Portal is a cross-platform project inviting artists, writers and audiences interested in time-based art – video, new media, sound and performance – to engage in a series of exhibitions, performances and symposia, surveying the changing nature of art in the digital world.
In recent years, we have seen the increasingly radical transformation and re-organisation of the way human beings communicate. Internet, social media platforms and the ever growing number of users globally, have rendered the previously localised notions of context and community even less dependent on geographical proximity and have created an alternative space for people to interact in real-time.
Portal asks how increased interconnectivity through digital technology is affecting the way artists are thinking about artistic production and how audiences are being developed, gaining access to and experiencing new work.
Portal’s program of events will be hosted live in venues and galleries internationally and augmented online, connecting globally dispersed audiences with critical content and to each other through the Portal website.
Beginning in August 2011, Portal will present two simultaneous video art exhibitions exchanging the work of emerging artists from Sydney and New York. This exchange will be hosted by Regina Rex in Brooklyn, New York and ICAN in Camperdown, Sydney respectively. Video works from both exhibitions will also be presented on the Portal website for those who cannot attend.
Portal sees the position of the ‘emerging artist’ as one generally characterised by its immediate community, connected to place, and largely developed and promoted through social networks.
By exhibiting these artists’ works outside of their local context, as well as in a neutral space online, Portal is testing the idea of a global art community and the extent to which, specificity of context contributes to the interpretation of a work.
In September 2011, Portal will present a series of internationally networked performances by artists utilising social media platforms as both a subject and medium in their own right for the creation of new work. These online performances can be experienced in Sydney and New York through satellite events showcasing this work.
By presenting all artwork and critical content through online/offline platforms, Portal asks the viewer/reader to reconsider models and trends for ‘publishing’ and how examples of ‘instant publishing’ such as blogging and social media impact the documentation and subsequent historicisation of artists’ practices.
Portal is organised and curated by Janis Ferberg (Sydney) and Stephen Truax (New York).