The Network – a challenge in new media

Ambassadors panel @ International Conference of Holocaust Museums – Academy of Sciences Riga 4-6 June 2012

The [NewMediaArtProjectNetwork]|:||cologne, abbreviated as“The Network”, and starting point of Then New Museuk of Networked Art – is an experimental project environment for art and new media developed, created, curated and directed by Wilfred Agricola de Cologne (AdC), a multidisciplinary media artist, New Media curator and media art activist from Cologne/Germany.

In 2010, The Network is celebrating its 10th anniversary, itself a manifestation of independent digital culture at its best documenting at the same time a decade of new media developments in contemporary art.

Starting on 1 January 2000 as a small cell , “The Network” represents a hybrid, simultaneously a media art project, a manifestation of philosophical ideas around the themes” memory” and “identity”, a research and curatorial project, a composition of dynamic social contexts in progress, a virtual and physical network on different levels, but also a multi-dimensional event environment organised completely online as a non-profit initiative, however, not institutionally structured or associated, but realised in form of an independent art project. AdC himself is acting as a hybrid of different identities, not just as an artist, but also as the programmer, multimedia developer, curator, director in different functions and other virtual and physical instances of different kind, one might even say, he is representing “the Network” himself, re-creating himself continuously, he exists through others.

What is now manifesting itself as “the Network”, was not planned like that from the beginning. The networking structures developed during several years independently, before AdC recognized them as the fundament of all his creative activities.

Central relevance not only in the network as such, but also in concept development has the 1st of all ever realised project platforms, entitled: A Virtual Memorial – Memorial Project Environments against the Forgetting and for Humanity (AVM), which is based on the artist’s very personal views, perceptions and philosophical ideas about human memory, humanity and a positive globalization, focussing on how people coming from most different cultural, religious, social, political or ethnic backgrounds deal with memory and the essential questions of life. Here are some sub-ordinated projects in which AdC explored Internet specific participatory, collaborative and networking aspects, like: “Memorial for the Victims of Terror” (2001), “Violence Online Festival” (2002), “ Rainforest Memorial (2003) “Women: Memory of Repression in Argentina” (2004) “://selfportrait – a show for Peace” (2006). The ancient idea of the finished and completed art project, was replaced by the new type that was ongoing, to be updated and extended this way and changing continuously, offering the visitors or users permanently new reasons to revisit the online environment again and again, resulting a kind of community on a voluntary basis. In these terms, the ideas behind AVM became the fundament of all activities within “The Network”, how different they may be.

JavaMuseum – Forum for Internet Technology in Contemporary Art – stands for a wide range of new projects dealing with memory in a different way, a museum online context dedicated to the needs of a new art genre (Internet based art). The social aspects got a new dimension in form of curating, ie. taking another type of responsibility, not reduced to just selecting art works, contents and artists, collecting links and posting them online, but curating virtual space, that space, that is visible on a user’s computer monitor i.e, AdC designs/ programs specific visual contexts or interfaces for each new project realisation. Curating becomes this way an expression of a new type of artworking. JavaMuseum realised since 2001 besides some global competitions, more than 20 showcases of “netart in a global context” and hosts this way a comprehensive collection of works (1000) from the high time of netart (2000-2004).

A new creative framework started in 2002/2003, based on the perception that the Internet get its actual meaning only in an exchange between virtual and physical space, entitled: NewMediaFest – developed for a new type of experimenting, starting with –> Violence Online Festival (2002-2004), followed by [R][R][F]200X–> XP – global networking project (2004 -2007). Two of its “Memory Channels” dedicated to specific media, video and sonic art, i.e VideoChannel – and SoundLAB, became soon acting independently combining all perceptions AdC made during the years, resulting in 2006 also the foundation of CologneOFF – Cologne Online Film Festival, a new type of mobile film and video festival taking place simultaneously online and in physical space in cooperation with partner festivals.

