THE MEDIUM IS THE MEDIUM | nyamnyam

The lab “the Medium is the Medium” by nyamnyam, takes its name from one of the earliest examples of the collaboration between public television and video art. WGBH-TV commissioned artists — Allan Kaprow, Nam June Paik, Otto Piene, James Seawright, Thomas Tadlock and Aldo Tambellini — to create original works for broadcast television. In a way, this marked a shift from television as a subject matter to television as the medium. The medium wasn’t (only) the message anymore*, it was a meta category that put TV on the focus to explore the parameters of this (new) medium.

Understanding that we are completely saturated by mass ‘medium’ nowadays, we are proposing to rediscover TV, maybe re-plugging it in a common set - to build up together on a theater stage - where experimentation is the clue. A meeting place between artists and (live) audience, to experiment through the live arts language, within the audiovisual format as a frame. An open (theater) space which welcomes works of different nature and duration centered on their live aspect. The hierarchy between genres, high and low culture, fiction and documentary is broken by putting the body at the center of the question. The aim is not to reproduce the dynamics of the ‘standard’ TV nowadays, nor having the goal of broadcasting or documenting theater/dance/music works. In this context, this body of work interacts with the project ‘“what can theater do” understanding the internet as a house, and offers a possible tool to experiment with.

The lab is preceded by a virtual meeting in the third week of January, as a first contact with the participants, and a first approximation of nyamnyam practices and body of work, currently centred on the curating approach of Festival Salmon in Barcelona (17-21 February).

* “The medium is the message” is a phrase coined by the Canadian communication theorist Marshall McLuhan and introduced in his Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, published in 1964. McLuhan proposes that a communication medium itself, not the messages it carries, should be the primary focus of study.

NYAMNYAM is a collective created in 2012 by artists Iñaki Alvarez and Ariadna Rodríguez. Joining their formations and deformations in various disciplines, their work aims to promote creation, diffraction, knowledge exchange and culture through sharing strategies. They use artistic dynamics and tools to propose interventions that are placed in each g-local context in which they work. The aim is to activate each context’s fabric in a holistic sense, incorporating the organisms (human scale and others), systems, environment, relationships… They have carried out and shared their projects in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Greece, USA, Colombia and Ecuador. In the crossroad of live arts, critical thought, pedagogy and social interaction, nyamnyam’s work moves between the creation projects (as an artist collective) and the role of hosting and collaborating with other people, collectives or institutions. For more info see http://nyamnyam.net/eng.php