Think Tank #7 – Towards a Hierarchy of Electronic Arts?

September 12th, 2012 7:00 pm 
STEIM, Achtergracht 19 1017WL Amsterdam Show in Google map

The Soundlings collective organizes regular meetings to discuss current topics of interest for the broader field of musicians, producers, and sound artists. Attendance is limited and by reservation. See below for this week’s discussion announcement:

Think Tank #7 will feature a premier of new work by Marcel Wierckx, followed by an artist talk. The evening will continue with an open discourse about the topic of hierarchies within the electronic arts.

There are several questions that, as a creator of electronic art, I struggle with at the onset of every new composition. Some of them are directly related to the project I am about to begin, and these are usually answered in one way or another during the process of making the piece. Others are of such a universal nature, and have such far-reaching implications for the very nature of the work I do, that I must necessarily leave them unanswered. Some of these questions are: Does the process of creation and presentation of electronic art necessarily imply a power relationship? Is electronic art necessarily ephemeral? Where in the hierarchy of artistic genres would the humanists of the Renaissance have placed the electronic arts? This last question puzzled me immensely during the past few months while I was working on an audiovisual composition based on the principles of the Northern Mannerist artists. These artists were only secondarily concerned with technique–their primary concern was to secure the integrity of their art by being fully aware of the cultural value and prestige of the work they were creating: the idea behind the work was the essence, the technical realization was always subordinate to it. The hierarchy of genres to which painters adhered quite strictly for more than 400 years after the Renaissance provided a foundation for them to gauge the relative importance of what they were working on. I ask: is it desirable, or even feasible, for such a hierarchy to be considered in the electronic arts? What would such a hierarchy look like? What are the guiding principles that might lie behind our assessment of ‘important’ electronic art? What aspects of our craft might stand in the way of our being able to look at it from this perspective?

- Marcel Wierckx

The discussion will take place at STEIM on the 12th of September at 19:00. The discussion is organized and moderated by ‘Soundlings’ and as usual there will be a video stream.

We can only create a meaningful discussion with a limited amount of participants, some of which will be announced later here, but if you feel like you have something important to add to the discussion please send a mail with your motivation to thinktank [AT] soundlings [DOT] com.