Trebor Scholz


Montag 21.11.2005

Trebor Scholz

The Delirium of Openness: Art, Education & Curating

Montag, 21. November 2005, 20:00 Uhr

Der Digitale Salon im Kunstraum Walcheturm

Vortrag und Diskussion


In "The Delirium of Openness: Art, Education & Curating" Scholz will argue that "open," collaborative, and participatory modes in cultural production and knowledge creation can challenge traditional institutions, their control over content, their shaping of a canon, and their ability to inspire younger generations of artists. Rather than proposing a heads-on confrontation he will suggest that a power shift can take place through parallel approaches that route around these authoritarian structures.

The first part of my presentation provides a general introduction to
principles of Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) and their application to cultural production, curating, network building, and learning. This section also offers a brief overview of the social protocols of collaboration, (free) cooperation, and networking. While some will say that alternative knowledge economies and networks are fleeting phenomena, this presentation contends that they will persist and alter everyday expectations.

Scholz will review long-term participatory art projects and point to
emerging models for the media art curator, user-contributed archives of cultural data and possibilities for public access curating. The presentation will examine the culture of networking for its ability to offer alternatives to traditional institutions such as museums or universities. He will end with a short comparative study between several distributed learning projects. Created by geographically dispersed educators, open learning environments allow for the sharing of resources in the cooperation commons. This part of the presentation pairs the idea of the gift economy with that
of hierarchies of exchange. Overall, the presentation cautions triumphant narratives of the "boundless conquering of economical or class barriers" through "open systems" with "unrestricted access" and the "battle against the commodification of knowledge worldwide." The presentation concludes that widespread participation in open access environments has the potential to shift paradigms of intellectual property and give visibility to narratives that are overlooked by ruling institutions.

Trebor Scholz grew up in East Berlin and is currently based in New York where he works both collaboratively and individually as an artist, media theorist, activist, and organizer. His interests focus on media theory, art and education.

In 2004 Scholz founded the Institute for Distributed Creativity, iDC
( <>) which is an independent research network that concentrates on (online) collaboration. In 2005 the Institute organized "Share, Share Widely," the first large conference about media art education ( <>) at the CUNY Graduate Center. In April 2004, together with Geert Lovink, he organized the conference Free Cooperation on the art of (online) collaboration, held at SUNY Buffalo ( <>). In 2000 he facilitated the only large scale program immediately responding to the Kosovo War

"Kosov@: Carnival in the Eye of the Storm." ( <>)

Scholz' work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennial (with Martha Rosler/ The Fleas), the Sao Paulo Biennial, FILE (Sao Paolo) and many other venues. He has lectured in the U.S. and internationally at dozens of festivals and conferences including Transmediale (Berlin), ISEA (Helsinki, Tallin), Multimedia Art Asia Pacific Conference (Singapore), Tate Britain (London), Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art (Helsinki, NIFCA), Stanford University, NewMediaNation (Bratislava, Slovakia), Version3 (N5M, Chicago), Tactical Media Lab at New York University, PS1 (Contemporary Art Center New York City), Haute Ecole d'Art (Geneva, Switzerland), University of California Los Angeles, Dartmouth College, Academy of Visual Arts (Leipzig, Germany), San Francisco State University, University of California San
Diego, and The School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

Scholz has written on media art, networks, education and participatory
cultures for many periodicals such as Art Journal, FibreCulture Journal, Afterimage, and C-Theory. He has contributed essays to several books and co-edited "Free Cooperation: The Art of (Online) Collaboration" forthcoming with Autonomedia. Scholz has taught media art, history, and theory at Pacific NW College of Art (Portland), The University of Arizona (Tucson), and Bauhaus University (Weimar) and is currently professor and researcher in the Department of Media Study at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Vortrag und Diskussion
Kunstraum Walcheturm, Kanonengasse 20, 8004 Zürich