljubljana Digital Media Lab, the first independent non-profit cultural organisation in the field of new media arts, funded from 1995–2000 by the Open Society Institute Slovenia (Soros Foundation) and featuring the work of Marko Peljhan, Vuk Ćosić, and Luka Frelih. Ljudmila contributed to the development of the sector by offering technical solutions and educational support to various art, cultural, educational and civil society projects, organisations and individuals, and last but not the least by offering a creative multimedia workspace, e-mail and Internet access to numerous non-governmental arts and civil society organisations. It continues to provide an important structural support for many different new media projects up to this day.
In the same year Kapelica Gallery in Ljubljana, under its new curator, architect Jurij Krpan, launched a programme which addressed technology, science and corporeality through art, featuring new media installations and performances which focused on research, exploration and experimentation at the frontiers of artistic discourse and urban poetics. Among the first artists presented at Kapelica Gallery were Marko Košnik, Darij Kreuh and Damijan Kracina (Kracina TV, 1995).
In 1995 MKC Maribor Youth Culture Centre organised the first International Festival of Computer Arts (IFCA) which featured prominent artists such as Stelarc (with the performance Split Body/Voltage-in/Voltage-out).
In 1996 the non-governmental private association for culture and education – KIBLA Multimedia Centre – was established as a joint project of Narodni dom Maribor and the Open Society Institute, Slovenia. Its mission was "focused on the new (contemporary) educational, cultural and artistic praxis, connecting education and research, culture and technology, arts and sciences, emancipating and demystifying new media as a creative tool in education and new forms of art". With large-space facilities including a cyber café and gallery, KIBLA was the first presentation and production institution of its kind in Slovenia, dealing with new media arts in a year-long cultural programme. Towards the end of the 1990s KIBLA co-initiated the idea of forming a non-formal network – originally called the Cultural Information Backbone but now structured as the M3C Multimedia Centres Network of Slovenia – that would connect organisations combining artistic production with digital and information technologies across Slovenia.
In 1996 the Urban Colonisation and Orientation Gear-144 project (UCOG-144), a street performance project by Projekt Atol, was realised within the Urbanaria project by SCCA-Ljubljana Centre for Contemporary Arts. A team equipped with personal Global Position Satellite units researched selected sections of the city while an Internet connection enabled their paths to be followed on the website, creating a psycho-geographical chart of Ljubljana.
In Ljubljana the mid-1990s saw the inception of the Ministry of Experiment project. Marko Košnik, Borut Savski, Luka Frelih and Chiron Morpheus used Radio Študent (RŠ) as a framework for an open platform hosting various kinds of media research, mostly experimental radio and Internet projects, but also occasional live events across town.
The next few years saw rapid development. Undoubtedly an important catalyst was the Nettime conference Beauty and the East organised by Ljudmila in Ljubljana in May 1997, which brought together the most important new media theoreticians, among them Heath Bunting, Geert Lovink, Pit Schultz, Alexei Shulgin, and activists from all around the world to develop their art-political and socially-critical discourse.
In 1997 several new media projects were shown at various Ljubljana galleries: Damijan Kracina's ZOO at the Škuc Gallery, Media in Media organised by SCCA-Ljubljana at the City Art Museum Ljubljana, Modra roka [Blue Hand], an annual May Salon featuring new media arts, and the 2nd U3 Triennial of Contemporary Slovene Arts at the Museum of Modern Art, curated by Peter Weibel.
The Makrolab Project conceived by Marko Peljhan and developed by his Projekt Atol Institute was first set up at the 1997 documenta X exhibition of modern and contemporary art in Kassel, Germany. This ongoing mobile laboratory and information base for the open and integral research and common work of artists, scientists and tactical media workers in the fields of telecommunications, migrations research, weather and climate, subsequently travelled to Western Australia (Rottnest Island), Slovenia (Veliki Kras), the Scottish Highlands (Atholl Estates), and the island of Campalto (Isola di Campalto) in the Venice Lagoon as part of the 2003 Venice Biennial. Vuk Ćosić later created the net.art project – a copy of documenta X website – thereby raising the issue of copyright in the digital age.
