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19 June 2002

video feature
Washington DC
Madrid ARCO

Washington DC

After Wilfried had launched himself as a virtual artist and curator on 1 January 2000, he was remarkably already soon participating in numerous art related initiatives via the Internet, the new environment without borders. Already after a while, many people knew about Wilfried and his net based activities, so he was invited to participate in events and initiatives via the net. This kind of recognition had a strong motivating and encouraging effect on Wilfried, one has to consider, that, in fact, he was reborn in 2000 without a memory and the new memory had to develop only during the coming years. When Randall Packer invited Wilfried to participate and contribute his personal statement to this project “The US Department of Art & Technology”, it was in fact something similiar as his own projects, which were at that time as virtual as Randall’s project has been, but his project had unfortunately just a short duration because his really great ideas – particularly in a country like USA – had obviously not sufficient support in order to leave the mere virtual state.
On the other hand, Wilfried is not sure, whether artists are good politicians, because actually a politician has to be the contrary of an artist, an administrative official is mostly missing any creativity – and conservative ideologies have the potential to prevent any progress. In cities like Cologne, now and then artists enter the city council, because they would like to change actively the static status-quo and take influence on the cultural development of the hometown, but after some years, they all gave up, because they usually could not realise any creative ideas, the establishment was blocking them continuously, leaving just frustrations, and the perception, that artists are not made to be active in politics, but they may do a good job as consultants, as a brain behind new initiatives while other administrative experts work on their realisation.
When Wilfried heard about Randall’s project to create a kind of agency for culture on the US federal level, he understood it was not just an artistic initiative, but if such progressive ideas should have real perspectives for lasting longer than one or two seasons, the initiative should actually consist of two comoplementing parties, which however would have required a completely new thinking and orientation of the conservative Bush administration – in political power in 2002.
While reading the articles of artistic mediation, the diversity of different opinions and ideas seems to be a most relevant aspect, standing in opposite to the mono-dimesional political structures in USA. But. and that’s actually important while re-reading the project and its concept nearly 20 years later in 2020, its ideas are as current as they had been in 2002, and therefore Wilfried is happy to he could contribute his own individual ideas to the World Mediation Summit, today on 19 June 2002.

The US Department of Art & Technology (USDAT)<br />Covenant of the Articles of Artistic Mediation

The US Department of Art & Technology (USDAT) was an artist-led, virtual government agency created in the aftermath of September 11th to insert the artist’s voice into times of extraordinary crisis. During its brief four year period of activity, the USDAT functioned as a conduit between the arts and the broader political and economic culture for facilitating the artist’ need to extend aesthetic inquiry into the social sphere where ideas become real action. The Department proposed and supported the idealized definition of the role of the artist in society as one whose reflections, ideas, aesthetics, sensibilities, and abilities can have significant and transformative social impact on the world stage.Unfortunately, as the nation descended into war and chaos during the tumultuous Bush years, the Department came to an end in 2005, but its spirit continued as Secretary-at-Large Randall M. Packer descended into the Underworld of America, still determined to change the world. This story is told in the epic account, A Season in Hell.

Project Website and Official Archives of the US Department of Art & Technology: http://www.usdat.us


ARCO – Contemporary Art Fair 2002

The fact, that such conservative structures like an art fair, and even its ARCO – a fair for contemporary art in Madrid – initiate an exhibtion of electronic art – show how popular and fashionable netart has been in 2002. Many artists recognized their chances by creating netbased works – but the boom was not lasting and had no sustainable effects. There are many reasons why already in 2004 a continuous decline will be slowly starting, technology has its limits, as well as experimenting, standing in opposite to the structures of the commercialisation of contemporary art, while at that time in 2002 for artists often creating net based works meant to experiment a lot, and no artist can earn his living via experimenting and walking on unknown paths.

Netart @ ARCO 14-19 February 2002

Schedule for – 19 June

  • •Israeli Center for Digital Art Holon/Israel – 16 April – 16 July 2005
  • •SENEF – Seoul Festival for Internet & Film – 01 May -01 July 2005
  • •Fonlad – Digital Art Show – Quarteirão das Artes Montemor-o-Velho (Portugal) – 5 May – 15 July 2007
  • •A Virtual Memorial Riga 2012 – 1-30 June 2012
  • •Outvideo Festival Ekaterinburg/Russia – 5-25 June 2003
  • •Sguardi Sonori 2008 Festival of media and time based art – Lanificio Conte – Schio (Vicenza) – 7 -18 June 2008
  • •52 Venice Biennale – Divine_in.tent – curated by Doron Polak & Amir Cohen – 7-30 June 2007
  • 53rd Venice Biennale 2009 – Scalamata Gallery -“Souvenir Art” – International Artists Museum – Collateral event- 6-26 June 2009
  • •52nd Venice Biennale 2007 – Divine_in.tent – curated by Doron Polak & Amir Cohen – 7-30 June 2007
  • •ArtChannel Paris – “13Sévigné” Gallery Paris 14-23 June 2007 – art videos