Andreas Broeckmann on Sat, 14 Nov 1998 13:57:07 +0100

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Syndicate: ARTMargins - visual culture in Central/Eastern Europe

Date: Mon, 9 Nov 1998 14:19:01 -0800
From: Sven Spieker <>
Subject: ARTMargins

I am about to launch a website devoted to visual culture in Central/Eastern
Europe. May be it is of interest to you.

Sven Spieker

contemporary eastern/central european and russian visual culture

ARTMargins is a cyber-forum devoted to Eastern/Central European and Russian
visual culture in all its configurations, with an emphasis on contemporary
trends and developments in the visual arts--including the new electronic
media--and film. Apart from providing information and reviews of current
exhibitions and events, ARTMargins will carry feature articles and essays
by artists, critics and curators from Central/Eastern Europe and the West,
as well as interviews and documentary material, bibliographical resources,
and a "best of the web" component.

Now that the ideological constraints that determined much of art production
in the former Eastern Bloc before the end of the cold war have fallen away,
the question as to whether current Western theoretical models and
curatorial practices can simply be adapted to interpret, catalogue and
collect art from the countries of the former Eastern Block has a acquired
new urgency.

The increasing consolidation of the worldwide web makes it imperative to
revise and problematize the traditional notion that visual culture in
Central and Eastern Europe "lags behind" developments in the West. While
the (electronic) media play an increasing role in the cultural and economic
life of Central and Eastern Europe, they have not yet found the kind of
theoretical elaboration we are used to in the West. This is in no small
part due to the fact that the critical instruments we bring to the study of
the media in the West may not perhaps without reservation be transferred to
Central and Eastern Europe.

Instead of glossing over these and other problems, ARTMargins wants to
encourage their open discussion. The internet and its multimedia
capabilities offer an ideal context for such a debate, especially in view
of the fact that working with (or through) the "medium" seems to be one of
the chief characteristics of art production in much of Central and Eastern
Europe today.

The first issue of ARTMargins--slated to appear early next year--will
include featured contributions by Alla Efimova, Boris Groys, Viktor
Mazin/Olesya Turkina, Vladimir Paperny, Lev Manovich, and others.
ARTMargins is being designed by Ivory Tower Productions, a web-design
company based in Santa Barbara/California. The site is produced at the
University of California, Santa Barbara. It is being supported by the
Interdisciplinary Humanities Center at the University of California, Santa
Barbara, and the Department of Germanic, Slavic and Semitic Studies.

Sven Spieker

Sven Spieker
Associate Professor
Dept. of Germanic, Slavic and Semitic Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
voice mail/805.893.7626