It's time to take a critical measure of multimedia. Does it transcend, supplement or undermine existing art forms?
Philosophically speaking...
  • Does multimedia offer a glimpse of the sublime? What kind of sublime might this be?
  • Can the usual response of 'cool' be considered a serious aesthetic category?
  • Where do we draw the art line? Can we consider web sites works of art? Databases? Intelligent agents?
Practically speaking...
  • Should it be included in the arts section of newspapers?
  • Should it have a section of its own, or be absorbed into other media?
  • Should it be sold in bookstores, lent in libraries, exhibited in art galleries, funded by the taxpayer(s)?
  • Is it a vehicle for artistic genius?
  • Are digital beings finding ways into our hearts?
  • What does multimedia contribute to the process of reconciliation?
  • What are the aesthetic properties of the small screen?
  • Are we becoming screen insects?
  • respected critics from visual arts, literature, film and theatre
  • a review panel for Riven, the sequel to Myst.
  • demonstrations from artists using multimedia in different arts
  • key note speakers such as Bill Mitchell

and introducing...

Some people, hearing about softer software and social interface, find the idea of a humanised computer creepy.

Bill Gates The Road Ahead 1995, p. 85

Through your fault, technologies lie accused, abandoned as they are by their creators, by all the Victor Frankensteins who take themselves to be God on Monday and ignore their creations the rest of the week... It is not our creative power that we need to curtail; it is our love that we need to extend, even to our lesser brothers who did not ask us for life. We acquainted them with existence. We need to acquaint them with love. And what else is it asking you for, the monster that is imploring you to make him a companion in his own image, if not for love?

Bruno Latour Aramis, or the Love of Technology 1996, orig. 1993, p. 249

Print stays itself, electronic text replaces itself. With electronic text we are always painting, each screen washing away what was and replacing it with itself. The shadow of each dead letter provides the living form of what replaces it.

Michael Joyce `(Re)placing the author' 1996, p. 276

Six billion hands. Not one of them has been over that little log on the other side of the road. And that, to me, is what it's all about. If some little kid, twelve years old, can be the first human to make that picture, that's worth something.

Kai Krause `Official Kais Power Tools Studio Secrets' 1996, p. 43

Geert Lovink's visit to Australia is part of Code Red, presented by the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT) in association with The Performacne Space. Supported by the New Media Arts Fund of the Australia Council, the federal government's arts funding and advisory body with additional support from the Goethe Insitute, Sydney.
Australia Council Australian Network for Art and Technology