OSLO PRESENCE , a presentation weekend and workshop at Atelier Nord, Oslo, Norway

by Kristin Bergaust

Around 20 different projects that combined new media art, social and political awareness, were presented to the public in the premises of Atelier Nord media lab at the end of March 2000. The presentation weekend was also an introduction to the workshop that was held the following week.

The weekend event was open to the public. Norway has been quite isolated from what has been going on in new media culture in other parts of Europe, and this was the first presentation of its kind in Oslo. The aim was to introduce media art concepts and practices to an audience of Norwegian artists and interested public. The event was also introducing ideas for the development of a Norwegian network of media-labs and other initiatives as well as developing further international networks and connections.

The workshop
During the following week a team of people worked on questions and solutions concerning group-software, tools for co-operation and ideas for network activities. The workshop resulted in a common understanding and development of some tools for the NICE network, as well as the idea of the Mobile NICE. Mobile NICE is the plan for a three-month bus-trip around the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea. The bus will visit media initiatives in the area, who will cooperate with the changing bus team in what they want to happen at their stop along the route, as well as cooperating in projects and tasks for the bus along the way. To sum up this idea: Mapping, developing, connecting and supporting the Nordic-Baltic new media art and cultural activities through travelling education, presentation, production, research and exhibition.

Participants in the workshop were Thomax Kaulman and Udo Noll from Germany, Jaanis Garancs from Latvia, John Hopkins and Mari Keski-Korsu from Finland, Nils Claesson from Sweden along with Norwegians Kristin Bergaust, Atle Barcley, Kenneth Korstad Langås, Bodil Furu and others.

Since the event in March, the Norwegian network between
Atelier Nord, Oslo ,
BEK in Bergen
and Top Floor
in Trondheim is more established and has already started working on some projects together. News will be published on the NICE mailing list: http://nice.x-i.net/a/.

Oslo Presence was organised by Kristin Bergaust, artist and director of Atelier Nord http://anart.no

Financial support was granted by the Norwegian Council of Cultural Affairs as well as the City Council of Oslo.

Overview of the program of presentations:
Eric Kluitenberg (Amsterdam) opened on the Saturday with an introduction to media art, presenting the the CD-ROM Permanent Flux produced at De Balie containing the history of multimedia art in the 20th century, from the early avant-garde to the contemporary techno culture.
Eric also presented the event “Next 5 Minutes” organised by the Balie and others in Amsterdam and discussed the notion of Tactical Media, giving a critical perspective on what it is really possible to achieve, using the grave and difficult situation of B52 in Belgrade as an example. http://www.balie.nl/

Daniel Garcia Andujar (Valencia) showed examples of his “Technologies to the people” then presented his installation work with a focus on how security is not understood or taken seriously even by the people responsible in major telecom companies.

“Ted- Media and slander.” A prototype of a media spokesman was presented online and as a video by Karin Hansson (Stockholm).

Nomade & Gediminas Urbonas (Vilnius) showed excerpts from their project: “TVV Plotas” -a series of interviews and reports on themes connected to contemporary art presented on national television.

Heath Bunting (London) presented Rachel Baker´s “Art of Work” as well as his own, among them the Cultural terrorist Agency and the Superweed.

Rasa Smite & Raitis Smits (Riga) gave an introduction to different international networks, among them X-change for net-radio activists, NICE for small-scale media culture initiatives and informed about the plans for the media center RIXC in Riga.

The final presentation on the Saturday was by Thomax G Kaulmann who introduced some of his work, and the principles behind it, among them Radio Internationale Stadt.

Sound work by Nomade & Gediminas Urbonas new project was presented in the evening along with projections from the Norwegian club project “Le Big Sloppy Kiss” and music from orang.org and other sources.

On the Sunday Goran Boardy from Valand, Gothenburg, presented a quick-time film festival on the net in connection with the conference Elpub.

Udo Noll (Cologne) described and showed his projects “Of The Equator And Some Otherlands” and “H|U|M|B|O|T”.

Borderland -a documentary project by Kristine Briede and Calle Biörsmark from Locomotive, Riga was presented by Rasa Smite (Riga).

The Norwegian presentation featured a videopresentation of the performance group “Motherboard”.

Jaanis Garancs(Riga/Hamburg) talked about collaborative web interfaces as an art form and showed experimental web based, groupware services that are being developed for the networks NICE, Xchange and the Baltic Interface Net.

Nils Claesson (Stockholm) demonstrated his “Say voff- the international dog sound interface” a work based on the concept that the only international languages are bad jokes and music.

Mari Keski-Korsu (Tornio) presented a student´s point of view and showed some of her work.

Finally John Hopkins (Helsinki) shared his thoughts on educational models and policies.

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