Archiving ArtSpots with Mary Elizabeth Luka – Mél Hogan

What follows is an interview I conducted with M.E. Luka over the course of several months over email and Skype. Luka’s project explores CBC’s Artspots, a showcase of art and craft made by Canadian artists.

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CBC ArtSpots giveaway for artists, crew, Advisory Group volunteers. Image courtesy of M.E. Luka.

Mél Hogan: In a few lines, can you tell me, what is ArtSpots today?

Mary Elizabeth Luka: It’s a reminder that Canadian visual art exists and has enormous range. Also that it can flourish in tandem with popular culture / broadcast media, when resources are applied, creative control is shared, and a focused conversation is generated around it. The current website (if I can call it current!) is a placeholder – or a kind of elaborate bookmark. Traces of media production remain, including visual images (mostly stills), text, and broken video links, as well as navigation and still-functioning connecting links (e.g. to other websites). Additionally, some of the 1,200 short videos produced during that period are still played on television from time to time, usually late-night, or used by the artists involved to promote their own work.

MH: So, it is foremost a website? An online arts network? Or is it more conceptual?

MEL: Hmm. If we want to pin it down, I’d say it’s more conceptual, though it has a distinctive materiality in the traces of its website and its televisual forms, and more particularly in the professional artist-curator-creator network it suggests is ‘out there.’ I see the latter as a virtual space of interaction created by the work undertaken together, as I argue in a forthcoming essay about mapping what ArtSpots was, drawing on locative media practices and urban rhythm analyses (see for example, Lemos and Vergunst, as well as art interventions in public space such as those conducted by Kim Morgan). The ArtSpots website is one that is broken down: it doesn’t serve its original purpose of delivering art to viewers, and it shows no signs of being recaptured or rebuilt, nor does it seem to be formally archived. Together, the remnants that we can see on TV and on the Internet shimmer more brightly as suggestive indicators of a large and vibrant network of about 1,500 artists, curators, and arts-related producers, commenters, and presenters that took place with public broadcasting resources in a ten-year period. Can the reverberations of this project be felt along the trajectories created over this time period – and since then – and through the continued interactions and engagements among those involved? Are the material outcomes and shared experiences of ArtSpots a collection of topoi,as Erkki Huhtamo might suggest (Huhtamo and Parikka, 2011), engendered by cultural agents (artists, curators, technicians, etc.), invoking affect, aesthetic reflections, and cultural critiques? I’m not sure that explains nearly enough, but it does provide an interesting egress from the historical material content to the idea of mediated archive.

MH: What’s the URL?

MEL: The URL is: www.cbc.ca/artspots

Luka_3-ArtSpots home screen 2012-11-29 at 5.10.28 PM© CBC. Image courtesy of CBC.

MH: Is this URL deemed obsolete, or ‘archived’?

MEL: Ha! Depends on whom you ask.

Actually, as much as I would like to characterize it as almost fully archived (I talk about some of the indicators of this at some length elsewhere and below), it’s definitely making its way toward moribund, through a kind of benign and thorough absence of institutional attention since 2010. This is characteristic of many cultural digitization and digital-born projects of the late 1990s through the 2000s in Canada. The pointed absence (and sometimes, recuperation) of born-digital content such as that shown by your (Mél Hogan’s) work done at and around SAW video (MacDonald, 2011) and the incremental demise of early multi-platform content such as CBC ArtSpots is even more pronounced within the context of a broader absence: the dearth of even web-based residues of several government-funded initiatives promulgated as Canadian cultural digitization of the 2000s, including the increasingly homogenized and visually dull presentations at the National Library and Archives, and the Virtual Museum of Canada, as well as the disappearance altogether of projects such as Culture.ca. In effect, broken links and insufficient resources for maintenance and the establishment of newer budget priorities have wiped out Canada’s first decade of substantive visual digital existence. Even the Internet Wayback Machine has no trace of the websites run by National Library and Archives Canada prior to 2007, and the period 2008-2011 is pretty patchy.