From the beginning, AdC’s activities were addressed to an active audience, all project environments became social contexts. Consequently, service platforms for participating artists and curators and users in general , were created: see -> JIP – JavaMuseum Interview Project (2006), VIP – VideoChannel Interview Project (2007), AND – Artists Network Database (2006) – central location for organising the biographies of the more than 1600 participating artists and curators -, and netEX – networked experience – a publishing platform for announcements and calls (2005).

Long before experts were considering a WEB 2.0, AdC was already working on his personal Web 2.0 as a kind of open system. He sees his multi-facetted work on The Network as his specific type of artworking, where he can develop his abilities to the full.

Now after nearly 10 years since its launch in 2000, The Network shows itself more successful than ever based on that strong, stabile and expanding online community on a voluntary basis. While the site statistic counted in 2000 only 500 000 hits, in 2010 the annual statistics records more than 10 million hits and 1,5 million unique visitors.

This is particularly remarkable for an experimental context of contemporary art, which is acting from its structures completely non commercial as a non-profit initiative/organisation .

Project URLs/Projekte – Internetadressen
also downloadable as PDF

Central News Platform
The Blog @ The New Museum of Networked Art –

Agricola de Cologne –
Agricola de Cologne Videos –

artvideoKOELN international –

A Virtual Memorial Foundation –
AVMCI _ A Virtual Memorial – Commemorative Interventions –
Memeorial for the Victims of Terror (2001) –
Memmorial for the Victims of AIDS –
Tsunami Memorial (2004) –
Raiforest Memorial –
A Living Memorial 1995-1998 –
A Virtual Memorial Riga 2012 –
A Virtual Memorial Phnom Penh 2012 –
A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013 –
A Virtual Memorial Warsaw 2013 –
A Virtual Memorial Milan 2014 – A Virtual Memorial Timisoara 2014
A Virtual Memorial Jaffa 2014 –
A Virtual Memorial Paris 2015 –

ENGAD – Engaged Art Directory –
Argentina Memorial 2005 –
Women: Memory of Repression Argentina –
Family Portrait –
Draft Title: Shoah/Arbeitstitel: Shoah –
Draft Title: Shoah: Blog –
CTF – Collective Trauma Film Collections –
Cambodia 1975-1979 –
SFC – Shoah Film Collection –
SFCIP – Shoah Film Collection Interview Project –
Never More! Hiroshima-Fukushima –
„Refugee! /Flüchtlinge! –
Selfportrait – a show for Bethlehem-a show for Peace –
://self~imaging – artists show face against Intolerance, Racism, Xenophobia and Anti-Semitism –
Forever – The Ball –
The W;OW Project – We Are One World –

JavaMuseum – Forum for Internet Technology in Contemporary Art –
JIP – JavaMuseum Interview Project –
JavaMuseum 2007 –
JavaMuseum 2010 – Celebrate! –

NewMediaFest –
NewMediaFest 2007 –
NewMediaFest 2010 –
CologneOFF – Cologne International Festival Network –
CologneOFF I –
CologneOFF II –
CologneOFF III –
CologneOFF IV –
CologneOFF V –
CologneOFF VI –
CologneOFF VII –
CologneOFF VIII –
CologneOFF IX –
CologneOFF X –
animateCOLOGNE 02 –
animateCOLOGNE 03 –
animateCOLOGNE 04 –
VideoChannel – international curatorial platform –
VIP – VideoChannel Interview Project –
SoundLAB – sonic art projects –
SoundLAB Interview Project –
soundOBJECTS 2008 –
soundCOLLECTIVE 2015 –
Interview Collections –
RRF200X – Remembering-Repressing-Forgetting –
Violence Online Festival –

The New Museum of Networked Art –
The New Museum of Networked Art Blog –
AND – Artists Network Database –
Downloads @ The New Museum of Networked Art –
netEX – calls & deadlines –
netMAXX – networked magazine –