Which art is "exhibited" online (as opposed to just "documented")? What is an online exhibition of art? The World-wide web "is" an exhibition of offline art, and any artist's website is an exhibition of the artist's physical art: but is that really an "exhibition"? or is it just the equivalent of a book describing the art? What do artists do online that they don't do in a physical space? What is the role of the curator in an online exhibition? What is the role of the gallery and of the museum for online art? One line of action that opens up online is collaboration, but collaboration has never been widespread in the visual arts. Why is it natural for sound artists to collaborate and perform as a unit while visual artists rarely do? Why is it normal for the Rolling Stones to be a band whereas a visual artist is expected to work individually, and often in solitude? Historically the moments of great crises have often resulted in an explosion of creativity: the "Spanish flu" and World War I witnessed the birth of revolutionary movements like Dadaism, De Stijl, Constructivism besides the first jazz record and the boom of cinema; the polio pandemic and World War II witnessed the birth of bebop jazz, abstract expressionism, existentialist philosophy and Italian neorealist cinema. Could the Covid pandemic, coupled with international tensions, be the trigger for another quantum jump in cultural creativity?
Panel: Chris Chafe, Stanford; Caroline Jones, MIT; Joel Slayton, San Jose State University, Emeritus
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