Art Industries” – MCD magazine, Issue #72

Carte Blanche curated by Marco Mancuso

Marco Mancuso was contacted again by Anne-Cécile Warms, head editor at MCD Magazine, to curate this time a special section (a “Carte Blanche”) within an issue focused on the possible relationships between the world of media art and the one of ICT, applied science, medical, biotechnolgical, mechanical and electronic industries, in terms of new forms of production and dissemination of art objects and cultural products.

Carte Blanche presentation text

Critical texts and interviews: Marc Garrett (Furtherfield), Caroline Heron (Metamute), Nikolaus Hafermaas (Ubersee), Claudia D’Alonzo (Digicult), Gerfried Stocker (Ars Electronica Center and Futurelab), Michal Gorman (Science Gallery), Alex Barchiesi e Jeffrey Huang (Sinlab), Carlo Ratti (MIT Senseable City Lab), Joachim Sauter (ART+COM), Philip Dean (Aalto Media Factory)

Download the Carte Blanche

We’ve got to start living with it, the future is here; those who do not take it in are lost. The twentieth-century sustenance models of artistic and cultural production are disappearing and our generation has not had the time to test them all the way. In Western countries, state subsidies for culture, as well as funds provided by enlightened (and interested) sponsors, are ever more scarce and concentrated in the hands of a few representatives of a social and economic elite that is busy occupying and consolidating its roles and positions.

In the last three decades, the necessary finances to activate production processes in the field of Media Art have come first and foremost from institutions, but also from banks, patrons or sponsorships from markets that seemed apparently untouched, though ready to commercially contaminate and thus guarantee survival. The common feeling is that this great welfare mechanism that – let’s admit it – was thought to be everlasting is not sustainable any longer and should allow space to more virtuous art production and dissemination processes.

Presentations: NUMA cultural venue (Paris), Bozar Festival (Brussels)

The ability of what we refer to here as “Art Industries” is that of acting as catalysers and incubators of an increasingly popular form of grassroots artistic, economic and cultural production, linked to the usage of (new) technologies; and it is interesting to note how long the list of similar experiences is, both in recent times and with reference to the past century Avant-gardes.

Thus, the interviews and testimonies herein have the ambition to narrate a common experience. From Linz’s Ars Electronica Lab to Dublin’s Science Gallery, from Helsinki’s Aalto Media Lab to Lausanne’s Sinlab, to Berlin’s ART+COM studio and MIT’s SENSEable City Lab, what emerges is a common trait characterized by interpenetrated paths amongst arts, design, science and research on new forms of artistic and cultural production, entailing a tight form of collaboration between the world of industrial production and scientific research. The questions were posed with a spirit of inquiry, to analyze mechanisms and dynamics behind the workability and economics of productive structures referred to globally. The attempt was to extrapolate experiences, highlight strategies, search for often-concealed forms of collaboration; that is, share a possible alternative economic model, as part of a cutting-edge production circuit still overly neglected by institutions, governments and markets.