Rasa on Fri, 29 Nov 1996 19:31:04 -0800

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RIGA GETS WIRED by Alise Tifental


"ART + COMMUNICATION" - First electronic media art conference/festival in
Riga, Latvia <http://www.parks.lv/home/E-LAB/events/fest.html>

Latvia recently has got wired - more and more creative people are getting
used to Internet and other new media facilities. During this year
Electronic Media and Art Centre E-L@B was founded, considering the rising
interest about electronic media. Now, in November 22-23 we - E-L@B
organised the first electronic media art conference/festival in Latvia "Art +
Communication", and officially opened our E-L@B centre. 

E-L@B founders - Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits  - artists, they have
participated in many several media conferences in Europe, Janis Garancs -
student of Stockholm Royal Art academy, Sweden, and Alise Tifentale  - mass
communication student in Latvian University.

E-L@B mostly will serve as an information centre about media events in the
world and help young artists to create their Internet projects, because it
hardware and Internet is not yet accessible for everybody  (high telecom
rates etc.) at home. 
These two days offered Riga rather wide insight into the new media
technology, network art projects and gave creative ideas. 

The greatest part was personal communication and presentations. 
Eric Kluitenberg (Groningen, The Netherlands) presented an idea about
globalisation of culture,  internationalisation and globalisation of markets
"which has intensified the need for ever more powerful information
processing and transmission systems." Another presentation by Eric
Kluitenberg was a visualisation of the information flow, famous quotes about
cyberspace - "the place, and the representation, of the biological body in
the data space of digital networks."  
Kaspars Vanags (Riga, Latvia) theme was subculture influence to art, the end
of art in the previous, "old" sense. 
Heath Bunting (London, UK) presented his Internet projects with fake
e-mail inquiries, "Internet beggar" and others.  
Inga Steimane (Riga, Latvia) gave a brief description  of Latvian young
artists exhibitions series "Videofinal"  in performance - night club "The
Secret Experiment". 
Olia Lialina (Moscow, Russia) described the Russian Parallel cinema
movement, magazine and festival CINE FANTOM and cinema relationship with the
Viesturs Grazdanovics (Riga, Latvia) presented experimental and
amateur film festival "Two Anna's". 
Alexei Shulgin (Moscow, Russia) and Rachel Baker (London, UK) performed
Marcel Duchamp  interview, including in it's model questions about Moscow
WWWart centre and it's different projects.
Diana McCarty  (Budapest, Hungary) spoke about organising low budget events
in the new media situation. 
Artis Dzerve (Riga, Latvia) presented Soros Performing Arts Information
Centre in Riga and gave few examples of performing arts - by showing his
video-performance "The Clown" and performing live. 

At the end of the conference's last night - jungle, techno, ambient music by

The conference/festival "Art + Communication" program also included parallel
video and CD-ROM shows - exhibition "Technophobia" in CD-ROM, STELARC
performance videos - "Third Hand". "Virtual body" and others, Izolde
Cesniece - Suipe video work "Witnesses II". 

At the E-L@B office opening Alexei Shulgin presented the on-screen show  of
the Internet project "Refresh", where pages on several servers are joined in
the loop. That was the second update of the project (it started 6th of
October, invented by Alexei Shulgin, Andreas Broeckmann and Vuk Cosic). Pages
automatically change on your screen - Alexei Shulgin's (Moscow)page, Andreas
Broeckmann (Rotterdam), Vuk Cosic (Ljubljana) and other artist's pages. 

Celebrating the opening of the E-L@B centre, there has been joined a
special Riga loop to the whole "Refresh" thing - "RigaFresh" or loop
consisting from latvian artists' pages (Janis Garancs, Rasa Smite, Raitis
Smits, Gints Gabrans, Arvids Alksnis, Toms Vitins), this loop flashes in
front of your
eyes on the split screen, with the big "Refresh" loop going in one half and
smallest "Riga-Fresh" - in the other

As always things go wrong when they certainly shouldn't, during the show
Netscape proudly announced some kind of error and stopped, but the "Refresh"
pages went on downloading from these several remote servers. Sighs of relief. 

After these two days we understood - anyway, personal communication is still
the most important, and the best environment for it is just the conference
like "Art + Communication". 

Alise Tifentale,
November 28, Riga, Latvia

e-l@b homepage: <http://www.parks.lv/home/E-LAB>
contact: <e-lab@parks.lv> , <rasa@parks.lv> , <alise@parks.lv)
address: 11.Novembra Krastmala 35-94, LV-1050, Riga, Latvia.
tel. +371-7210297