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These broader conditions, and the relatively sudden decision to shut down production at ArtSpots in 2008 reflect the fuller and more complex, somewhat conflicted or ambiguous national endorsement of the project at CBC, which began regionally in 1997 and became national in 2000, and the subsequent dissipation of support over its last three years. Full disclosure: I was the founder and executive producer of CBC ArtSpots, and I was given to understand in February 2008 that the deliberation and decision to stop production for television and the internet happened in the last minutes of annual programming and budget discussions between then-Head of Arts and Entertainment, Fred Fuchs, and then-General Manager of English programming, Kirstine Layfield (now Stewart), who is currently the Executive Vice-President of English Services for CBC. Fuchs explained to me that the decision was made on the basis that ArtSpots was a mandate-only (and “niche”) program, and therefore was regarded as unsustainable in an environment where the emphasis was on programming that could draw large audiences.

The program wound down, and my job was made redundant, since ArtSpots made up a substantial portion of my workload and salary. Rather than bump someone else within the system in order to do a job I wasn’t especially interested in, I decided to leave the CBC. Before leaving, however, I made the pitch to a wider group of decision makers in senior management within CBC that resulted in the decision in March 2008 to create a permanent archive of ArtSpots content involving related media and other documentation, including the website. I stayed on until May 2008 in order to prepare the formal CBC archive. The television, document and tape-based archive was readied for storage: as part of the material archive, the entire website was backed up on two identical hard drives, including the code for the fledgling SQL database and the video content required to install the website elsewhere. Fuchs and others involved in website management at CBC made the commitment to keep the public website active for at least one more year (including video links), while discussions took place internally and externally about whether and how to move all the content to an educational institution or formal archive, or to keep it at CBC.

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Items in Luka’s personal archives. © M.E. Luka

Some time in 2010, CBC went through a revamp of its English websites, and during that process, not all video links were converted. As a result, almost all of the links on the CBC ArtSpots website ceased to work. Around the same time, discussions with potential external recipients ended, and the formal ArtSpots archive has remained inside the CBC ever since. Almost five years after active production ceased, the 31 boxes and 300+ tapes representing over 300 hours of field footage as well as 1,200+ short videos, and eight or nine long-form documentaries that make up the formal archive are located at CBC Halifax, where ArtSpots was headquartered. In the agreement I have with CBC, I have access to these archives through 2013 for my doctoral research at which point they might be migrated to Toronto. However, the website is unlikely to come back: although almost all of the existing pages of the website still work just fine, with functioning text, still images, and links; the heart of the project does not work. Almost none of the video links will connect the user to the videos themselves. Finally, it’s worth noting that I maintain my own personal archives from that time, including several notebooks, calendars and files, and a few examples of the many program giveaways developed for participants in the Advisory Groups, at exhibitions, or for artists and crew, not to mention DVDs and tapes.

MH: When was ArtSpots first launched?

MEL: It was conceived in 1997 during an artist residency I did at CBC Television in Halifax, as one of the final projects during my BFA. Shooting started early in 1998. The original 30-second television items began airing at random moments during commercial breaks in the spring of 1998. The website was designed and launched around mid-1998, and was among the first (if not the first) CBC website to function primarily to feature video. This was way before podcasts, and eight years before YouTube. At the time, it was the only website at CBC where the amount of video on the website exceeded the amount that showed up on television. In comparison, for example, the shorter-lived but much more heavily funded television and internet project CBC ZeD (2002-2006), was also provided with a regular five-nights-a-week (later three-nights) half-hour time slot, as well as the ability to have content uploaded by users.

MH: What is your memory of working online then? Can you describe the Web of 1997?

MEL: It was so much fun, and so frustrating. Everything was possible that we could imagine. Almost nothing worked the way it was supposed to. Websites were incredibly text-heavy, they would break often, and lots of them used dark colours with contrasting white or light lettering. It was really clunky to try to put thumbnail (or any other size) photos on the websites. You can see the residue of that today if you look at some the artists on the ArtSpots website that have thumbnail slide images (usually, five of them in the “image gallery”); see for example, Dawn MacNutt’s images below.

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“Image gallery” of still images on an artist’s page (above). © CBC. Image courtesy of CBC.

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How one image would pop-up from the thumbnail in the “image gallery”. © CBC. Image courtesy of CBC.

