A short introduction of C³ and the mediamuseum project

The C³ Center for Culture and Communication exists to research, develop, and support creative cultural use of new scientific and technological developments, allowing for innovative work in the arts. We aid and support new projects, sponsoring educational and cultural programs in the arts, research, and communications.

C³ is the only media Institute in Hungary that has consistently produced, exhibited, collected, and published works of media art. Its collection of contemporary video art, multimedia installations, and net.art work is unparalleled. The planned Media Museum will be based on this contemporary collection, supplemented by historical materials presented at C³ events over the course of the past two decades. As a first step in creating the museum, C³ has already published its online catalogue. The database at catalog.c3.hu lists 670 individuals, institutions, and partners, as well as nearly 700 videos viewable online and some 1,200 slides and images, all of which will form the basis for an expanded, structured, and detailed presence. In its work to date, C³ has supported the creation and premieres of nearly 100 new works and organized more than 120 exhibitions, events, and premieres, including six complex exhibitions and event series that filled the Kunsthalle in Budapest, complemented by conferences and publications. These include The Butterfly Effect, Perspective, Media Model, Vision, Kempelen and Visual Tactics.

Our purpose is to create a virtual museum of Hungary’s media history and media art that will provide comprehensive and systematic access both to historical materials and to the essential sources relevant to the corpus of contemporary art. There is no collection in Hungary that offers a unified, internationally viable perspective on media art, including the experimental and intermedia traditions, and the history of technical images and media, from the camera obscura to the computer.

Currently, mediamuseum.c3.hu has planned a three-year program of research and production, over the course of which we shall prepare and present, in addition to C³’s own collection and archive, historical materials and artworks immediately relevant to the Central European region. The innovative aspect of this new project lies in its transdisciplinary approach, integrating fields that have hitherto generally been treated separately. These include the history of technology and science, the history of art, image theory, contemporary art, the avant-garde, New Media art, art theory, and other areas. By putting these fields in one, unified context, we will offer a panorama that allows for new understandings – and further use (including education) – in a synergistic dialogue between “artwork” and “inventions,” between facts and interpretation. The results of this three-year development naturally allow for branching out from the virtual space to the actual one – in other words, for the establishment of a Media Museum offering ample exhibition spaces.