Michelle Kasprzak
Since 2005
Works in Amsterdam Netherlands

Michelle Kasprzak is a curator and writer based in Amsterdam. She is currently Curator at V2_ Institute for the Unstable Media in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Michelle has exhibited and lectured across North America and Europe. She has appeared in publications such as Wired UK and on radio and television broadcasts on the BBC and CBC. Most recently she has delivered lectures at Argos (Brussels), PICNIC (Amsterdam), The Lighthouse (Brighton).

Following a decade of practice as a visual artist, her current focus is primarily on writing and curating. In 2006, she was awarded a curatorial research residency at the Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland, in 2010 she attended the Summer Seminars for Art Curators in Yerevan, Armenia, and in 2011 was a guest of the BAM International Visitor’s Programme in Flanders. In 2006, Michelle founded a leading blog on the subject of curating contemporary art, Curating.info, which was featured in the LabforCulture publication, Cultural Bloggers Interviewed. She has written critical essays for C Magazine, Volume, Spacing, CV Photo, Public, Mute, and several online journals on a wide range of subjects in the realm of contemporary culture. Her writing has appeared in anthologies and exhibition catalogues in both Canada and Europe.

Michelle completed her BFA in New Media at Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario in 2000, and in 2006 completed her MA in Visual and Media Arts from the Université du Québec à Montréal, earning several scholarships over the course of her academic career. She is a member of IKT (International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art).

You can find out more about Michelle's projects, talks, and essays at http://michelle.kasprzak.ca.

Video Vortex #6: Beyond YouTube

The sixth Video Vortex conference was held in Amsterdam at Trouw, a building that used to house the printing presses where the eponymous newspaper was created. These days, Trouw is a restaurant and club and occasional conference venue. The venue’s former purpose reinforced the passing of the torch from old news media to the online media being discussed, alongside other relevant topics, at Video Vortex. Michael Strangelove, the first speaker of the day, referred to the “holocaust of capitalism” and how online video enables a subversion of the notion of culture as private property. As newspapers struggle to redefine themselves in this online era - the New York Times’ new paywall being a prime example - the war of ownership over content resonated not only throughout the conference sessions but even in the venue’s inkstained floors.

The initial speakers of the day, Michael Strangelove and Andrew Clay, made salient points about the notion of “compulsory visibility” (Foucault, via Strangelove) online, the “douchebag effect” induced by online video platforms (Strangelove), and the communities and revenue streams which develop around online smash hits such as Annoying Orange (Clay). Talk of douchebag effects and inane chattering fruit was unfortunately juxtaposed with the gravity of the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan, unfolding at the very same time. All morning, YouTube quickly populated with shocking videos of the damage, and it seemed immediately inappropriate to ponder how many millions Annoying Orange makes.


Moving the Museum Online

Museum viewing pod. Courtesy Adobe Museum of Digital Media.

Recently, Adobe Systems Incorporated released a new product. Not an update to its existing suite, which include tools of the online trade such as Photoshop, Acrobat Reader and Flash, or some new software to fulfill ever-evolving creative needs. Instead, it is an online destination for viewing digital art entitled the Adobe Museum of Digital Media (AMDM).

After waiting for the museum to load, you are greeted by a tour guide with a peculiar accent, whose likeness resembles a cross between a jellyfish and an eyeball. The museum has one current exhibit, a specially-commissioned piece by internationally acclaimed artist Tony Oursler, who is best known for his disconcerting projection installation works. As the museum has just launched, there is a limited amount to see: plans for the “building”, a chat with the curator, Tom Eccles, more chatter from the jellyfish-eyeball, the commissioned artwork by Oursler, and a comments section.

Before getting into the details of the museum itself, it is worth interrogating why it is considered by its creators to be a museum at all. The press release states the mission of the museum to be “...an interactive venue to present and preserve groundbreaking digital media works, inspire creative ideas and experimentation, and provide a forum for expert commentary on how digital media influences culture and society”. The mission is sound, but except for the word “preserve” there is little in it that specifically invokes the mantle of “museum”. As the AMDM is an obvious marketing exercise which promotes the use of digital tools (that Adobe happens to create), it’s a short leap of logic to conclude that “museum” was simply decided on as a word with greater impact than “gallery” or “showcase”.


A Report from Repair: Ars Electronica 2010

The theme of Repair for this year’s Ars Electronica festival was apropos, as the festival moved to the Tabakfabrik, a former cigarette factory and sprawling complex of buildings that was churning out cartons of Marlboros as recently as last year. The smell of tobacco was still heavy in the air, and evidence of the factory’s work continued to linger: ear plugs still available in dispensers, pneumatic tube carriers still sitting in baskets, and boxes emblazoned with cigarette logos being used as exhibition design material. The factory, which is a protected historic landmark, is beautiful and perhaps deserved a Golden Nica of its own -- for best representation of the festival theme.

The Social In Question: Review of Futuresonic 08

As I enter the conference space, I wonder if I'll be tempted to update my Facebook status constantly at Futuresonic '08. Many of my Facebook friends are here, but still I can't resist tapping on my EeePC from time to time: Michelle is happy in Manchester. Michelle has an idea. Michelle is in love with Dirt Party! Michelle is taking a leisurely pace.