A new box showing the image opens up if you click on one of those five images. As well, you can see it in the way the artist lists were developed on the website: they’re just lists of names that were manually updated (not lists generated by a database structure); there’s nothing elegant or even very searchable about them. The same is true of the lists by province and territory. I had taken a programming (coding) course almost ten years before ArtSpots’ initial launch into cyberspace, and things had changed so rapidly that by 1998, there was no way I could do the programming for the site – plus I was pretty busy with production. But my fine arts training always made me wince (still does) at the visual awkwardness of those lists, even just in comparison to ArtSpots’ own features and special projects. In 1998-99, though, there was this burgeoning professional field in web design and programming, and we ended up working with some incredibly talented people, particularly at the beginning and on our features and partnership projects.

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Screen capture from the ArtSpots website for the feature celebrating fine craft in Canada. © CBC. Image courtesy of CBC. This website was designed by Jeff Baur. This project involved partners such as CBC Digital Archives, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, and the Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in the Fine Crafts, currently administered as a Governor-General Award for Visual Arts.

Coming out of intermedia and video art practices as I did, and heading into television and internet production as I was about to, it was clear that the visual standards for television were ratcheting up through a technically-enabled gift of higher picture resolution (even in early days) on the internet, and an audience-centred ability to step outside a rigid schedule of deadlines and lengths of programming. But there was a problem with what I later understood to be bandwidth: there simply wasn’t enough juice to power lots of video; CBC was only in its early stages of identifying and building the infrastructure that would be needed. Remember, this was way before the term bandwidth came into common parlance, and long before we all had high-speed connections. This actually worked to ArtSpots’ advantage: our videos (initially 30 seconds only) were small enough that people could wait for them to stream and then watch them.

It was apparent from the beginning that CBC wasn’t interested in having viewers download the videos on to their own servers, or to upload their own videos to CBC. The broader sharing practices that exist now initially weren’t even on the horizon. Carolyn Gibson-Smith, Phlis McGregor (now a producer on Information Morning at CBC Radio in Halifax) and Jere Brooks (now a fashion designer) did some of the earliest work on the website with me, as programmer/designers and conceptualists. Brooks remained involved almost to the very end with our major partnerships and projects: not long ago, we were discussing the details of how many firsts for CBC we were involved in doing with ArtSpots and related partnerships projects, particularly for the internet.

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A features page on the website. © CBC. Image courtesy of CBC.

It was obvious from the very first discussions about the website that white and greyscale would be the basis of the website’s design: that we would be contributing to a rethink of the ‘white box’ of the gallery and the ‘black box’ of the television, and literally blurring the lines and understandings of each, as much as we could. Another first, developed with CBC’s business affairs through an agreement for the artists that maintained their moral rights to their work, gave them the right to use the edited materials for their own promotional or educational use and gave CBC a broad ability to deploy the program materials on any platform that existed or would exist. Those of us involved in the early years were intrigued by what might happen by taking ArtSpots out to (or perhaps more to the point, taking it into the homes of) people who were interested in popular culture and the visual arts, even if they weren’t especially aware of that.

MH: What was its mandate?

MEL: The mandate was to produce compelling visual content for use on television and internet, and to do so through the collaborative engagement of the visual arts community in curatorial work with public broadcasting. The relationship-building was values based, and just as important as the actual amount of content produced each year. This multi-focused mandate was closely aligned with the broader mandate in the 1991 Broadcasting Act to reflect, include, inspire – and to serve. In fact, it was often referred to internally as a mandate program (usually as if that meant it wasn’t a “real” program). Ironically, it was this very quality that prompted the cancellation of ongoing production in 2008.

MH: What was your role in ArtSpots?

MEL: 

Then:

founder
artist
facilitator
listener
producer/director (multi-platform, before it was called that)
community organizer
executive producer
talent developer & teacher
fund raiser
resource negotiator
partnership builder
some of the people involved called me the mother of ArtSpots
archive creator

Now:

artist
archeologist
skeptic
investigator
listener
facilitator
producer/director
enabler
teacher
active archivist

MH: Let’s talk about archives and media archaeology. Is your plan to document / salvage / restore ArtSpots?

