Project Description

The Digital Mediterranean is a research project that focuses on the following questions: What is the recent history of video art and digital media art in Turkey and the wider Mediterranean? What evolutions and trends are presented by artists, curators and cultural operators? How do these trends differentiate artists, curators and cultural operators’ aesthetic practices in the wider global context? What contributions have been made by artists and curators and how these contributions are being contextualized in presenting a visual culture history of the contemporary arts in Turkey and the wider Mediterranean?

The production of art and culture has dramatically changed in the second part of the XXth century. The arrival of video and mass photography as art media, and their recognition as respectable forms of art changed modalities of production, therefore, altering access and methods of representation (Cubitt 1998). The introduction of monitors as displays within the gallery space was a part not only of the revolution of aesthetic methodological production but also of curatorial approaches (Graham & Cook 2010). In the mid of the XXth century, the gallery space was conceived as a place of production not solely of aesthetics but also of social engagements, participation and discussion. In this context video and photography bring in strongly the documentation of society and its aesthetic contextualization as a visual representation of the influence of the image in the wider cultural context (Mirzoeff 1999). In this conceptualized context, the image is no longer a passive object to be analyzed in its historical context, or to be semiotically interpreted, but it becomes a socially engaged message that is able to alter, re-structure and represent, fundamental changes and struggles. This is a conceptualization of the value of the image – of its visuality – crystallized by Prof. Nicholas Mirzoeff.

This approach has inspired the revolution and evolution of aesthetic brought about in the last part of the XXth century and the beginning of the XXIst century by digital media arts which adopted systems and methodologies of aesthetic production and engagement of video art and photography, extending and adapting their language to the new possibilities offered by new media (Paul 2008).

In this globalized context what is the contribution offered by the Mediterranean countries and what challenges do the artistic, theoretical, curatorial and technological practices will have to face in order to compete with international models of production and public archiving?

Project Leaders: Lanfranco Aceti and Sean Cubitt.
Researchers: Ozden Sahin and Jonathan Munro.

Partners: NeMe (Cyprus), .

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