As someone who’s mildly interested in new media art, I’ve always felt like I’ve been watching from afar as cool work is created and tinkered with, usually in Europe, New York, or the Bay Area. Since the demise of New Media Initiatives as a curatorial department in the Walker, the Twin Cities has seemed lacking in this area of the Arts.
Fortunately, this is changing. Steve Dietz, who was once curator of New Media at the Walker, has founded a new organization called Northern Lights. They’ve just announced a new fellowship and mentorship commissions called Art(ists) On the Verge for artists working in New Media:
A total of six commissions will be awarded. Three of the six commissions are outright fellowships for the production of new work and a joint exhibition in the spring/summer of 2009 at a site to be determined. The other three commissions are part of a 9-month, experimental Art(ists) On the Verge for the development, production and exhibition of new work. The Mentorship program begins in September 2008 with an intensive 3-day “ Boot-Up” Camp, October 10-12, co-presented with MCAD. Over the ensuing 9 months, artists will have bi-weekly individual and group mentoring sessions and critical workshops by visiting curators and artists on multiple occasions followed by a joint exhibition in the spring/summer of 2009 at a venue to be determined.
There are informational meetings about the commisions in July and August for those interested. In addition to the fellowship program, Northern Lights has also been one of the partners in The UnConvention, and Steve has been working behind the scenes for a while to give the program shape. The idea of having a twin-cities Rhizome, Creative Time, or EyeBeam is exciting.