After the Network Media Art has successfully established itself within the DCA Association and gathered important Dresden representatives and supporters, the idea of joint and comprehensive exhibitions on current issues of media art has emerged from the previous collaboration. The exhibitions of the DCA Association are inventories that gathered perspectives of reflective art with a focus on current technology and science and presented them in 2017 and 2018 at the Technische Sammlungen Dresden.
The selection aims to explore the range of contemporary media use: What emerges when visually or aurally focused experts use cameras, computers, circuits, code, audio technology, and microcontrollers even contrary to their actual purpose? We encounter classical questions of art as an update of our visual habits. Idea material we know from science fiction novels and sci-fi movies or rather random technical aesthetics of the internet and the computer game industry are renegotiated and playfully developed through media art. In addition to an update of formal (sculptural, compositional, material aesthetic) and content issues, media art offers participatory, interactive, and actionist levels. These are familiar strategies that were already developed in classical modernism in the 20th century and are just as much characteristics of the technical companions of our time, such as the Internet or mobile devices. The NMK exhibitions thematically conveyed the following approaches: Changes in the perception of subject and space through media reflection, psychological effects of surveillance, and effects of media on the subject and the construction of reality. The exhibitions in the Technical Collections ran over a period of several weeks, beginning with the simultaneous opening of the media congress “Datenspuren” and ending with the media festival mb21. The temporal proximity to the Datenspuren, the symposium of the CCC e.V. Dresden, whose topics include. data protection and informational self-determination, and mb21, a creative competition highlighting the results of a media education-oriented media culture, was ideal for clustering on the topic and opened up another level of experience and reflection of concrete artistic exhibition formats for visitors. Due to high demand, the 2017 exhibition was extended by the museum’s management for several unscheduled weeks.
In addition to exhibitions and presentations of media artistic works, the Media Art Network organizes talks, workshops, and roundtable discussions, awards special prizes and grants to foreign artists, and runs its own artist-in-residency program to promote new work. Book and magazine publications on various topics are also promoted and published.