MEL: This is a very interesting question to me. My instinctive response lies somewhere between “all three” and “none of the above.” As an artist, a professional media producer, and as the facilitator of a community-centred project, I tried to ensure ArtSpots was pretty reflexive from the start. At least one interviewee in my doctoral research has characterized my activity as a bridge between worlds, requiring thought, intuitive action, and documentation. This included contracts, of course, budgets, annual plans and multi-year plans, and it included schedules for shooting, editing, etc.; storyboards for shoots; editing logs; voluminous correspondence; meeting notes and lots and lots of lists, particularly lists of artists. And, the website’s very structure documented the fundamentals of the ArtSpots process, including the value statements, criteria etc., as well as partnership projects we undertook, artist videos, and so on.

Very early on, I wrote the show “bible,” which was circulated in hard form and on the CBC’s intranet (the internal-use-only website). The bible documented the creative and logistics processes we used to create the relationships with the cultural community, the internal CBC constituents, and artists we worked with. It also provided administrative forms. Every second year, I hosted and led a strategy session for the producer/directors, and a number of other individuals involved in ArtSpots. At those sessions, we reviewed content, discussed creative approaches and logistics challenges, sharing our expertise and experience – some of this was also documented. So the dossier is pretty extensive already, including an inventory of the material retained in the formal ArtSpots archive described earlier. Of course, much of this material is not publicly accessible, with the exception of the material that is housed on the ArtSpots website, including a “How To” manual based on the bible.

I’m genuinely not sure about the extent to which media archeology will be helpful to me in rethinking ArtSpots. I am using a strategy in the research which mobilizes media production as a method to interrogate ArtSpots – potentially a kind of deliberate (and deliberative) embodiment of the theoretical, historically-based “remediation” endeavour that Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin (1999) might suggest may be inevitable as technology develops, and which draws from Marshall McLuhan’s legacy of deliberate engagement with materiality in/and media. This may bring me closer to media archeology as a theoretical framework, through the methodological forays I undertake. In addition, I am interested in how Lynne Huffer characterizes the work of Foucault in relation to archives. In particular, the suggestion that experiences are “archivally thick” critical contributions to archives strikes me as useful in thinking through power and social relations, very much the concern of Foucault (2010). Such archival practices “puts us into the question[s]” asked in terms of affect as well as the subject relationship (Huffer, 334-5).

My current interest in documentation lies with historicizing and rethinking the project. For me, what that means is to situate it in the larger context of cultural media production, and cultural engagement generally, both at the time, and as it continues to impact today. Methodologically, this includes engagement in a material practice myself: I am conducting a research-creation project for my doctoral dissertation research that probes and interrogates ArtSpots through a mixed-methods program, including recording interviews, editing them together with ArtSpots information and visuals, combining them into a series of non-linear documentaries, and seeking feedback on how I am processing this unusual and lengthy experience.

As for restoring ArtSpots, no. The time for CBC ArtSpots as it was, has passed. It was a creative endeavour that responded to a time of technological transition (i.e. producing for the internet and television together – or multi-platforms, as it was called then). It addressed questions of why and how artists and the CBC could work together to produce content for broad and varied distribution. It leveraged partnerships inside and outside the CBC, and responded to specific regional priorities in production. As the CBC re-centralized in the late 2000s, to respond to newer broadcasting priorities, the resources available for the project shrank. And it’s not that there isn’t a huge opportunity now for shifting the emphasis to generating curatorial, aggregative work involving artists (and paying real artists’ fees). There is. Conceptually, and creatively – right up to the wireframe design, website coding and video production – we did a lot of work on exactly that set of ideas in 2007-2008. During those last 12 to 15 months, we prepared to migrate the ArtSpots website to a database that would also be able to link to YouTube, to be pushed to mobile devices, to incorporate uploads, and to provide a much broader interactive sphere to operate within and to support. But the CBC wasn’t ready or able to support that kind of interactivity then; at least, not in the visual arts. Five years later, that opportunity and gap remains in how the public broadcaster engages with visual culture. And it may be the case that CBC is ready for it now, I don’t know. I don’t see signs of it. But it wasn’t to be in 2008.

