<< preface

this blog is nina wenhart's collection of resources on the various histories of new media art. it consists mainly of non or very little edited material i found flaneuring on the net, sometimes with my own annotations and comments, sometimes it's also textparts i retyped from books that are out of print.

it is also meant to be an additional resource of information and recommended reading for my students of the prehystories of new media class that i teach at the school of the art institute of chicago in fall 2008.

the focus is on the time period from the beginning of the 20th century up to today.

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2008-12-14

>> Joseph Kyselak

From: http://www.stencilarchive.org/node/370

"Kyselak was born in Vienna on December 23rd, 1799. His perspectives weren't too bad for a man of his time. His Family was fairly rich and he was able to go to University. Anyway Kyselak obviously was far from too much career-orientated.

Sometime in the early 1820s, Kyselak made a bet with a couple of friends in Vienna. He bet that his name would be known all over the Austria-Hungarian Empire within 3 years (a vast piece of land at that time) without inventing a new kind of suicide (in fact, the people from Vienna were obviously well known for commiting suicide in very unorthodox ways).

What he invented instead was nothing less than modern-day "tagging". Kyselak travelled all over Central Europe in 1825 leaving his name in bright red and black at each and every exposed place he could find. The tag "Kyselak" could soon be found everywhere. He painted it on churches and castles, rocks and trees, bridges and obelisks. And in fact, within a year even his betting partners had to admit that Kyselak had indeed become very well known all over Austria and that he has won the bet.
But Kyselak could not stop. He started tagging buildings as soon as they were opened to the public. He was even asked by the police not to paint his name to a new Bridge over the Danube until the public opening ceremony was over. Kyselak agreed and waited one more week until his well known signature could be found painted on the bridge.

Kyselak can be seen as the father of modern-day tagging since he did not do anything but paint his name on a wall. He did not create pictures or symbols, his nickname was enough. As in modern-day graffiti viewers don't necessarily know what a tag means. It is just a name without an additional information. And that, indeed, makes Kyselak an ancestor to nowaday's street culture."


More detailed information can be found here: http://homepages.phonecoop.coop/mjmitchell/Kyselak/kyselak.html#death


There is a book publication from 2003, dealing with Kyselak's work: Michael Robin, "Kyselak was here", The Ascog Press, 2003

An excerpt from this book can be read here: http://www.talesofgrin.com/farawaypress/readers/pdfs/kyselak.pdf

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... is a Media Art historian and independent researcher. She is currently writing on "speculative archiving && experimental preservation of Media Art" and graduated from Prof. Oliver Grau's Media Art Histories program at the Danube University in Krems, Austria with a Master Thesis on Descriptive Metadata for Media Arts. For many years, she has been working in the field of archiving/documenting Media Art, recently at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Media.Art.Research and before as the head of the Ars Electronica Futurelab's videostudio, where she created their archives and primarily worked with the archival material. She was teaching the Prehystories of New Media Class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and in the Media Art Histories program at the Danube University Krems.