'Webart' Promoted

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'Webart' Promoted

Sponsored by Ganaart Dotcom, the 2nd International Digital Art Festival is currently registering applicants through their official Web site, (www.idaf.org). Scheduled to open on Dec. 1, the online festival aims to advance the digital culture in Korea. The festival coordinator, Lee Seung-hwan, talked to the JoongAng Ilbo IHT about the event.

IHT-JAI: What are some of the defining characteristics of the International Digital Art Festival (IDAF)?

LSH: IDAF focuses on the interactive relationship between consumers and creators. The boundary between the two is already quite ambiguous in digital culture, but we hope to narrow the gap even further. The two key concepts here are "popular culture" and "public participation."

IHT-JAI: What kind of formats are included in "Webart?"

LSH: Before I even start discussing its form, I think the term Webart needs to be clarified in terms of the domestic art scene. Unlike the U.S., where there has been active public discourse on Webart since the beginning of the 90s, Korean Netizens have very little or no knowledge about it. I hope to bring up some of these issues in our second IDAF. The materials related to this topic will be managed by Lee Sang-yun, who is the commissioner of the festival and also the director of the online project "Blindsound," (www.blindsound.com). There, various forms of Web art will be discussed.

IHT-JAI: The phrase "Web is Art" appears in the opening page of the festival's official web site. Was this because you wanted to challenge the viewers' conception about Web site design, which simply labels it as "packaging?"

LSH: Why would the terms "art" and "design" need to be separated in the first place? When I said "Web is art," I simply stated what it is. IDAF hopes to be inclusive of all genres.

IHT-JAI: In the larger arena of digital art, the festival seems to be focusing particularly on Webart. Are there any reasons behind this?

LSH: We think that Webart has some interesting facets. I say that because the pre-existing dominant culture hasn't quite permeated through the territories of Webart yet. The art that has its structure all set always lacks its fluidity. And in that sense, I think Webart in today's art world has lot of possibilities.

IHT-JAI: What do you consider a well-made Web site?

LSH: One that is original. I don't think Webart is all about high-tech. I like Web sites that show a good understanding of the medium and take full advantage of it. Think of IDAF as a meeting place for all these ideas.

by Park Soo-mee
Staff Writer
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