Modern communication technologies, such as e-mail and the Internet have, within the last decade, made it possible for dispersed populations of artists working in the same form to create international organizations. The Not Still Art Festival was first organized in 1996 out of the need to provide a forum for abstract and non-narrative video artists. To a degree it has succeeded and become an annual event because of the ever increasing numbers of artists who are participating in it yearly. They are discovering the event by word of mouth, the Internet, and the Calls for Entries in publications such as Media Matters.
Minority art forms are marginalized not only by commercial media, but also by the art world itself. Throughout this century artists who worked in abstract animation were so isolated as to often think that they were the sole practitioners of this art form. Their lack of peer contact and public recognition often resulted in curtailed productivity.
The ability of Media Matters to reach the Not Still Art constituency so effectively was a pleasant surprise to us in 1997 when we received such an enthusiastic response to the first Call for Entries. Media Matters got the word out all over the country. This no doubt happened because people receiving Media Matters relayed the Call to interested friends and colleagues. Many people who needed to find out did. Artists who have been doing painterly, highly aesthetic non-narrative video art work, for years have had the opportunity to expose their work only as a “short” between long format narrative and documentary pieces. The Not Still Art Festival creates a forum devoted exclusively to the work of these artists. It sponsors an international screening, a panel discussion and live performance video and music.
The next challenge for the Not Still Art Festival is to bring its international screening to the communities of its participating artists. The opportunity of seeing their work in context with excellent work of peers presents new challenges to the artists and furthers the art form.
Grants from NYSCA, both Decentralization - administered by UCCCA, and Presentation Funds - administered by the Experimental Television Center, plus sponsorship from the Boswell Museum and other local organizations, made the Not Still Art Festival physically possible, but Media Matters makes the festival a reality. Media Matters provides a connection to the neural network of the art community. The impact of its publication is multiplied through the communications of its members.
Copyright Carol Goss 1998
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