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International Masterclass for New Media Artists and Curators
volume 14 : issue 6: june 2000
Editorial: nisar keshvani

It's amazing how much discussion, thought and ideas are generated in the shortest possible time. That's exactly what went on at the Australian Network for Art and Technology's (ANAT) 'International Masterclass for New Media Artists and Curators' <> right here in BrisVegas. And believe me, I'm still recovering from two nights at their sessions!

Almost 50 individuals from various artistic backgrounds and countries, amassed at the Brisbane Powerhouse <> to engage in practice and discussion on a diverse range of topics including science discourses, indigenous issues and curatorial practice.

In today's digital art world, often we find works simply translated from physical to web. Photos of installation, canvas, or artwork scanned, manipulated and uploaded online. I reckon technology should be used for artÕs sake, and not the converse. Russian Alexei Shulgin <> is a fine example; he's developed what he calls Form Art, creating some simple yet amazing artwork through the use of hypertext, forms and buttons.

A session on the 'Digital Region' with artists from Indonesia, New Zealand, India, and China left me feeling shamefully ignorant of political happenings in the underbellies of the Net. Shuddhabrata Sengupta <> spoke about the India-Pakistan love-hate nuclear affair, and how heavily these issues are discussed on global chats and pointed out dedicated nulcear sites. Indonesia's Christiawan demonstrated his political feelings towards Suharto and the New Order.

On the peaceful front, India's Shilpa Gupta <> showed humanity can care with her series on cards, postcards and scrapbooks.

But the most impactful session however, was Sengupta and Christiawan's revelation on limited Internet access in their home countries. It was a rude reminder of how often, we tend to luxuriously take our technology for granted. While we gleefully surf away with our personal systems, across the world, upto 17 individuals share a single monitor. Definitely some byte, for thought!

Still on, ANAT, some good news for fAf and our readers. Heartiest congratulations to Jenny Fraser, one of our gallery curators, on her appointment to the ANAT Management Board. Jenny's been active in the arts and education scene for 10 years and plans to "effectively provide a voice for artists and acknowledge our needs."

This issue we have a feature by Mary-Anne (Mez) on Datableede (hypertext language), and reviews of Ars Electronica - Facing the Future, Kevin Todd's The Space Between and Laura Shepherd's Cheek! A derriere view.


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