Janine Marchessault new CRC in Art, Digital Media and Globalization

Artists and their commitment to experimenting with new forms of expression have been crucial to shaping our use of new technologies. To examine this process, a new Canada Research Chair in Art, Digital Media and Globalization at York was announced on Monday, and York Prof. Janine Marchessault (left) has been named recipient.

Currently Chair of the Film and Video Department in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts, Marchessault is a leading scholar in the work of Marshall McLuhan and his aesthetic approach to media, and has already conducted extensive research on the digital cultures of North America and Europe.

In her next round of research, Marchessault will document how artists have been shaping the visual culture of global media, while changing their own practice and exhibition of art. “Artists are conceptualizing and designing the new information society, from the Disney animator and the Internet artist to the designer of new multimedia parks,” she said. “This process is redefining urban social dynamics and cultural practices globally.”

Marchessault says artists are employing digital design and media to both resist and take advantage of new global economies. The growth of large-scale media labs around the world, such as Hexagram in Montreal, the European Media Lab in Dublin, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, are evidence of new relationships between scientific research, artistic experimentation and industry spawned by digital technologies.

Now Marchessault will extend her study of the digital arts to urban centres in Mexico, Senegal and Japan to understand how global networks are transforming urban space and culture. She will produce a series of detailed case studies of research collaborations involving artists. Her research will address important questions concerning intellectual property and help to inform national research policies on digital technologies and art.

The Canada Research Chairs Program supports cutting-edge research at Canadian universities and is intended to help secure Canada’s competitive edge in the 21st century. The Canada Foundation for Innovation provides infrastructure funding for the research.

For more information on the Media Relations news release about Marchessault’s appointment visit http://www.yorku.ca/ycom/release/archive/031703-2.htm.