Right now, I suppose I should change my status to: Michelle is writing a review of Futuresonic 08, a five-day festival of art, music, and ideas in Manchester, UK. Futuresonic is an established festival that often showcases emerging issues in creative industries, and this year's topic "The Social" took form both online and offline, and sometimes in between.

Review of transmediale.08 - CONSPIRE

transmediale.08 invited attendees to "conspire" and, over the course of the festival, the possibilities inherent in this invitation were thoroughly explored. From semi-secret off-site events to the constantly idling black cars at the entrance to invoking the name of the mysterious Bilderberg Salon to key works in the exhibition and topics in the conference, the many nuances of the theme presented themselves with clarity and consistency.

Discussions (9) Opportunities (1) Events (3) Jobs (0)


Fri May 27, 2011 12:00 - Sun May 29, 2011

Marshall McLuhan Centennial Weekend, Berlin
Conference | Screening | Exhibition | Performance
Friday May 27 – Sunday May 29, 2011
Embassy of Canada / Marshall McLuhan Salon
transmediale, Berlin's festival for art and digital culture in collaboration with the Embassy of Canada and Marshall McLuhan Salon invite you to a key event celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of famed Canadian media philosopher Herbert Marshall McLuhan. Having coined expressions such as the 'global village' and 'the medium is the message' in the early days of TV and electronic culture, the Re-Touching McLuhan events explore the many interpretations of McLuhan's play on language and media that shape today's networked society.
The international conference Re-Touching McLuhan: The Medium is the Massage chaired by Dieter Daniels and moderated by Christopher Salter, sees leading international media and digital culture researchers Richard Cavell, Dieter Daniels, Martina Leeker, Claus Pias, Katja Kwastek, Liz Kotz, Janine Marchessault, Graham Larkin and Lorenz Engell explore McLuhan’s unique take on tactile and multi-sensory media expressed by the media philosopher's unintentionally published blurring of the words 'message' and 'massage'.
Former Director of the University of Toronto's 'McLuhan Programme for Culture and Technology' Derrick de Kerckhove joins Berlin-based McLuhan scholar Steffi Winkler in elaborating on rare broadcast material from the Marshall McLuhan Salon's unique archives in the first session of the McLuminations screening and discussion series, produced by UdK Berlin Institute for Time-Based Media resident Baruch Gottlieb.
With a keynote introduction to McLuhan's 'massaging of the aural senses' by U.B.C. Prof. Richard Cavell the opening of the Centennial Weekend will feature the worldwide (re-)launch of McLuhan's 1968 audio art classic The Medium is the Massage, digitally remastered for the first time, produced and presented by hip-hop musician and conceptual artist Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky.
The Centennial Weekend will also feature the European première of Through the Vanishing Point, a major new multi-media installation by leading Canadian digital artists David Rokeby and Lewis Kaye, as well as Play_McLuhan, an exhibition by media art students from the Hochschule Darmstadt under the direction of Sabine Breitsameter will be presented.
Programme Highlights
Friday May 27, 18.00
Re-Touching McLuhan Centennial Weekend
Opening and Reception featuring Richard Cavell and Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky
Saturday May 28, 10.00 – 18.00
Re-Touching McLuhan: The Medium is the Massage
Conference chaired by Dieter Daniels
Sunday May 29, 14.30
McLuminations #1
Screening & Discussion featuring Derrick de Kerckhove and Steffi Winkler
Sunday May 29, 17.00
Through The Vanishing Point
Installation by David Rokeby and Lewis Kaye - Vernissage
Full event schedule: http://mcluhan2011.eu/schedule
Special Pre-Events
Friday, May 27, 12.00 – 17.00
Global Village: Calamity or Chance?
2nd German-Canadian Professionals Conference
Friday, May 27th, 17.00
Exhibition presentation by Sabine Breitsameter and students of the Hochschule Darmstadt
Embassy of Canada / Marshall McLuhan Salon
Leipziger Platz 17
10117 Berlin
U-Bahn and S-Bahn Potsdamer Platz
All events are free and open to the public but spaces are limited so please and arrive early to ensure enough time for embassy security!
If you're not in Berlin May 27 - 29 you can join us online at http://mcluhan2011.eu/berlin. All RE-TOUCHING McLUHAN conference presentations will be streamed and live moderated by Lalitha Rajan on IRC.freenode.net on the #mcluhan2011eu channel (You can use your external client, or use http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=mcluhan2011eu&uio=d4)
The RE-TOUCHING McLUHAN Berlin Centennial Weekend is a project of the McLuhan in Europe 2011 network, initiated and directed by Stephen Kovats in collaboration with Michelle Kasprzak, celebrating the centenary of visionary Canadian media philosopher Herbert Marshall McLuhan, and his impact on European art and media culture.
Other McLuhan in Europe 2011 events coming up soon include:
McLuhan’s Global Village Today: Transatlantic Perspectives on Medium and Message
May 12-14, Centre for Canadian Studies, Marburg
Transgressing the Senses. Culture, Technology and TechnoMind
May 20 – 21, Academy of Fine Arts, Katowice, Poland
McLuhan Galaxy Conference
Universitat Pompeu Fabra and the IN3 – Internet Interdisciplinary Institute, Barcelona, Spain
May 23 – 25
See also Darren Wershler's 'McLuhan in Europe 2011' intro:


McLuhan in Europe 2011

Tue Aug 31, 2010 00:00

transmediale, in collaboration with the Marshall McLuhan Salon of the Embassy of Canada in Berlin and together with a network of selected European and Canadian partners, is preparing a major series of events in the context of the 100th anniversary in 2011 of the birth of media and communications visionary Marshall McLuhan.

