For some time now sculpture and other forms of object-based art have been the central preoccupation of contemporary artists, but digital technology is rapidly coming to the fore as the medium of choice —witness the prominence of video and photography on this year’s Turner Prize shortlist.
Now Art Cologne 1999—one of Europe’s most important and long-established contemporary art fairs—confirms that trend by celebrating new developments in various forms of photography, video and computer animation.
This year the independent selection committee responsible for the fair’s sponsorship programme for young artists has voted unanimously in favour of selecting artists working at the cutting edge of these new technologies. The intention is to provide “an international backdrop for an intoxicating mixture of spontaneous, suggestive images, comparable with high-speed images from TV commercials or programmes aimed at youth audiences,” say the organisers. The fair throws the spotlight on a small group of artists working in cyber-art —the interface between cybernetics and art—who are thought to represent the “new generation” of contemporary artists for the next millennium.
Twenty-five artists—fifteen based in Germany and ten from other countries— have been awarded stands for what will be their debut exhibitions at an international fine art fair.
Although developments in new technologies will enjoy particular prominence at Art Cologne 1999, more traditional media have not been entirely marginalised. Seven of the twenty-five exhibitors see themselves as traditional practitioners working on canvas and paper, while four young German artists will be showing sculpture, objects and other spatial constructions which “give a jokey, provocative and imaginative slant on both conventional and modern design.”
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Contemporary fair switches on to new technology'