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17 March 2004


17 March 2004 Netmeeting @ EVL – Electronic Vizualization Laboratory – University of Illinois at Chicago – directed by

Franz Fischnaller

Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA, School of Art and Design and the Electronic Visualization Laboratory;

Professor, Master in Multimedia, University of Florence, Italy;
Art Director and production coordinator for F.A.B.R.I.CATORS, an interdisciplinary group concerned with the integration of Technology+Communication+Art+Design. The group carries out research activities in the artistic and technological fields.
With the incorporation of Franz Fischnaller, (F.F.) at the University of Illinois at Chicago – School of Art and Design & Electronic Visualization Laboratory, additional strength is given to the integration of art, design and technology. The school has already made interesting integration of these major fields but now they are intensifying the program, production, researches and events related to this trinomial.

Among other places his work has been exhibited in the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin/Germany; Siggraph 95, 96 & 97, 99 (USA), Imaginà’95,’98, 2000; Robotix ’97, (UK); ArtFutura Madrid, Sevilla ‘98,99; Salon B.I.T. Torino; Virtuality&Interactivity, Mediartech ’97, 98, 99, (Florence, Italy), Isea 97; Ars Electronica Festival ‘97,99 (Austria), Palazzo delle Esposizioni (Rome-Italy), Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnica “Leonardo da Vinci” Milan/Italy; Ontario Science Center, Canada; MediArtech- Florence/Italy, and diverse Art-galleries in Europe and USA.

Franz Fischnaller is the winner of the Foreign Title Award in the Theatre and Exhibition Section – Multimedia Grand Prix’97, Japan. For the interactive piece: Multi Mega Book in the Cave. He had received Interactive Art Mention Prize: Prix Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria, for the interactive piece, Lautriv Chromagnon Medusa in 1995 and the Interactive Art Mention Prize: Prix Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria, for the interactive piece,”Robots Avatars dealing with Virtual Illusions” in 1997.

The Chicago Desaster
Today, Wilfried is very excited because in a few moments he will have the netmeeting. Some days ago, Prof. Fischnaller from University of Illinois had contacted him, if he would be available for a kind of online workshop about Wilfried’s RRF Project, which was, as you know recently opened as an installation at MNAC – Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest on 5 March.
It was not so easy to install the software and Wilfried does not know whether it will work, at all. But then about quater to 2 p.m . CET he receives a call and after some minutes the connection seemed to be installed. He receives the response that the students see Wilfried on the screen in Chicago, while Wilfried is looking into the black screen of the monitor. This is very irritating, of course, because he cannot control the talks, he will not see who is talking to him, while Prof. Frischnaller and the students look into Wilfried’s helpless face.
After Prof. Fischnaller made his introduction, Wilfried is glad that the prof is speaking quite slowly with a typical Italian accent, Wilfried tries to pronounce his own words very clearly, so that he is sure that all people can understand his way of speaking English, which is like in the case of Prof. Fischnaller not the mother language, and he will explain in short the context of The RFF Project, but for the netmeeting most important are the students questions.
For Wilfried, it continues to be most irritatating, that he hears the student applauding, because they see Wilfried on the screen, but now when individual students are asking their quenstions, he can’t see them, and they speak in a typical American slang so fast, that Wilfried is hearing only streams of undefinable noise. In the beginning he asks the students to repeat the question, but they speak so fast, that Wilfried understands only a few scraps of words, and when he is thinking he finally understood the question and he starts talking again very slowly, hardly finished, he is again overwhelmed with the streams of undefinable noise swapping via the Internet from Chicago to Cologne. He is looking into the black monitor and tries to explain, that from the beginnning of the netmeeting, there were technical problems, but finally it is a kind of hot soup of noise, Wilfried feel like swimming in the middle of the ocean – about to sink into the deep waters. It is like a never ending nightmare – Wilfried looks like a fish openening and closing the mouth gasping for air without any sound – without any end……
Suddenly, Wilfried is waking up from his paralyzis, when he recognises movement on the screen, now he sees Prof. Fischnaller speaking but Wilfried cannot hear the sound, the camera shows the room where the students of the university of Chicago are sitting waving to him,. Now obviously also Prof. Fischnaller is recognzing the technical failures, on the screen some text appears- Professor Fischnaller is thanking Wilfried for all his efforts and a few seconds before the camera stops, he can see and hear the students applauding while Professor Fischnaller is looking helplessly a last time into the camera. Now the session is over and Wilfried can’t believe what was happening. Actually the online conference was planned for no longer than 2 hours, but the desaster was taking nearly 3 hours in total. How embarrassing! Wilfried had so much to tell, and Wilfried is convinced that the students were asking substantial questions waiting for him to answer as substantial – but he failed completely. Wilfried is sitting in front of his monitor completely upset, the tears are running down his face – the world is going to go down. Broken-hearted for the next couple days, Wilfried is swearing never to do anything like that again.

