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22 September 2020


video feature
The Future of JavaMuseum

When Wilfried initiated NewMediaFest2020 it was actually no more than the finalization of the artistic activities of the past 20 years and honour all instances accompanying him since 2000. He had no idea that he would be requested to become a media archeologist and these new aspect of activities would open new perspectives to continue after 31 December 2020 (the end of NewMediafest2020)
Particularly his activities before 2010 related to “netart”, which Wilfried was describing always as an exciting new medium due to the use of non-linear technology allowing to include interactivity in contrary to the linear moving images technology.

He hadn’t been aware, that two particular technologies – Shockwave and Flash – very popular in use by artists due to low tech streaming possibilities combined with optional interactivity had become obsolete. Shockwave was disacontinued already in 2017 and Flash will be definitely discontinued on effect of 31 December 2020.

For artists who were using these technologies it is an absolute disaster, because in Wilfried’s case most projects created between 2000 and 2007 – and there are nearly countless – will not exist any more because due to the discontinued support. The artworks were created for user, but the usual user has no access to these works any more, and it is no consolation that many of these works may be reviewed offline – by whome? And there is no technological compensation, because it is not true that HTML5 which is said to represent such a compensation is offering just marginal aspects of the incredible programming possibilities of the FLASH included programming.

`Wilfried realised only by preparing for NewMediaFest2020 the scheduled netart features, that the majority of art works and artists creating netart were affected. Nearly all shows on JavaMuseum are affected not only most artworks were using obsolete technology, but the interface created for these shows online were all using Flash and as medium for curating and designing virtual exhibition space a new challenge in exhibition design.

In fact, only the names of the participating artists are left, but in nearly all cases no trace left of the art works – did netart, as Wilfried knew it since 1999, exist, at all?
That’s really the question, because these days “netart” is looking rather like to be a fake!

JavaMuseum was created once in order to act as a forum for presenting netart in an institutional structure, but “netart” as a phenomenon and art genre does not exist how most people are using this term by referring to “netart” created betweeen 1996-2010, because from the huge quantity of art works only a few survived which were using (by chance) a terchnology which is currently not out of date, yet. Besides JavaMuseum, all other platforms established in Internet for that purpose like “Turbulence NY” – most of the commissioned netart works are executed in meanwhgile obsolete technology, among them Shockwave and Flash.

Wilfried actually was already fighting since 2010 for an appropriate way to transfer netart (as he was promoting it) to the future, but commercial companies took the right to decide over the destiny of the software users, and the executed in their own way a kind of death sentence. To discontinue the development of software is one thing, but it is a completely different dimension to kill not only a most ingenious software und generations of online publications without offering an appropriate compensation, in fact, it is like that, that using HTML5 as such a compensation it is a step forward and many steps backward alike, because the programming possibilities are compared with Flash or Shockwave only limited, and a lot of essential achievements are not transferred to this next generation of media development. ADOBE as the owner of the software failed, because it was not willing adjust Flash and Shockwave for the needs the popular blog technologies, and the ancient ideas of updating on each users computers plugin, while the blog technology is installing the plugin on the webpage and the user isn’t requested to do anything.

Thus, what to do with the fact, that due to a decision of a commercial company seated in USA is deciding over to be or not to be?
There are just two alternatives, either to remove all works created by using a meanwhile obsolete technology or try to document these works the best way possible by giving the user an idea, how these works migfht have looked like once.

In the 1st case, JavaMuseum would be completely obsolete and it would be the best to remove this unique engagement for a lost art genre completely or, say farewell to the idea of a living museum and replace it by an Institute for Media Archeology aimed to research for this lost genre and try to reconstruct what is possible under the given circumstances, even the result might be eventually not satisfying. Wilfried, however, does not accept, that third parties decide over his course of life.

So, based on his experiences during NewMediaFest2020 – Wilfried

Schedule for – 25 September

  • BEAP – Biennale of Electronic Art Perth/Australia – 1 September – 17 November 2004
  • FestiNova Festival Garikula/Georgia – 5 Aug – 20 Oct 2009
  • Madeira International Art Biennale – FONLAD – 1 September – 13 October 2008
  • FestiNova Festival Garikula/Georgia – 5 Aug – 20 Oct 2009
  • Centro de Arte Caja de Burgos (CAB)/Spain: 9-30 September 2006
  • [BOX] – space for videoart Milan – artvideoKOELN “Phantoms of Perception – 14 Sept-7 Oct 2010
  • A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013 – 23 sept – 29 Oct 2013
  • Corona! Shut Down? – 23-30 September 2020
  • International Panorama of Independent Film and Video Patras/Greece – 23 – 30 September 2006
  • Digital Fringe Melbourne (Aus) – 23 Sept- 11 Oct 2009
  • Digital Fringe Melbourne/AU – 24 Sept- 12 October 2008