Salvage, on the other hand: such a good word, and perhaps more closely aligned with media archeology. Yes, “salvage” is one of my motivations for embracing ArtSpots as the primary case study in my dissertation research. To salvage the work that was done. To assess the role ArtSpots played at a specific time period in growing the connections between the visual arts community in Canada and some of its supporters including the public broadcaster, and vice-versa. I don’t want to overplay the significance of ArtSpots, but to acknowledge the specific work that it did. That it secured both television and Internet airtime for artistic work – during a time before showing video programming on the Internet was a common practice – was huge for the visual arts community. That it did so with integrity, and through curatorial consultation and collaborative production and aesthetic practices is all the more remarkable. That it made the content generated available for educational, exhibition, and promotional use was pretty unusual. More than one of the interviewees and former participants that I’ve been speaking with remarked that there has been nothing like it since. Moreover, it’s clear in these critical analyses of what ArtSpots did that there is an ongoing need for such bridging, engagement, and content generation. Linking television production, gallery exhibition, internet websites, discussion groups, artist promotion and creative input, and broadcast technical creative expression together for so extended a period was an intriguing exercise that resulted in a complex diversity of programming. You bet I’m curious to see what can be “salvaged” from that.

MH: How?

MEL: Oh boy. Have I got ideas about salvaging. All of the artists are able to use their own material for promotion and educational purposes, so they could put the CBC ArtSpots items on their own websites or online channels. CBC has given me permission to use the existing ArtSpots material for research purposes, including limited re-use in the non-linear digital media production I’m producing. Furthermore, CBC Digital Archives could simply redigitize existing edited items (there are over 1,200 of those), and/or port the website itself into the digital archives environment as part of its significant workload of digitizing as much of the CBC’s current, oldest or most endangered tape archives. CBC could also choose to allow artists and scholars to dip into the archives and edit additional content from the hundreds of hours of existing field tapes. I hold out hope that CBC will continue to be sympathetic to potential partnerships to access and make use of the video-based and web-based material for scholarly and related purposes, presumably including the involvement of at least some of the artists, curators, and technical teams originally engaged. After all, this ten years of vibrant and interesting contemporary Canadian visual arts is a real treasure-trove of visual content.

In addition, and more dynamically, there is real value to be realized in finding a way to activate or revisit the conceptual and community-building work the Advisory Groups did, in two key ways. First, it would be interesting to find or found a working forum where curators, artist co-operatives, commercial and university galleries, craft federations, museums, media practitioners, broadcasters, and non-traditional bases of artistic knowledge come together to discuss the kind of curatorial matters covered in the ArtSpots discussions, and to actually make visually-based media. This is a huge opportunity for sharing knowledge and creating synergies. Secondly, it would be terrific to revisit the lists of artists to update that information and find a way to circulate it more broadly, fleshing it out as a living, vibrant directory of artists that could be augmented on an open-source platform. This would not just be the 300 or so artists involved in CBC ArtSpots production itself or the almost-2000 artists identified as potential participants, but an active reservoir of the thousands more that could rapidly be augmented and shaped by artists and others whose concerns touch on the arts and media.

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Detail from Denise Comeau’s “image gallery.” © CBC. Image courtesy of CBC.

These are potential exercises or expressions of what I call creative citizenship in my research. As I’ve noted elsewhere:

By creative citizenship, I mean to suggest a focus on the dynamics among particular groups of individuals involved in innovative media production, particularly artists [and] producers in relation to curators and] programmers, technical crew, and … cultural audiences. Generally, I am preoccupied with exploring and documenting how participatory processes of media production can foster specific kinds of citizenship in the creative context. … I am interested in understanding how such processes can generatively entangle creators and broadcasters with each other and with specific citizen-creator and curatorial groups, through new creative strategies embedded in the promise of collaborative media production. (Luka, 2011)

I have lots of other ideas that I’d like to pursue that grow out of my own experience with ArtSpots and elsewhere. The key to “salvage” here is to find new ways to bring forward what really worked, and to find original ways to activate the conversations, collaborations, production, distribution, and curation of visual and media production, locally, regionally, nationally, internationally…

MH: What can you show and tell about the material traces of the project?

MEL: As you can see from the stills and videos scattered through this article – lots! I’ve just completed a comprehensive series of interviews and discussion groups with former participants in the ArtSpots project. The conversations are not just about ArtSpots but also about the ways in which that project connected to workflows, art and media production of the time and today, government and broadcast policy, and the personal networking in the visual arts community and the media community. These are present-day concerns that require ongoing thought and discussion.

