Like Pearls by Morehshin Allahyari is an animated and interactive mash-up of the Farsi spam Allahyari receives in her mailbox.
Scheidegger & Spiess, ISBN 9783858812100, Germany, 2008, English / German
A yearbook published by the Department of Art & Media at the Zurich University of the Arts details the support given to the young generation of media artists trained at the institution. This is a lavish product, designed to help promote talented work (and also, therefore, the school) through a combination of short descriptive texts, lots of pictures and a DVD. We are presented with work from 13 artists in total (Valentina Vuksic, André Gwerder, Marc Lee, Lea Filodoro, Andalus, Markus von Glasenapp, Sven König, Annina Rüst, Meriem Bouhara, iMediengruppe Bitnik, Mario Purkathofer, Fabian Voegeli, Roland Roos), some of whom have already been able to establish their name internationally. This yearbook provides an opportunity to survey new media from a generational standpoint, and raises questions about whether there are any commonalities among this young Swiss group. One immediate answer to this focuses on the idea of the choices of specific medias. Moreover, we are presented with works that look at the technical limits and possibilities of various media, and which explore their relationship with social environments and rules. Inke Arns (a member of the teaching staff) frames the current artistic development in terms of being post-medium (which will hopefully help promote the notion of the redundancy of the term ‘new’ in ‘new media’) and stresses the importance of a critical and tactical evaluation of tools used. Andreas Broeckmann, in one of his “Seven short essays on art and media”, reinforces this position affirming that “Even though this art uses digital technological means, it is a mode of experience that takes us to the limits of perception, sensitivity and thought”. And both are simply on the right track.