Like Pearls by Morehshin Allahyari is an animated and interactive mash-up of the Farsi spam Allahyari receives in her mailbox.
Revolver Berlin, ISBN: 978-3868951950 256 pages, German, English, 2012
Thinking for a minute of all the books celebrating the histories of different singular institutions put together, we can then imagine a sort of heterogeneous encyclopedia, comprehensively detailing a large chunk of a specific cultural scene (in this case media art). Tracing back what a single active entity has done over the years is not self-celebrating, but rather an important act of documentation. Here Edith-Russ-Haus, a small but very active institution in Oldenburg (Germany) has celebrated the first decade of their “stipend program” which awarded thirty artists/groups with opportunities to develop their artworks. There are a few texts by the two (former) artistic directors Rosanne Altstatt and Sabine Himmelsbach, talking about the processes they enabled, and then three essays by Andreas Broeckmann, Steve Dietz and Annette Schindler/Rheinhard Storz, contextualizing these kind of institutional activities in a broader international context. The main section is about all the realized works and their authors, and it seems quite clear taking a look at the updated curricula that the incentive worked quite well. Furthermore scrolling chronologically through the different projects, it seems clear how artists evolved their strategies during the 2000s and how some of the artworks have reached a status that goes well beyond the time in which they were developed, becoming very well-known or even “classics.” There’s also a history of the jury members involved and a summing up of miscellaneous material – all contributing to the documentation of another chapter in the history of media art.