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Belgium: The Archaeology of the Screen: The Estonian Example

An exhibition bringing together artists working with different kinds of technology, and placing them in an historical context.

'The Archaeology of the Screen: The Estonian Example' is an exhibition project that analyses the relationships between art and new media, and is connected to three concurrent events: the transfer of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union to Estonia in July 2017, Estonia’s celebration of its centennial in 2018, and the opening of a new wing of Bozar, the venue for the exhibition focused on media art – the Bozar Lab – in September 2017.

Since the early 1990s, a part of Estonian art has dealt consistently and intensively with new technologies. This approach has progressed simultaneously with the development of the Estonian state, which, in the early 1990s, chose information technology as one of its developmental priorities, and launched a unique e-state project, which has attracted attention around the world. Another important factor in Estonian art during the 1990s was the change in the artistic paradigm: from the officially-regulated and financed art scene of the Soviet Union to a free and open artistic environment, which was especially receptive to developments in new technologies. The works of all of the artists in the exhibition are associated, in one way or another, with the wealth of possibilities created by new technology, as well as by an environment that could be manipulated and was open to constant cultural and technological change. The exhibition starts in 1980, presenting one of the first references to the screen by an artist in the Soviet cultural space.

The exhibition presents one the first pioneers of technological art in the Soviet Union were Yuri Sobolev and Tõnis Vint’s together with young contemporary artists from Estonia who are interested in similar topics but use modern technology. The exhibition presents artworks by Taavi Suisalu, Timo Toots, Sigrid Viir, Paul Kuimet, Marge Monko, Ivar Veermäe and Katja Novitskova.

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