In 1997 Igor Štromajer established Intima Virtual Base, producing different creative media and forms of activity: contemporary performing arts, radio and sound projects, performance art theory, body-related theory and women's studies, music, dance and choreography, philosophy, photography, video, design and computer graphics. Štromajer's work 0.html was subsequently awarded First Prize at the Hamburger Kunsthalle Extension Competition. In the same year Jaka Železnikar published his web interactive poetry collection Interaktivalija, which explored art vectors of language expression. He subsequently collaborated with architect Aleksandra Globokar on a number of projects.
In 1998 an inventive sound experiment Zeramulix was developed by the extended live radio and the Ministry of Experiment (Marko Košnik, Katarina Pejović, Andrej Savski), and presented at Ars Electronica in Linz, marking the first occasion on which there had been a collaborative Slovene participation.
In the same year Vuk Ćosić, together with Luka Frelih and Walter van der Cruijsen, established the ASCII Art Ensemble and developed projects employing ASCII symbol pictograms, including Instant ASCII Camera, ASCII History of Art for the Blind and ASCII History of Moving Images.
Also in 1998, Marko Košnik presented the one-week performance Paparapapa, featuring synchronised actors located in Frankfurt, Paris, and Ljubljana. As a polymedia artist, producer and creator he continues to create new media platforms and environments, extending from Germany to Mexico and Japan.
In 1999 Darij Kreuh in collaboration with Iztok Bajc and Rainer Linz created the project Bar Code – Immersion, and later a number of interactive and Internet-based installations, as well as sound installations and virtual reality projects which explored manipulation systems within digital technology. Together with Davide Grassi (who later established Aksioma Institute) they developed the project Brainscore, based on the use of brain waves and eye movement for performing basic commands while defining a new digital discourse in virtual space. The project was presented at Zentrum fur Kunst and Medientechnologie (ZKM) in Karlsruhe.
In 2000 the 3rd Manifesta International Biennial of Contemporary Arts took place in Ljubljana under the title Borderline Syndrom, curated by four international curators. Darij Kreuh was selected as the Slovene representative with his Bar Code.
In the same year the annual Pixxelpoint International Festival of Computer Art was launched in Nova Gorica, presenting digital artworks (graphics, animations, interactive art and music) from around the world with the aim of transferring computer art into real space and linking artists from different backgrounds and territories.
In August–September 2000 Marko Košnik organised the HEXPO Festival of self-organised cultural forms, a combination of festival, free academy and workshops, with the aim of stimulating self-organisation, original forms of production, the exchange of knowledge and interdisciplinary activity in the field of art, education, culture and civil society. Various synchronised hEXPO activities were performed at 12 cultural NGOs in Ljubljana, Maribor and Koper, and also connected to venues in Graz and Klagenfurt (Austria) and Trieste (Italy). This was the first initiative involving a cultural digital platform spread over all of the Slovene regions.
At this time there was also an upsurge of sound events, presented in galleries or other public spaces. These began in 2000 with Marko Košnik's project 5 Synesthesia for Sound and Moving Pictures and Klon.Art's visual real-time sound production sessions at the Slovenian Cinematheque, Bitshift at Kapelica Gallery, RE-LAX in the Minimal Bar, Foo Bar at the Museum of Modern Art and Zarobotko at Metelkova mesto Autonomous Cultural Zone, and from 2003 included Sound Explicit, a series of projects exploring the medium of sound organised at P74 Centre and Gallery.
In 2001 the computer cultural centre, laboratory and Internet café Cyberpipe – with its motto "all our code are belong to you" [sic – a paraphrase of a quotation from a computer game and could be translated as "we enable a free stream of information based on open code" in which grammar mistakes suggest the unpredictability and instability of computer technology] – was established as a part of the K6/4 Institute (which also includes Kapelica Gallery) at Kersnikova 4 in the centre of Ljubljana. Cyberpipe has since been an important catalyst for the Slovene cybernetic scene and fosters creative and critical approaches in the Information Society age. To this day it continues to be one of most vibrant and productive supporters of new media art and is successful in attracting younger generations both as audience and collaborators, fully deserving of its description as the "number two cyber centre in Europe".
In 2001 Vuk Ćosić and Italian net activists 0100101110101101.org were presented at the Venice Biennial – for a net.art project to be presented at the Venice Biennial proved quite a revolution. The Slovene representative at the Venice Biennial in that same year was the P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Museum of Contemporary Art (PMCA) with its project Code:Red.