The McLuhan in Europe 2011 project is seeking partnership proposals from organisations across Europe that wish to host and organise activities in recognition of McLuhan’s intellectual legacy and its impact in the regions of Europe.

Please visit http://mcluhan2011.eu for further information, and to download the full Call for Partnership Proposals.


Dubious Views online exhibition

Sun Jun 17, 2007 00:00 - Sun Jun 17, 2007

Dubious Views is an online exhibition funded by the Virtual Museum Project of Canada, and produced by Gallery TPW. Dubious Views interrogates institutional representations in tourism, surveillance, and mapping, and is divided into two halves: “Subversive Souvenirs” and “Subversive Cartography”.

Curators: Michelle Kasprzak, Michael Alstad, Shawn Micallef

Artists include: David Rokeby, Surveillance Camera Players, Michelle Teran, Proboscis, Sylvia Grace Borda, Janet Cardiff, Eugene Atget, Nikki S. Lee, Charles Marville, Roger Minick, [murmur], N.E. Thing Co., Shelley Niro, Louise Noguchi, Mitch Robertson, Ed Ruscha, Camille Turner, Jin-me Yoon, and more.

To access the exhibition, please visit the Virtual Museums of Canada website: http://tinyurl.com/2k7kmb

For further information about Gallery TPW, please visit: http://gallerytpw.ca

Media Contact:
Kim Simon, Director of Programming
1.416.645.1066 or kim @ gallerytpw.ca


Blogumenta opens today

Sat Jun 16, 2007 00:00 - Sat Jun 16, 2007

Initiated by Robert Labossiere, Blogumenta is a response to the confluence of super-sized art events taking place in Europe at the moment: the Venice Biennale, the Muenster Sculpture Project, Art Basel, and of course, Documenta.

I call it a response, but Blogumenta is more than that - it is a different kind of art event entirely. It has no physical gallery to visit, but there is an image repository on the website and in Facebook, one of the most popular social networking websites. It has no curator, but it was initiated by Robert and he is also the “Admin” of the Facebook group. The work itself is not for sale, but in the “Shopumenta” online store, you can purchase a Blogumenta ringer tee.

From the Facebook group page:

"Blogumenta may be Facebook’s first art gallery/art fair. Anyone can join and submit an artwork by uploading a photo or writing on the wall or any other way you can think of to contribute. Everything is subject to moderation by admin. Please be courteous.

Blogumenta has approximately 7 days to assemble an online exhibition comparable in scope to Documenta XII, arguably the most prestigious art fair in the world, held only every four years in Kassel, Germany. But enough about them! join, contribute, blog like you ment a."

Today is the opening ceremony of Blogumenta, and Facebook users are asked to change their profile picture to acknowledge this. A selection of images have been made available to Facebook users (examples here: http://www.blogumenta.com/june16/), and slowly but surely, I’m witnessing the Blogumenta-fication of profile photos. If you’re on Facebook, join the fun - and if you’re not, visit Blogumenta.com to comment, submit images, or browse the Shopumenta store.



Year Zero One presents: the Splash Page Project: Kelly Mark

Year Zero One presents: the Splash Page Project
May 1 - July 1 2003 : Kelly Mark

We are pleased to present "I Really Should..." by Kelly Mark. Please
visit http://www.year01.com to view the work. To see more of Kelly
Mark's work, please visit her website at http://www.ireallyshould.com

"I Really Should..." utilizes text which Kelly has been working
with since 1996. Kelly first began this project in order to poke fun
at herself and to comment on her increasingly obsessive tendencies.
However, this work is not limited to being simply autobiographical in
nature. The tendency towards procrastination, whether it involves
doing those things we have always wanted to, improving self-perceived
character flaws or the mind numbingly repetitive tasks of everyday
life, surely this proclivity is universal whatever the personal
circumstance. So little time, so much to do...

Year Zero One has offered its splash page as an exhibition space for
artists that will operate on a bimonthly basis. A selection of
Canadian and international net.artists have been invited to show
their work in this forum. The Splash Page Project launched on Feb. 1,
2002 with a piece by net.artist Mouchette. The Project is curated by
Michelle Kasprzak.

Year Zero One is an on-line artist run centre which operates as a
network for the dissemination of digital culture and new media
through web based exhibitions, an extensive media arts
directory/bulletin, and the Year01 Forum - an electronic art journal.