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Movie-Drome (VanDerBeek, Stan), 1963Things Spoken (Hegedüs, Agnes), 1998

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motorist's fleeting glance. For Borges the world was still a book or a library, now it is a picture store that is starting to get mobile. Once images were starting to circulate, they had to be ‹captured› again. 40 years later, Nam June Paik imagined a «Center for Experimental Arts» that he thought would also house a video archive, and Stan VanDerBeek came up with his «MovieDrome» as a place with a universally available picture gallery. [12] Following on from Vannevar Bush and seconded by Marshall McLuhan the Expanded Cinema of the 1960s helped us to see the world as a gigantic audiovisual warehouse. This has indeed been realized today as a gigantic server network that can be sifted through by search engines, for artistic or commercial purposes (see the Microsoft company Corbis, which holds the global rights to Otto L. Bettmann's collection of 16 million photographs). [13] The search engines in their turn work with gigantic storage capacities and within the parameters of intelligent database structures. Lev Manovich [14] asserts that databases, as the 21st century cultural form, employ more and more technicians and archivists today, but they interest artists as well.


Databases as a cultural form

Two artistic database projects introduce this section. Agnes Hegedüs' interactive work «Things Spoken» challenges users to research a personal memorabilia database and activate objects. Then two narratives can be called up: the artist's narrative about each object and one by another person, close friend or family member who give their view of things, their interpretation of a particular object in relation to its owner. This establishes two category planes: formal head-wording as a process of often absurd meta-information and narrative contextualization from two different perspectives. In an extension of this concept, visitors could develop this work as a participative installation by having a personal object of their choice scanned and telling a story about it, which was recorded and saved. It was possible to access the growing archive of objects and their oral history at the same time, on the spot and via a computer. So in time this collection of data created links between things and narratives, fragmentary, anecdotal and yet expressive, but with no coherent

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