There is a moment - perhaps one could call it that - that demarcates the boundary between an event and its representation. Whether one refers to it as subject or material, intentional or haphazard, it is uniquely embedded in the processes of technical reproduction that administer its (re)appearance. A moment, the trace or shadow of an interval, of a place, of some thing or someone, apprehended, caught, fixed, and in that arrestment becoming a prologue to other events, places, people, which may follow, or which may never appear, giving way, in the most unexpected manner to other things entirely.

Our very familiarity with contemporary media often masks its wild complexities, such that we forget how persistent, and permeable, plural and ubiquitous the infrastructure which supports and conveys images, sentiments and judgements really is. We commonly take as present things which are not here at all, but somewhere else, as we have done for some time. We often ignore the artifactualities we participate in, incognizant of their dangers as well as of their revelations.

There are few occasions where a focus on such matters is foregrounded, examined, theorized, and even celebrated, where intimations of the sublime and quotidian aspects of media artifactualities are taken up so directly and reflexively in our communities. For the last few years the Artefact Festival has introduced a range of events, works, exhibitions and questions about media, new and old, and our complex interrelations in this arena. Artefact 2008 presents a fascinating and refreshing collection of perspectives and opinions on the moments, places, and things that constitute our increasingly mediated world. This year’s theme is on the notion of ‘capture,’ a term which describes the moment of mediation—a photograph 'captures' the impression of light and life, live events are captured by radio or the camera, digital images or footage are captured to be processed and reproduced, communication or information is stabilized, archived or contained, gps-enabled personal media produce an always accessible ‘ambient findability’ and so on.

Artefact 2008 captures a fascinating moment in the interrelation of contemporary new medias: personal and communal, biological and technical, natural and artifactual, digital and analogic.


- Thomas Zummer -