Later in 2011, Wilfried is visiting Chicago for the 1st time. Despite his previous experiences, he really likes the city very much, it has a specific atmosphere which Wilfried finds most attractive. If he would be younger, he is thinking, he might imagine to live there.

The RRF Project - general concept
[R][R][F] 200x —>XP
An independent cultural production in progress —>

The project was initiated in October 2003 in order to start in March 2004 the realisation of the global network by presenting [R][R][F] 2004 –>XP at Museum of Contemporary Art Bucaresti/Romania, Bergen Electronic Arts Center Bergen/Norway and New Media Art Festival Bangkok/Thailand and later at different places around the globe and starting a variety of associated processes developing and running during 2005 as [R][R][F]2005—>XP, as [R][R][F]2006—>XP in 2006 etc.

[R][R][F] 200x —>XP is an experimental New Media art project created and developed by media artist and New Media curator Agricola de Cologne which he is developing and organising completely online.

[R][R][F] 200x–>XP includes a variety of online and offline components
The basic subject –>“Memory and Identity”
The basic operating aspect –>”networking as artworking”.
The basic presentation aspect –>physical installation – the exchange/combination of virtual and physical space.

Due to its complexity, [R][R][F] 200x —>XP is constructed of two parts, a low tech administrative body which contains all relevant project related information in a textual form, and an high tech artistic body based on an interface developed in Flash. Both together form the art work to be transported or distributed via the Internet. The artistic body includes all art related components which may come from most different sources.
The interface of the artistic body refers to the human brain and its complex networking structures by visualizing them in different ways. The essential nodes of connection are reduced to some basic sections , named: “Memory Channels”. Each of these “Memory Channels” (currently eight) is focussing on different aspects of “memory and identity” – the main subject of [R][R][F] 200x –>XP – and may carry some sub-sections as well, modules which contain specific project environments or individual art works.

[R][R][F] 200x –>XP is an interactive environment. Both, the dynamic of the project becomes perceivable and the actual art work comes up only through the activity of at least one single user. But it is not only the activity of using a mouse or keyboard for exploring this net based art environment, but as the result of it the activity which is provoked by using the senses and initiating processes through associating.

In this way, [R][R][F] 200x–>XP does not represent a complete art work, but Internet specific as it is, the project is ongoing. Corresponding to the collage principle the brain is using for its associative system, the project represents rather a framework for options to start processes. By following them, the actual art work can take shape in most individual ways, in a kind of dynamic virtual sculpture, a kind of hyper-dimensional collage or patchwork.

