Symposium Future Continuous Present(s) – “Video Art” through Time, 13 and 14 December 2018

Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart

Future Continuous Present(s)” in turn seeks to shed light on the thinking of a future continuing in the present. How does the development of digital technologies influence new forms of art production and reception, and which effects does this have on the preservation of media art? This also involves the question how artists reflect and provoke as well as evoke sociocultural implications and transformations. At the international symposium, these questions will be discussed in talks, panels, and artist conversations. The center and point of reference remains “video art” through time, for artistic engagement with and through media is constitutive for the continuing (re-)formation of a discursive field, in which the future anticipates the present.

Together with Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin and Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.), and as part of the VIDEOART AT MIDNIGHT Festival ‘18, the international symposium “Future Continuous Present(s)” tracks the history, present, and future of all that is commonly called “video art” in the art context—and that VIEOART AT MIDNIGHT has presented for ten years in the specific setting of the cinema. The construction of linear narratives tends to bear the risk of neglecting important strands and facts or pushing them to the side. A linear-progressive temporality, in which the past and present shape the future, is just one possibility among many.

The symposium seeks to focus on a modality in which the future shapes the present. This is already alluded to in the symposium’s title, “Future Continuous Present(s)”. The title goes back to the video installation Present Continuous Past(s) (1974) by Dan Graham. Through a (self-reflecting) “time-delay video feedback,” Graham manages to convey by artistic means the aesthetic experience of the condensed relationship between different temporal levels, or rather, how the historicity of aesthetic experience can be reflexively experienced in its continuation: the present anticipates the past.

Program on December 13, 2018

10:00 Welcome

Olaf Stüber, Marie-France Rafael, Anna-Catharina Gebbers, Kathrin Becker

10:30 – 12:00 Panel 1: Video – Then, Now and Then?

The year artists started working with video can be dated precisely to 1965. Today, video counts as a canonic medium. But what do the history of this artistic medium, its present, and especially its future possibilities look like?

Dieter Daniels, Orit Halpern, Claus Pias, moderated by Marie-France Rafael

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch break

13:00 – 14:30 Panel 2: Medium-Specificity | Post-Medium –  Condition | Future Condition (s)

In the era of continuously developing digital tools, video still exist as a definition, whilst the technology has long become different. The panel seeks to open a discussion on the concept of the medium. Does it still make sense to think in formal, media-specific and media-related categories or have we moved beyond the medium as a recognisable and classifiable entity? And what kind of environment could be the ideal to welcome artworks engaging with a different and “permanently new” condition we have entered?

Marco Roso (Dis.Art), Ed Atkins, Julieta Aranda, Roundtable moderated by Andrea Lissoni

14:30 – 15:00 Coffee break

15:00 – 16:30 Panel 3: Displaying Time in Space How are time-based media (re)presented in the exhibition context?

isplays serve to organize and install objects in a space, but projection, installation, and exhibition grow together beyond the individual media: has art possibly taken on the character of a display?

Erika Balsom, Omer Fast, Inke Arns, Roundtable moderated by Marie-France Rafael

16:30 – 17:00 Coffee break

17:00 – 18:00 Lecture Performance: Dan Graham

Talk with: Gabriele Knapstein

Program on December 4, 2018

12:30 – 14:00 Panel 1: Media-Archeology 

Literary scholar and media theorist Friedrich Kittler confessed that, in engaging with the social history of technical media, it took him a long time to understand the concept of media archaeology. Instead of focusing on a linear historiography of media, Kittler suggests a “recursive history.” Siegfried Zelinski also departs from linearity, suggesting an experimental scientific work method. What does this other, unconventional historiography of video art look like? And how does the medium of video reflect its own history and hybridization?

Ina Blom, Siegfried Zielinski, moderated by Ana Teixeira Pinto

14:00 – 14:15 Coffee break

14:15 – 15:45 Panel 2: Shaping future collections

Since the advent of video art in the 1960s, museums and collections have been confronted with unprecedented challenges, both in terms of presentation and in terms of conserving and restoring time-based art. The challenges start at the level of media philosophy, given the complexity of the concept of artwork. What do practical collection and conservation strategies look like today—in particular with a view to future technical developments? How can accompanying theoretical and practical methods be developed for the future? How can museums, collections, and artists design past and future media art collections together?

Kathrin Becker, Keren Cytter, Karen Archey, Roundtable moderated by Anna-Catharina Gebbers

15:45 – 16:00 Coffee break

16:00 – 18:00 Panel 3: Future Continuous future(s)

Which new narratives are being created in the artistic engagement with and by way of media that are appealing to our lifeworld? What types of speculative scenarios can we develop in order to examine the effects of the impending ecological and technological future in relation to our anthropocentric present? How can a discursive field be created in which the future anticipates the present?

Keynote Lecture: Frédéric Neyrat and Liam Young, moderated by Esther Leslie

The symposium will be held in English.

Limited number of places, registration: org[at]
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