New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. (NRPA) was founded over thirty years ago as an experimental project that focused upon mastering new levels of unconventional artistic broadcasting by giving space to projects linked to music. NRPA developed quickly and has been considered for years the most influential radio station in the artistic field on a global level, considering its distribution of hundreds of songs that have become classics – initially in America and later in Europe. In time, further development of this platform coincided with the arrival of the internet and new channels of expression and communication. Finally, NRPA inaugurated its website in 1996 and has commissioned over 230 works and dozens of performances ever since, promoting the work of many young emerging artists.
Some of the works commissioned or sponsored by Turbolence.org have been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennials (2000, 2002 and 2004 editions) and the International Festival of New Cinema and New Media held in Montreal. Others have been included in the collections at the Total Museum of Contemporary Art (Korea) and Ars Electronica (Austria).
In July 2004, a blog entitled Networked Performance premiered on line in collaboration with Michelle Riel (Chair of the Teledramatic Art and Technology Department at California State University Monterey Bay at that time). It was designed to communicate with readers throughout the world and learn about their interests and ideas, experimentation and issues to be addressed – in short, to intercept the avant-garde cultural outflow.
Yet again, the numbers speak for themselves regarding this type of interconnection: over 8,900 posts and over 3,000 viewers per day. These are the Networked Performance contacts through which Turbulence.org (and therefore NRPA) put their knowledge to use in terms of new musical and artistic frontiers – and so much more – as it gathers information about projects, artists, performances, composers, musicians, software and hardware.
By formalizing its commitment to the new-born digital art and all other developments linked (specifically) to the virtual and online world, it didn’t take long for Turbulence.org to become a cornerstone as well as a reference point for all artists specializing in the sector along with those curators and art galleries focalizing on web technology. While supporting, commissioning and promoting digital art, Turbulence.org has also initiated a programme to safeguard it by offering even more specific implications. No longer a strictly experimental art form, Turbulence.org has consecrated digital art’s classification as an “official” form of artistic expression.
In this particular case, it focuses upon issues related to the storage of the new art forms found on the web in collaboration with the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art and managed by Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
The project and its practical progression have been analysed in the dissertation Virtueel Platform Research: Archiving the Digital written in 2010-11 by Annet Dekker and Rachel Somers-Miles. It presents a glimpse of how timely the search for a single model in constant evolution has become: those products which will never have their analogical equivalent. The authors also explain how these works must be respected as such. Turbulence.org is one of three platforms chosen as a model by researchers dedicated to organization, intention and content as it concentrates on new initiatives for the development and implementation of technology which can be applied to the artistic field.
In one word, the success of Turbulence.org and others like it is to be found in their ability to share: active participation in projects, the exchange of ideas-information-contacts, funding activities that support digital art as well as culture in general or its preservation and working with professionals specialized in related sectors has made it possible for Turbulence.org and NRPA to remain constantly on the vanguard for over three decades.
Turbulence.org has just launched its new website that you can browse here
images (cover 1-5) Jillian McDonald, From the Valley of the Deer, 2014, Supported by Jerome Foundation, snap shot from web project, turbulence.org commission (2) X Baczewa, Vocabulary, 1996, supported by Jerome Foundation, snap shot from web project, turbulence.org commission (3) David Crawford, National Velvet, 2000, Supported by National Endowment for the Arts, snap shot from web project, turbulence.org commission(4) Yael kanarek, Evann Siebens & Meyoung Kim & Yoav Gal, A World of Awe Project, Portal, 2003, Supported by Jerome Foundation, snap shot from web project, turbulence.org commission.