Also in 2001, Marko Peljhan and German conceptual artist and electronic musician Carsten Nicolai were awarded the Golden Nica Prix at Ars Electronica in Linz for their Polar Project, which was inspired by Stanislav Lem and Andrei Tarkovski and created in collaboration with Japanese laboratory Canon Artlab. Participants (in pairs) entered a special room and used an interface device named POL which was developed for this project and enabled each participant to collect sensory information. Afterwards the information from each POL was analysed, and seven keywords (concepts) corresponding to the qualities of information through an algorithmic calculation were displayed on each of two monitors-interfaces placed in the room. Thus each participant was able to individually investigate the unknown and seamless environment and experience the data flow in global and local networks both sensuously and cognitively.
In the same year Intima Virtual Base – Igor Štromajer in collaboration with Brane Zorman – set up a net ballet called Ballettikka Internettikka. This project was later transformed into a net guerilla performance at the Bolšoi Theatre (2002), a robot experimental invasion in Bergen, Norway (2003), and a remote-controlled invasion at the Milano Scala (2004).
The Automata/CrossConverstationCut platform was established in November 2001 to produce collaborative projects by Zvonka Simčič and Tanja Vujinović as well as the initiatives of other artists and groups (video production, performance, digital photography, installations and sound projects). In 2006 the platform was divided into two units – EXSTAT, run by Vujinović, and CrossConversationCut run by Simčič.
In 2002 Igor Štromajer and Davide Grassi (since 2007 his name being Janez Janša) presented their web portal Problemmarket – Problem Stock Exchange at the Manifesta 4 European Biennial of European Arts in Frankfurt, Germany.
Also in 2002, KIBLA Multimedia Centre in Maribor launched the KIBLIX Linux IT Festival. Ljudmila - Ljubljana Digital Media Lab, KIBLA Multimedia Centre and Cyberpipe have made a significant contribution to the popularisation of open-source and free software. In October 2003 Ljudmila developed and published SLIX 1.0, a Slovene Live GNU/Linux CDR on open code programme. SLIX 1.0 was publicly presented at INFOS 2003, the national Slovene Informatics Fair in Ljubljana, and subsequently at the KIBLIX Festival.
In 2002 Jaka Železnikar began publishing regular website news on Internet art and new media arts in the website of the Mladina Magazine. The Diskurzor: Umetnost section closed in December 2005, but since that time it has been possible to follow the news from this field through the Ljudmilin informator or on the Cyberpipe website.
In 2003 new media artists from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design and the Faculty of Computer and Information Science, University of Ljubljana established ArtNetLab and became co-producers of the Maribor International Festival of Computer Arts. In 2004 Narvika Bovcon and Aleš Vaupotič created the project Solaris: archive and interface.
In 2004 too, a major step forward took place when the idea for the development of the infrastructure of a Cultural Information Backbone was supported by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Information Society (now a directorate partially under the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology. The initial network of nine Slovene multimedia centres obtained funding (via the Ministry of Culture) from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Its aim has been to network with existing and emerging new media initiatives in all of the Slovene regions, to further develop the infrastructural and information-supportive environment in relation to information technology and digital culture and to encourage international cooperation. The network was later renamed M3C Multimedia Centres Network of Slovenia. By 2007, the M3C had grown into a network of 15 multimedia centres from all regions of Slovenia (today there are 17 centres).
At this time Luka Frelih developed his bike-mounted wireless network surveying project-in-development called FRIDA (Free Ride Data Acquisition Vehicle), an initiative by Ljudmila - Ljubljana Digital Media Lab and the V_2 organisation, Rotterdam. FRIDA V was presented at the DEAF04 – Dutch Electronic Arts Festival, at LMCC Swing Space in New York City following a residency organised by The Thing, and subsequently in San Francisco, Munich, Zagreb, and Bergen.
In 2005 Slovenia was represented at the Venice Biennial by Vadim Fiškin and his installation Another Speedy Day – in a room with a window one could experience the change from morning light to evening darkness in the course of just a few minutes. The project was an artist's homage to Albert Einstein and the 100th anniversary of the Theory of Relativity. Fiškin has lived in Ljubljana since 1992 (coming from Moscow for Dragan Živadinov's set designs) and his art – usually taking the form of participatory installations – unites the themes of utopia, cosmogony and aeronautics, with personal poetics addressing the ephemeral and metaphysical.