The composition of the work is as simple and simultaneously as complex as it can be. Agricola de Cologne holds the position of a creator who is building an Universe of hisown in which most different networking instances are acting. He is creating a specific system, which is based on filtering, associating and linking on different level, starting from his personal view based on specific filters, then by inviting curators, who select artists of their choice, the next filtering and networking level is installed,. The artists who are selected via curating form the next following level. As they may come from different cultural, religious, political and social backgrounds and more than 45 countries on the globe, they are installing a complex filtering system of their own via the artworks and the specific view the art work is based on. Each included art work has and gets a very special meaning in this networking context.
The active user anywhere on the globe, finally, forms another level by contributing his personal filtering system via associating and reflecting, it is him who is initiating actively processes which lead finally to his personal art work.
The term “global” has a fundamental meaning in many concerns, not only related to the global aspect in terms of this Universe the creator is building, but even more to the networking structure the creator is installing in the global context of this “one” world we all are living in, by inviting/involving/incorporating physical networking instances as curators, artists, institutions, organisations etc, which can form the basis for external/affiliated local networks consisting optionally again of a variety of virtual and physical components, but also in the sense of distributing the specific project contents which may have again complex relations to the term “global”.
Without the existence and the rapid developments of the new (and above all affordable) communicating technologies and the virtual environment of the Internet, which allows communicating in real time to any place on the globe, a project like [R][R][F] 200x –>XP would have never been started .Agricola de Cologne is using these technologies in most different ways according their rules –>the Internet as a whole not only as a database, but as an environment for creating art, for distributing net based art in its various forms and in this way the specific content of his project via the net in real time to any part on the globe.
Thus, “networking” in terms of “ artworking” is not reduced to a certain aspect of artistic creating in which several artists work on a common project under mutual influence and inspiration, but includes all possibible elements and their mutual relation and dependence the actively involved networking instances are producing .
Networking is a specific form of communicating, and communicating as such forms the fundament of the project, in general. Consequently, an essential part of the project consist of components which may become visible only as the result of a communicating process, but are actually acting entirely in the background , as the communicating between the physical networking instances which keep the project running.
The exchange/communication between physical and virtual space has a specific relevance. One main goal of [R][R][F] 200x–>XP represents its installation/presentation in physical space at locations in most different parts on the globe, whereby [R][R][F]200x —>XP does not provide any physical component, but exclusively its art related contents distributed via the Internet. Each single physical installation represents an unique action, not only due to the different conditions space and the dimension the technical equipment may have, but also to the inclusion of new aspects and components in this continuously expanding project environment.
[R][R][F] 200x —>XP is an open system, not in the sense of “open source”, but, independently from any restricting ideology, it is open for all developments which might come .
Agricola de Cologne shows himself as a universal instance which incorporates most different functions in one single person, in first place the artist, but also the programmer & multi-media developer of its content, the creator of an universe of itsown, a director of a virtual institution, the chief –curator who curates curators, the curator who curates artist and contents, the co-ordinator and organiser of virtual and physical events, initiator and central networking instance withing the entire networking structure, but rather as a “primus inter pares” than in an hierarchic sense.

a complementary video
Istvan Rusvai (Hungary) – Pass, 2009, 1:00

Schedule for 17 March

  • •City Art Gallery Kharkiv (Ukraine – CologneOFF Ukraine – 17-19 March 2011
  • •Mediateca -CaixaForum-, Barcelona 14 February – 7 April – “Violencia sin cuerpos” 2006
  • •Festival Audiovisual Zemos98_8 – Sevilla/Spain 14-18 March 2007
  • •Traverse Video Festival Toulouse/France – VideoChannel – 4 Videos by Unnur A. Einarsdottir – Traverse Video Festival Toulouse/F – 11-28 March 2009
  • •VidFest07 – Museum of New Art Detroit/USA – 9-30 March 2007
  • •Generation Loss Festival Manila – 14-28 March 2012
  • •Videoformes – Festival of Video & New Media Clermont Ferrand/F – 11 – 27 March 2009
  • •22nd Videoformes – Festival of Video and New Media Clermont-Ferrand/Fr – 13-17 March 2007
  • •ArtChannel Paris – Videoformes Clermont-Ferrand/F 13-17 March 2007 – art videos
  • •Festival Audiovisual Zemos98_8 – Sevilla/Spain 14-18 March 2006
  • •Videoformes 20th Video & New Media Art Festival Clermont-Ferrand (F) – 14 – 19 March 2005
  • •Videoformes 21th Video & New Media Art Festival – Clermont-Ferrand (F) – 14-18 March 2006
  • •FILE – Electronic Language Festival Rio de Janeiro/Brazil 26/02-29/03 2008
  • •MNAC – National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest (4 March- 30 April 2004)