Interview: Alvaro Ardévol

Agricola de Cologne (AdC) interviews Alvaro Ardévol (AA)

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Alvaro Ardévol
artist biography

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10 questions–>

AdC:
You belong to an art scene using new technologies, you are an active representative of a genre dealing with Internet based art, called “netart”.
When those artists started who are active since a longer time, the education in New Media was not yet such advanced like nowadays, often they came form different disciplines and had an interdisciplinary approach, those young artists who start now have partially this more advanced education, but rather not much experience in other disciplines.

1.
AdC:
Tell me something about your educational background and what is influencing your work?
AA:
I am a graduate in Fine Arts for Barcelona University and I have acceded to Net Art from painting world.

2.
AdC:
The term “netart” is widely used for anything posted on the net, there are dozens of definitions which mostly are even contradictory.
How do you define “netart” or if you like the description “Internet based art” better,
do you think your work belongs to this specific genre,
do you think “netart” is art, at all, if yes, what are the criteria? Are there any aesthetic criteria for an Internet based artwork?
AA:
My work is not specifically Net Art but creation-video. However I couldn’t develop as an artist until the new communication technologies have appeared . I think that TIC has provided great range of possibilities for artistic expression and Net Art is a new artistic language which is based in the interaction, immateriality ( loose aura) and the easy access and Internet broadcasting.

3.
AdC:
What kind of meaning have the new technologies and the Internet to you,
are they just tools for expressing your artistic intentions, or have they rather an ideological character, as it can be found with many “netartists”, or what else do they mean to you?
AA:
For me the new technologies are tools that allow me to express myself. The ideological background is always present but I am not interested in stand it out.

4.
AdC:
Many “Internet based artists” work on “engaged” themes and subjects, for instance, in social, political, cultural etc concern. Which contents are you particularly interested in, what are the subjects you are working on and what is your artistic message(s), if you have any, and what are your personal artistic visions for future artworking (if you have any).
AA:
I am interested in compos the time as you compos the space, with forms. And the way time is also formed by means of sound. And the way sound and form in movement can create an expressive unity witch can be related to poetry that is made out of words that passaway in the time but have also forms… Forms that can be in movement with sound.

5.
AdC:
“Art on the net” has the advantage and the disadvantage to be located on the virtual space in Internet which defines also its right to exist.
Do you think, that “art based on the Internet”, can be called still like that, even if it is just used offline?
AA:
I don’t. It is evident. Something that is conceived for Internet it should be appreciated by means of Internet. And if you are out of line you are not in Internet. This doesn’t mean it be better o worse. It is just another thing.

6.
AdC:
Dealing with this new, and interactive type of art demands an active viewer or user.
and needs the audience much more and in different ways than any other art discipline before. How do you stimulate the user to dive into this new world of art?
AA:
Curiosity
AdC:
What do you think, represents an appropriate environment to present net based art to an audience, is it the context of the lonesome user sitting in front of his personal computer, is it any public context, or is it rather the context of art in general or media art in particular, or anything else.?
AA:
It is like a book reading. It’s an intimate act which you can discuss later with others. It’s true that public readings are making but this is not the natural way in our culture to enjoy a book.
AdC:
If you would be in the position to create an environment for presenting
this type of art in physical space, how would you do it?
AA:
It depends of the work. My work for instance, it’s enough with only one room to project because as I said I’ve made a few net art things. I think the best place for net art would be a cybercafé.

7.
AdC:
As Internet based art, as well as other art forms using new technologies are (globally seen) still not widely accepted, yet, as serious art forms, what do you think could be an appropriate solution to change this situation?
AA:
It’s a question of time. You only have to wait.

8.
AdC:
The Internet is called a kind of “democratic” environment, but the conventional art practice is anything else than that, but selective by using filters of different kind.
The audience is mostly only able to make up its mind on second hand. Art on the net might potentially be different. Do you think the current practice of dealing with Internet based art
is such different or rather the described conventional way through (also curatorial) filtering?
Do you think, that speaking in the terms of Joseph Beuys, anybody who publishes anything on the net would be also an artist?
AA:
Yes, of course, it is an artist. But is it good?

9.
AdC:
Do you think, the curators dealing with net based art should have any technological knowledge in order to understand such an art work from its roots?
AA:
No I don’t. The curator matter is another thing. I don’t think Baudelaire would have any acknowledge about oil technician and however he was a great writer about painting.

10.
AdC:
It is planned, to re-launch
JavaMuseum – Forum for Internet Technology in Contemporary Art
www.javamuseum.org in 2007 in a new context, very likely even in physical space.
What would be your personal wishes and expectations connected to this re-launch ?
AA:
I wish it can do what it made in the beginnings but with so much more resources than before. And also the idea about traditional museum can be recuperated, as conservation. We know the face our grandfather had but our grandchildren will not know our faces because digital languages make progress so much that soon they get old fashioned and in a few years you will not be able to open the actual documents.

AdC:
Thanks for taking your time.