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Working the Screen 2000


MAAP festival 2000

A preview of Australia’s digital arts festival


Annual MAAP festivals have become a notable fixture in the national and regional digital arts media calendar. After the rich collaboration with the Asia Pacific Triennial in 1999, MAAP 2000 centred at the Brisbane Powerhouse Centre for the Arts, is a deceptively smaller looking affair offering 3 days of concentrated viewing, interactivity and talk. There’s a screening program (SEE), interactive exhibitions (SEEK), and a forum in situ and online (SPEAK). The 2000 festival is both an affirmation and rethinking of MAAP’s role.

MAAP Festival Director Kim Machan explains, “This year we are directing a short and sharply focused physical festival with major labour pouring into the website! MAAP is working on a new emphasis for the organisation. We are building more content to attract and reflect the new media digital art community and progressing toward the full development of a meaningful new media digital art portal.” Machan is eager for “the web site...to develop as the major digital art portal for artists and our web strategies are predominantly in line with this goal.” She says that this next phase for MAAP has been driven by “streams of enquiries and demands for such a site.” Machan is eager to realise her goal in the next 12 months.

As for the 2000 festival, the opening on Friday September 15 will feature the launch of the new Singapore digital art portal artsvox and the world premiere of a new video work by Chinese artist Gongxin Wang.

On Saturday the SEE program will offer free all-day screenings in the Powerhouse Theatre of video/digital art with artists’ work from Singapore, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Japan and Australia. The program includes new Chinese video; the Videotage selection from Hong Kong curated by Director Fion Ng; the dLux media arts d’art>00 interactive CD-ROM program; the 5th Malaysian video awards 2000; the Siggraph Singapore Chapter Animation Awards 2000; and the digital degrees student program from Australia and Asia-Pacific tertiary institutions.

Machan writes that for the SPEAK program there will be an all-day forum on Sunday, “with international panels in Brisbane and across the region to discuss and exchange issues presented by curators, theorists and artists. Panels will be netcast and streamed through the MAAP web site with online chats simultaneously open for interaction from international participants in Hong Kong, Seoul, Beijing, Tokyo and Australian cities.” This will be facilitated by international new media agitator Geert Lovink and co-coordinated by art and screen curator and teacher Molly Hankwitz,

In the SEEK program, MAAP will showcase a wide range of art and technology projects. The Chinese artists’ CD-ROM exhibition is being curated by Pi Li. Other works have yet to be announced. There’ll also be a sound installation by Adam Donovan. Russell Milledge will run a workshop based on his and Rebecca Youdell’s Bonemap—the wild edge, about site specific installation and performance with film and online art (September 16-17).

As in 1999, MAAP is again offering digital artists opportunities to display their work through links on the MAAP web site. The online missile launch project, featuring innovative web art from Asia. the Pacific and Australia, will be launched daily September 1-17. “Artists may also apply for free server space to host outstanding work. We are offering a ‘Free Tools’ section,” says Machan. “The website will also have a bulletin board, a chat room and, from MAAP research, extensive links with digital media organisations in the region.” Online computers will be available and projections continuously showing in the Powerhouse Bar over the festival. There’ll also be an informative Macromedia seminar.

Satellite events include Dodg’em, an audio interactive installation by Martine Corompt and Philip Samartzis at the IMA. New media artist Freya Pinner and mentor Di Ball will present [co]:installations, a multimedia show exploring notions of transgression between mediums, visual arts practices and between text and body relationships at Double Helix, opening September 9.

Kim says that the aim of the festival is “to create a presentation platform to promote excellence and exchange of creative ideas” and through “a dialogue between professionals who create, experiment, design and build electronic forms of art (to) focus on creativity and industry development.” The range of forms embraced by MAAP include new media installation, online artwork, digital animation, video, sound, photography, CD-ROM, and cultural internet projects.

Machan’s rallying cry is “See...Seek...Speak!” “SEE your work included in the online festival. SEEK out cultural content and people who are interested and curious. SPEAK your opinions and perceptions of the new media related world. We are at your server!” See you there, in the flesh or online. KG


MAAP 2000 Festival, Multimedia Art Asia Pacific Inc, Kim Machan Festival Director, http://www.maap.org.au. Venue: Brisbane Powerhouse September 15 -17

RealTime issue #38 Aug-Sept 2000 pg. 13

© Keith Gallasch; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

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