RENEW 2013

The 5th International Conference on the Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology

Riga / October 8 – 11, 2013

"Archiving" Participants

Oliver GRAU

Contemporary (Media) Arts & the Humanities in our Democracies




Venue:Stockholm School of Economics, Soros Auditorium

This paper will highlight the complex diversity of issues/topics that current digital art forms thematize: from globalization, environmental and economical circles (virtual economies), the media and image revolutions, questions around contemporary body and the image of the human. Their multifaceted power of expression is more apropriate to deal with our complex time than traditional art forms (painting, sculpture, etc.) can and turns Media Art into a legitimate art of our time. In the same instance, it is endangered of being lost like no artistic media before, since cultural institutions and communities do not adequately exhibit, collect, preserve and research it – a serious disparity that in Europe and other societes with an art system based on tax paying citizens even creates a democratic-political problem. But our post-industrial societies need the Media Arts to reflect upon our time and its challenges, just as earlier times were capable of doing with the art media available to them. With concerted international strategies and with new scientific tools, the MediaArtHistories/Image Sciences and Digital Humanities try to lay an imperative foundation, so that the humanities are put into a position to answer their responsibilities in our times.

OLIVER GRAU was appointed in 2005 the first Chair Professor of Image Science in the German speaking countries.

His books include Virtual Art: From Illusion to Immersion, Cambridge/Mass., MIT-Press 2003, Mediale Emotionen, Frankfurt 2005, MediaArtHistories, MIT-Press 2007, Imagery of the 21st Century, MIT-Press 2011. He was invited to more than 200 lectures world wide, is translated in 12 languages and received various awards.

His research focuses on the history of media art, the history of immersion and emotions and the history, idea, and culture of telepresence, genetic art, and artificial intelligence.

Grau´s book “Virtual Art. From Illusion to Immersion”, MIT Press (2003 book of the month Scientific American), offered for the first time a historic comparison and evolution in image-viewer theory of immersion as well as a systematic analysis of the triad of artist, artwork and beholder under the conditions of digital art.

Grau has chaired various research projects in the field of media art research supported by DFG, BMBF, VW, etc., he conceived new scientific tools for Image Science/digital humanities: the Archive of Digital Art ( financed by German Research Foundation (DFG), the textplatform for the field of media art histories, which is dispersed over several disciplines ( and Goettweig Graphic Print Collection Online, Austria´s largest private graphic collection that contains 30,000 works, from Duerer to Klimt,

Grau developed new international curricula for Image Science MA and MediaArtHistories, MA, he taught at Humboldt University Berlin and served as professor at several international universities. He is an advisory board member of numerous international journals (e.g. International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics, IJArt Journal, International Journal of Art and Technology, Rundbrief Fotografie, Ekfrase: Nordisk Tidsskrift for Visuell Kultur, IMAGES, Journal for Visual Studies in Southeast Europe, Second Nature International Journal of Creative Media) and was elected as member of the Young Academy of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and the Leopoldina. Oliver Grau was chair of Refresh! First International Conference on the Histories of Media Art, Science, and Technology, Banff 2005, Berlin 2007, Melbourne 2009, Liverpool 2011, Riga 2013.

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