What is Media-Scape?
It has always been the driving spindle and elixir of avant-garde art to condense intellectual trends, social developments and technical innovations into an up-to-date interpretation of reality. Media-Scape focuses critically on these developments, their pre-history and their future perspectives. The concept of current trends, historical passage and future visions are presented through lectures, film and video screenings, exhibitions and performances. Held in reference to the historically pivotal symposia "Dialogue with the Machine" (Zagreb 1969) and "Television Today" (Zagreb 1972) in coalescence with the important contributory role Zagreb has made to the visual arts and design in general, Media-Scape marks the necessity of a human-shaped media-landscape to present concepts, ideas and artistic reflections in the new and emerging discipline of media art. In May 1991, during the international CAD forum, (symposium for architecture and design), media-artists and theoreticians came together for the first time to discuss the role of new media in their artistic work and the need for a continuing dialogue. Out of this came the idea of what is today called Media-Scape.
Due to the war situation in Croatia, it took two years to organize the first Media-Scape. From 1993 to 1999 Media-Scape was held regularly every year in Zagreb but often in different locations.
In 1993 the first Media-Scape 1 symposium was held under the title of "Integration of New Technologies" comprising of video screenings and an exhibition of holography and computer-photo-collage. Hosted by the Museum Mimara, the symposium focused on virtual reality, holography, political influence on new media streams in video art and computer animation.
In 1994 Media-Scape 2 hosted the symposium under the title "Open Traditions". The differing experience of new media from east European countries where contrasted against those of their western neighbors. Symposium and screenings took place in the building of Zagreb Multimedia Centre. Simultaneously in an old printing factory, Croatian video artists realized a number of video installations.
In 1995 Media-Scape3 took place in the beautiful building constructed in 1936 by the Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic. The exhibition pointed on the relations between new and old media. Within the framework of the symposium under theme "Turbulence of Tradition", concerts of computer music, creative CD-ROM and Internet projects where also included. An Internet Cafe was opened for the duration of the symposium, being the first of its kind in Croatia.
In 1996 Media-Scape 4 retained the framework of previous Media-Scape events, with the inclusion to performance art. The exhibition which took place in the Museum of Contemporary Art made strong reference to the past war situation in Croatia and future visions of art and its technological influence. Symposium and video screenings took place in the house of the Society of Croatian Architects. Under the theme "Conditions and Inventions", symposium was oriented more on artists' presentation than scientific discourses.
In 1997 Media-Scape 5 was again guest in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb. The exhibition with the title "Control.Shift.Escape" dealed with the problematic of variety of perception through extended technical means. Invited artists presented media objects, video installations, copy-art, photography, computer graphics as well as Internet and CD-ROM projects. The symposium was organized as a round table, where artists explained their ideas aesthetic and intentional backgrounds in an open discussion with the public.
In 1998 Media-Scape 6 took the spatial situation of the Museum of Comtemporary Art in Zagreb - build as a residence, which is still visible in the ground plan as the topic for the exhibition @home (read as: at home). The invasion of the electronic and digital culture into daily life is almost as old the century. Telegraph, telephone, radio and television brought us the sights and the sounds of the world into our houses; barcode, pin.number, electronic cash, microprocessor controlled household devices, digital communication tools are the latest developments for everyday use. Everything gets linked with everything, everything becomes media (in between) and our flats and apartments are turning into tele habitations But where is the home, where are we @home? In the exhibition artists will "furnish" the rooms of the museum as an electronic living space, reflecting on artistic, spatial, technical and philosophical formulations. The syposium and public discussions will present in lectures and poster session the theoretical implications of the topic. In that year Media-Scape has open its home-base the first tim also in the web.
In 1999 Media-Scape 7 had focused on sound in relation to visual arts. The Museum of Contemporary Art host an exhibition/symposium in cooperation with the 20th Music Biennale Zagreb, International Festival of Contemporary Music. Sound as art was often neglected in the field of fine arts, even when audition is one of our major senses and music has an time-based art form a history of 4000 years. While the traditional visual arts tended to become materialized as an experience of eternity, music and sound as time-related forms tended to be de- materialized, more like an experience of the vanishing moment. In the second half of our century sound and music turned more into focus of the fine arts context e.g. as part of spatial environments and objects, of happenings, performances and especially in combination with the moving image. New types of synergetic forms were invented, were sound or music played an important role.