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An image of the Artspots home page, c. 2004, captured by the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. © CBC. Image courtesy of CBC and the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

There are many images based on artists’ work or on the projects and partnerships that ArtSpots was involved in that can be found on the original website,www.cbc.ca/artspots, as well as through my ongoing research work, periodically sharing it on my ownwebsite. There are also plenty of objects in my personal archive, including notebooks, giveaways, printouts, DVDs, etc. – a few of these are photographed below. And there’s a lot to dig out of my head and others, through the interviews, for example.

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MH: What is your doctoral research about?

MEL: What is the relationship between art and media production and dissemination? This is the large umbrella under which much of my professional work and scholarly research takes place. Currently, my focus is on production practices and creativity in cultural media production, including the meaning and potential of creative citizenship, and the often precarious work of artists and creative producers in daily life and professional engagements. More specifically, my doctoral research is an in-depth, highly reflexive study of CBC ArtSpots. Ten years of thoughtful creative activity resulting in extravagances of discussions, proliferations of practices, reams of visual and audio footage, and terabytes of backups and storage: what was the generative relationship between art and digital media in Canada at the cusp of the 21st century? I seek pathways through archival materials, communications methodologies, potentially totalizing narratives, and theoretical frameworks about the work of art and artists in relation to broadcast and digital media. By digging into the video art and broadcasting roots of CBC ArtSpots, I intend to cast light on the helpfulness of mobilizing old and new methodological and creative processes side-by-side with theoretical structures and strictures.

Methodologically, this includes a deliberative mash-up of scatterings of post-it notes, workflows incorporating Evernote(s) and website field notes, hard-copy bibliographies and handcrafted reflections, mappings of my house of theory, and the themes and questions that arise through tilling the verdant soil of discussion groups and in-depth interviews. Segmenting and manipulating some of the ArtSpots’ archived video productions (embedded with high production values) and newly-recorded investigative conversations that illuminate mostly social values (such as in-depth interviews and discussion groups), I propose to combine these into a short series of non-linear documentary structures available through Korsakow software, along with images based on freeze-frames grabbed from the almost-moribund (or partially archived?) ArtSpots website, scanned pictures of production notes, and photographs of gratefully-intended not-for-profit “merch.” The videos embedded in this article are samplings from one of those non-linear documentaries in-progress, in this case from interviews conducted of me. Taken together, these potentially chaotic and seductively productive incursions hurtle me into provocative interrogations of vernacular and cultural citizenship (see Joke Hermes and Toby Miller as well as William Uricchio and, in Canada, Caroline Andrew et al), the creative commons, and the cultural industries, interrupting and tracing that concept of creative citizenship that I seek to move toward.

MH: Should Canadians, or anyone care about ArtSpots now? Why? What does the project reveal?

MEL: Sure. People tend to care about ArtSpots if they care about public broadcasting or cultural media production or how the arts inform, intrigue, and insist on constantly rethinking and reshaping cultural identity and practices on a day-to-day basis: how we reflect ourselves to ourselves and others but also what the world looks like, how it connects to itself and how we might understand it and enable change over time.

From the interviews I have conducted, it is evident that there are more practical outcomes. For artists, it has been a significant boost to their careers through credibility in an increasingly media-savvy and media-saturated environment. For Advisory Group volunteer members, it was an opportunity to share best practices and priorities across the country, as well as participate in a region-to-region dialogue about what was happening in the art domain. For CBC, ArtSpots exercised and challenged aesthetic assumptions used in professional media production and dissemination practices, engendered employee satisfaction and growth, and engaged particular audiences in exercises of cultural citizenship, for example, of the sort suggested in studies such as those conducted by Miller and Hermes. In addition, ArtSpots communicated credibility for CBC in the broader cultural community, in terms of the care taken, and the respect shown to artists and creativity. Of course, for CBC, it also helped to achieve mandate objectives around regional reflection and Canadian identity. And, I suppose, it was good for Canada in the sense that it generated a new set of understandings and dialogues around what Canadian art was at the turn of the 21st century.

