first Tirana Biennale 2001, may become a turning point for contemporary
art. It is directed by Giancarlo Politi-the editor of Flash Art,
who invited more than 30 internationally well known curators and
artists to select more than 200 "young and very young artists"
from all over
the world, from the "most diverse tendencies". Not just
a Biennial as many others, he writes ," where one or two curator's
eyes would determines choices and judgment: this
exhibition is the real gathering of cultures and attitudes from
every center and periphery. It is also an enormous show, realized
with an impossible budget (30.000$)"
opened in 10th Sept. until October 15, 2001, at the National Gallery
of Arts, Bul. "Deshmoret e Kombit"; and National Fair
Center, Bul and at Zhan
D'Ark", Tirana, Albania. A 400 pages, full color catalogue,
will document the show.
July 2001_ The
has been invited to suggest some computer/Internet artists, he proposed
50. The budget for his section, was zero and the reality of Albania
would guarantee nothing in terms of presentation for the computer
works. Therefore, Manetas and the electronicOrphanage , decide that
their section would be a webpage ( www.biennale.net)., which can
be eventually expanded in a real-space exhibition. Like a .Zip archive.
For the exhibition
itself, electronicOrphanage, would travel in Tirana and would realize
a 10 hours long demo/performance -presenting one by one the 50 projects.
Because computer art, is something that may or may not look like
contemporary art and because different of its creators are not professional
artists but designers, music
composers,web activists or just lost souls, a "theory"
was necessary .
The 50 participants,
have been invited to contribute one line of text each one for the
construction of a "Manifesto". After Peter Lunenfeld's
contribution though, (
We don't need a "Manifesto" for the 21 century, we need
Utilities), this has been changed to "Utilities for a Manifesto"
. A group
of 3 Intellectuals -Peter Lunenfeld, Lev Manovich and Norman Klein-
has been also invited to discuss the different projects and come
with a 3 lines of text comment on them.
Each of the
50 participants, has been invited to contribute his 10 best links.
As old Greeks would say : "tell me about your Links and I'll
tell you who you are"
Experimental Jetset, to curate the 8 pages for his section. Here
is what they did. Here is an e-mail which explains their design
:" Our starting point was actually something you wrote us a
few mails ago: "You must design the pages: it's important,
because this section is a kind of manifesto. It has to be in total
contrast with the rest of the catalogue." Right... So this
is what we did:First of all, we turned the pages 90 degrees, so
they would be formally in contrast with the rest of the catalogue.
Then we decided to fully concentrate on the "utilities"...
We really wanted it to look like a real, strong, urgent, "static"
manifesto... So we spread out the manifesto over eight pages, and
shattered in-between are little fragments of text. These fragments
are the artists biographies. Actually, we've shown only the first
few lines of the biographies, and ended each fragment with "more
at www.biennale.net"... So the first few lines of the biographies
are actually "teasers" to get people to the website...
So they are more like "banners" than actual biographies...
...because, when we decided to concentrate on the manifesto, we
also realized something else: All the other information would work
better on the web. (For example, the ten links work better on the
site because you can actually click on it. On printed matter the
links wouldn't make sense...) Because the site is much easier to
update, we decided to see the 8-page manifesto as a sort "clickable
button" to the website... what we mean is, we decided to use
the "static" information (the
manifesto) on the pages, and refer to the website for the "dynamic"
information...Does that make sense?"
worked for free.This is something unusual for a contemporary art
show, where nobody would do anything if not paid well ,in money