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11-14 may | an open interactive video broadcasting will be organized on the site. Everybody is welcome!
RSHU - House of Russian Government

Alexei Isaev
Author of Pro&Contra project.
Media artist, theorist, art director of the MediaArtLab (SCCA, Moscow), curator of the art resource ‘Da-Da-Net’ festival in the Runet, organizer of the first International Festival of Experimental Video, Computer Animation and Projective Synthesis.
Author of the following projects: ‘Underground Land’ (Estonia, Tallinn), 'Labyrinthology' (Moscow), net project ‘My Revolution’.
Selected events: International Festival ISEA-98 REVOLUTION London-Manchester (1998), ‘It’s a better world’ in Secession Museum, Vienna, Austria; Art Forum Gallery in Mirano, Italy (1997); European Contemporary Art Biennale ‘Manifesta 1’, Rotterdam, Holland; video-installation ‘S.Eisenstein’s Pavilion’, together with V. Podoroga (1996); one-man show in the ‘Ptuch’ video Gallery, Moscow (1995); International exhibition project (curator - Jean François Taidei), France, Saint-Naser; Annual Exhibition of the Soros Center of Contemporary Art ‘New MediaTopia’, video-installation, Moscow (1994); International project of Komar and Melamid ‘What to do with monumental propaganda?’, New York-Moscow-Tallinn (1993); ‘Avant-garde and Traditions. Books of Russian Artists of the 19th Century’, Museum of the Book, Moscow-Paris, National Library (1993).

Сonception of communication
A copyright text. Quotations and references that have slipped into the discourse do not affect the author's position. Events and characters dissembled in historic references are subject for a special discussion.
It is necessary to admit that development of technology is a logically grounded process.
Historic technological modernization is motivated by absence of other perspectives. Modernization is a practical basis of the Consumer philosophy and perhaps a negative aspect of Contemporary culture as a whole.
It was not long ago when contemporary art used to make experiments with forms of representation at exhibitions, expropriating, step by step, space of media. 'Epoch' of art gestures used to die in it's boots - and is dead. The fact is pointing to art's media dependence on the Consumer. Modernization adds aesthetics, philosophy, ideology and ethics into the notion of new media technologies 'as if' hinting on general causality of culture and technological side-show. Do media technologies engender communicative medium? Or is it vice versa? (Self)representation of an artist in a new space of the Internet is not a necessity. It's just the theory and practice of contemporary art that proceeded from active strategies of media - its forces of immediate reaction. Performance, action occurred to take main position in video- or TV-strategies of both Russian and Western artists. Topics of self-identification of an artist and art, reflections towards the audience, art institutions, money and power used to retrieve their losses. Struggle for the very sense of self-determination was placed in the center of contemporary art in Russia. This struggle is both in intellectual substance positioning art as a form of an artist's survival in This Reality, and in more radical gestures of violence. A spectator turned into a witness of violence actions. A witness turned into a spectator of struggle activities for the power. Art became a spectator of violence over itself. An artist turned into a witness. A spectator became a Consumer. Media fixed traces of the artist's presence in historic, aesthetical and technical progression. Sign and trace were becoming more and more theatrical, on the one hand witnessing the real presence of the artist in the news tissue of events, and on the other hand indicating 'audience' hallucination. Anyway, while modernizing, media technologies personify the Power, and the Power has the right of violence. As well as the state, political and financial power merely totally controls the media in order of representation forcing out creative ambitions. Contemporary art in the space of media loses freedom and obtains phantomacy. A universal formula of generalization of various practices was put into the grounds of new technology ideology. Mirror effect...
Contemporary art loses its actuality. Majority of Russian artists more or less using media technology reject the Internet. And it is clear since the practice and strategy of art do not coincide with the practice of this new space or are not effective. Shifting of priorities of this space, from presentation to communication, supposes other strategies. Instrumentarium of Moscow conceptualism is working more effectively in the Internet. The reason is in the data coded with objective medium, individual mythology and real context. Data constructions, from Ilya Kabakov to his followers, were communicative zones of art. And they must have been generated by the age of stagnation which equalized data and communication. Constructing of a conception indicating or presenting data-message might be too sophisticated. Communicative channel might be realized through performance, action, gesture, text, installation. In any case definition of art expression as a message is fair. There're well-known cases of deep conspiracy of authors and sense of their messages, through meta-language of collective creation. Creation of secluded communicative space in contemporary art practice is motivated not by ideology but specificy of playing the elite game. Imaginative, textual or objective media were recoded messages. Moscow conceptualist practice contains positive experience of language, sign and communicative strategies. This is a special subject which can't be sufficiently covered in this publication. I'd like to bring the discourse on new media, which unfortunately doesn't present experience of contemporary art, to premises of including theoretic basis of art of the last 30-40 years into ideological and philosophical implication of media strategy. The problem of non-continuity and opposition, in some cases, of the past and the present experience is rather in traditional 'political' and 'positioned' ambitions of different groups and institutions curating these 'zones'. I wish, today the media theory and practice were able to constitute themselves as art of new technologies. Moreover that the new communicative space is nevertheless realized through strategy and practice of contemporary art. The most striking examples of Internet art projects clearly expose culturological victory of conceptualism. These projects are well recognized both in Russian and Western Net space.

Let's try to build up the conception of communicative space as an object of contemporary art.
Data being a physical content of informational field is not a message.
Informational field is multi-polar and decentralized.
Information stream doesn't contain content, it only reflects its sphere with a mirror inner surface.
Communicative zone, place or tunnel temporary appears in informational field if there's a conventional dominant. This dominant might be presented as another mirror reflecting the content of information stream.
The reflected content has been already a message within which imaginative, sign and language media of a work of art are formed. 
This work of art is presented on-line in an Internet gallery, as well as off-line in visual and textual documentation of
the realized action. These are quite acceptable by contemporary critic forms of creative realization.

Thus. Trash will be the dominant of the modeling project. Actuality of this notion is typical both for contemporary art and data space. Art defines Trash through radical aesthetical categories, and the net community - through negative actuality of data space. In both cases revaluation or re-coding of the sense of Trash might become the dominant. Any statement might be rejected, this meaning destruction of communicative field during the process of its projecting. In this project, the right definition of communicative language is the goal proceeding from the Trash's sign status definition. And a dustbin which is on the desktop of any user became such a universal sign. This sign became the mirror of communicative space of the project.
Marcel Duchan exhibited a routine w.c.pan and re-coded its sense into an art object. Is it possible to recode the sense of Trash bin in the Internet? Suppose, someone looks for trash, and another one is eager to get rid of it. Suppose, Trash is the data space dominant which is able to perform as a content mirror and contain a message. A site presenting multiple dustbins is being projected. The site technology gives chance to any user to discard any visual, sign or textual data into the bin. Technology provides equal opportunities for all visitors to add data into Trash or to throw it out according to individual approach to the Trash sign. The process of content formation is spontaneous and depends only on selection tactics of visitors. Hence, technology generates functional mechanism of recycling of data garbage while art replenishes new Trash. Active policy of informing of the project in the form of manifest, key words and informational field become communicative, while the message becomes the object of art.

This conception was realized in March 1999 and has been successfully working till now.

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Editor - Olga Goryunova, Web-Master - Igor Gerasimenko 
Author of the project - Alexei Isaev, curator - Olga Shishko, coordinator - Tatiana Gorucheva
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