Also in 2005, Teo Spiller, who has worked on net.art for two decades focusing on so-called tangible net.art, created the high-tech tool X-lam – a different media for watching images – in collaboration with Tadej Komavec.
The exhibition Territories, Identities, Nets: Slovene Art 1995-2005 was the third part of an extensive exhibition project at Museum of Modern Art which examined the developments in Slovene art and the tendencies in artistic production during the last three decades. The curator Igor Zabel (1958–2005) stated that "[the art of] the last decade has expanded into the social space, making use of, and critically reflecting on, the new media and available technologies", thus putting new media arts at the forefront of interest.
In June 2006 an international Crash Test Dummy event took place in Ljubljana, linked to similar events in Budapest, Prague, and Munich. Organised by Projekt Atol Institute, it presented Evolution of Open Control – Civil Counter Reconnaissance as a tactical urban counter-reconnaissance system for remotely-piloted UAV.
In September 2006 the LJU COSINUS BRX Gallery was established on the initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Science and Research at the European Commission in Brussels. The programme features works of art based on topical issues in science and technology. The opening project Umbot Noordung by Dunja Zupančič and Dragan Živadinov was followed by Modux 2004–2006 by BridA collective and Recycling Strategies by Sašo Sedlaček.
Late 2006 saw the 5th U3 Triennial of Contemporary Slovene Arts at the Museum of Modern Art, curated by Jurij Krpan. The exhibition presented 11 selected art projects, displayed in separate compartments as solo exhibitions featuring Viktor Bernik, BridA, Srečo Dragan, Iztok Holc, Andrej Kamnik and Daan Roosegaarde, Nika Oblak and Primož Novak in collaboration with Stefan Doepner, Mark Požlep, Franc Purg and Sara Heitlinger, Sašo Sedlaček, Polona Tratnik, and Metka Zupanič. Other modules at U3 2006 included a presentation of good practices, a presentation of art works, an analysis of the 20th-century production situation, public presentations, panel discussions, talks and performances. Several representatives of international art institutions, centres, organisations, and networks presented their artist-in-residence programmes.
In 2007 Marko Peljhan was the first new media artist to win the national Prešeren Award. His project Makrolab had already garnered several prizes before this, including a prize for special achievements in new media and technologies awarded by the German television SWR and the ZKM Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, and a th UNESCO Prize for Art and Digital Media awarded in Helsinki in 2004. In 2007 Makrolab began its final journey to the autonomous territory of Nunavut in Canada and to Queen Maud Land in Antarctica. Makrolab has made a great breakthrough in art-science communication – it succeeded in becoming part of the International Polar Year 2007–2008, an international programme of co-ordinated, interdisciplinary scientific research and observations in the Earth's polar regions.
In 2008, the Speculum Artium Festival focusing on information technology, robotics, bio-mechanics and virtual reality was established in the town of Trbovlje. It has been organised annually by Delavski dom Trbovlje Cultural Centre (DDT). It features also a special sub-programme – the DigitalBigScreen video art festival.
Trbovlje, New Media Setting (TNM) was set up in 2009 in order to establish a new-media-arts-sensitive culture in the former industrial town of Trbovlje and the wider Zasavje region.
The Cultural Centre of European Space Technologies (KSEVT) opened in Vitanje in September 2012. It was founded by Miha Turšič, Dragan Živadinov, Municipality of Vitanje, Delak Institute and Planit Institute. KSEVT's programme has been based on the concept of the culturisation of outer space, introduced by the team within the Delak Institute.
- Introduction to New Media Art in Slovenia
- New Media Art Support Infrastructure and Funding
- All articles related to new media art on Culture.si
- Urbanaria Project archive by SCCA-Ljubljana Centre for Contemporary Arts
- Ministry of Experiment in collaboration with Radio Študent (RŠ)
- 1997 Nettime Conference Beauty and the East archive at Ljudmila - Ljubljana Digital Media Lab
- 1997 Media in Media exhibition archive by SCCA-Ljubljana Centre for Contemporary Arts
- Xchange Net Audio Network archive (1997–2007) with contributions by Ministry of Experiment
- Vuk Ćosić's archive including the documenta X and ASCII Art Ensemble's works
- Egon March Institute Archive (frozen in 2001)