Ars Electronica 2005
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Database of Virtual Art

'Oliver Grau Oliver Grau

As a pioneer in the field, the Database of Virtual Art, based at Humboldt University in Berlin, has been documenting the rapidly evolving field of digital installation art since 1999. Our research-oriented, complex overview of immersive, interactive, telematic and genetic art has been developed in cooperation with renowned media artists, researchers and institutions. The database is based on open-source-technologies and allows individuals to post material themselves. All works can be linked with exhibiting institutions, events and biobibliographical references. As one of the richest resources available online, the database responds to the demands of the field. It is supported by the German Research Foundation and other institutions.
Today's digital works of art are processual, ephemeral, interactive, multimedia, and are fundamentally context-dependent. Because of their completely different structure and nature, they require a modified, expanded concept of documentation. Therefore the documentation concept goes beyond classical documentation like Dublin Core and records technical hardware and software configurations, displays and the interface design and inventions of the artists.
Due to its ability to document the processual nature of interactive works, video has been strategically integrated into the concept since 2000. In the course of time the interlinked layers of data will also serve as a predecessor for the crucial systematic preservation of this art of our time. A major novelty is the freshly implemented Thesaurus featuring a variety of categories and keywords. The Thesaurus constitutes a new approach to systemizing the field of Digital Art and the terms and concepts connected to it.

Founding members include: … Rebecca Allen, Roy Ascott, Louis Bec, Maurice Benayoun, John McCormick, Luc Courchesne, Edmond Couchot, Charlotte Davies, Diana Domingues, Toni Dove, Franz Fischnaller, Monika Fleischmann/Wolfgang Strauss, Masaki Fujihata, Ken Goldberg, Mika Hakola, Agnes Hegedues, Lynn Hershman, Perry Hoberman, Jenny Holzer, Eduardo Kac, Knowbotic Research, Bernd Lintermann, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Seiko Mikami, Christian Möller, Matt Mulligan, Michael Naimark, Jack Ox, Simon Penny, Daniela Plewe, Ken Rinaldo, Jeffrey Shaw, Jill Scott, Joachim Sauter, Paul Sermon, Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau, Victoria Vesna, Peter Weibel, Paul Yuxweluptun, Andrea Zapp …

Director, scientific concept and artists network: Prof. Dr. Oliver Grau
Technical lead: Christian Berndt
Video documentation, production and editing: Robert Loessl
Main editor and development manager: Anna Paterok
Instution cooperation: Wendy Jo Coones