Additionally, it allowed – and allows – for experimentation and testing new technologies and approaches to work and community engagement that could then be applied in other programming areas, and which can be taken up in new and interesting ways by the digital arts and media communities in particular. This is especially true as artists’ skills and interests develop and the technology itself becomes ever more accessible, while audiences diverge into more sophisticated, and ever less so, groups (oh the YouTube cat videos!). In that sense, then, more broadly, ArtSpots opened doors to practices and experiments across a wider media landscape and demonstrated what it is possible to do when a virtual space is created for and by a community, enabling resource leveraging and the practice of creative citizenship. I don’t intend to suggest that this is the closing of a circle, or conclusive question answering about these subjects. Quite the opposite. Digging into ArtSpots suggests that the more the archive is actively engaged, the more questions there will be to explore.


Works Cited:

Andrew, Caroline, Monica Gattinger, M. Sharon Jeannotte, and Will Straw, Eds. (2005). Accounting for Culture: Thinking Through Cultural Citizenship. Ottawa: The University of Ottawa Press.

Bolter, Jay David and Richard Grusin. (1999). Remediation: Understanding New Media. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Hermes, Joke. (2005). Re-reading Popular Culture. Malden, Oxford & Victoria: Blackwell Publishing.

Huffer, Lynne and Elizabeth Wilson. (2010). Mad for Foucault: A Conversation. Theory, Culture & Society 27, 324-338. http://www.sagepublications.com. DOI: 10.1177/0263276410383712. Retrieved 24 November 2012.

Huhtamo, Erkki and Jussi Parikka. Eds. (2011). Introduction. Media Archeology: Approaches, Applications and Implications. Berkeley: University of California Press. 1-6.

Lemos, Andre. (2010). Post–Mass Media Functions, Locative Media, and Informational Territories: New Ways of Thinking About Territory, Place, and Mobility in Contemporary Society. Space and Culture 13(4) 403–420. http://www. sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/1206331210374144. Retrieved 23 February 2011.

Luka, Mary Elizabeth. (pending). Mapping CBC ArtSpots. Diverse Spaces: Examining identity, heritage and community within Canadian public culture. Ed. Susan Ashley. Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Luka, Mary Elizabeth. (2011). “Creative Citizenship: A Proposal for Research.”  http://moreartculturemediaplease.com.

MacDonald, Corina. (2011). Video Cache – Activating the Archive: An Interview with Mél Hogan. Vague Terrain. 07/04/2011. http://vagueterrain.net

Miller, Toby. (2007). Cultural Citizenship: Cosmopolitanism, Consumerism, and Television in a Neoliberal Age. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Uricchio, William. (2004). Beyond the Great Divide: Collaborative Networks and the Challenge to the Dominant Conceptions of Creative Industries. International Journal of Cultural Studies 7.1: 79-90. Sage Publications. Retrieved 23 February 2011.

Vergunst, Jo. 2010. Rhythms of Walking: History and Presence in a City Street. Space and Culture 13(4) 376–388. DOI: 10.1177/1206331210374145. SAGE. Retrieved 11 January 2011.

Mary Elizabeth (“M.E.”) Luka is a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar and doctoral candidate (ABD) in the Joint Program in Communication at Concordia University, where she’s probing the meaning and potential of “creative citizenship,” including the work of artists and creative producers in daily life. Luka is also an award-winning documentary producer and director for television and the internet, and—because she likes to start things—has helped to develop programs, projects and a great deal of talent related to her fields of interests, particularly in the Atlantic Region. As a consultant in the cultural non-profit sector, she recently assisted Women in Film and Television – Atlantic and the Canada Dance Festival develop their strategic and business plans. M.E. is actively involved as a volunteer for professional and community organizations related to the arts, media, and culture, including as founding Vice-Chair of Arts Nova Scotia, the brand-new independent, provincial funding body for the arts in that province, and as a member of the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council, an advisory board to the government of Nova Scotia regarding the creative and cultural industries. The videos appearing in this article are drawn from the non-linear documentary work-in-progress grounding her doctoral research.

Contact: meluka@gmail.com | @meluka01 | http://moreartculturemediaplease.com

 

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Archiving ArtSpots (except images indicating CBC copyright) by Mary Elizabeth Luka is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License.