Kinema Ikon

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kinema ikon (1970-2005) multimedia atelier at the Art Museum Arad (RO) is the oldest ongoing experimental art group in Romania. The thirty-five years of existence are the result of an optimum equilibrium between the participative, collaborative or group projects, and the individual works. Something between the satisfaction of the collective creation and the satisfaction of the auctorial egotism. Therefore, the stylistic mark of kinema ikon occurs from the interdisciplinary approach of a certain medium (film, video, hypermedia) with the specific tools of the different fields its members activate in (artists, writers, architects, photographers, musicians, programmers, etc.)

kinema ikon has undergone three different stages: experimental film (1970-1989), video art (1990-1993), and from 1994 on, exclusively hypermedia works as interactive installations on cd-rom, and as Both individual works and the group works Opera Prima, Commedia del Multimedia, alteridem.exe and Hymera - are stylistically characterized by experimental, eclectic and playful forms of expression. The resulting works are sensible objects, having an aspect of digital chimera, set in a non-linear fictional discourse, allowing multiple possibilities to the users interactive approach.

The group publishes periodically the intermedia magazine, the theoretical dimension of its members interest in the new media.

Members of the group: George Sabau, multimedia theorist; Calin Man, media artist; Alin Gherman, programmer; Judit Angel, art critic and curator; Peter Hügel, archaeologist; Caius Grozav, programmer, Romuls Bucur, poet; Roxana Chereches, philologist; Ioan Ciorba, sound engineer.

By the early seventies, the most representative movements of making

"art by numbers" in Romania were the Sigma group in Timisoara (Constantin Flondor, Stefan Bertalan, Roman Cotosman and Doru Tulcan) and Kinema Ikon, the circle of experimental film in Arad led by Ovidiu Sabäu. The first was intimately connected to a neo-con- structivist (Bauhaus-like) practice both in creation and teaching, while the second was a rather structuralist-borne implant in experimental film-making. Although "sigma" was very well-known and held in high esteem (even by the political establishment of the time), where- as Kinemalkon was barely known at all, pursuing its research in a rather silent if not hidden manner, both groups shared, in the words of one of the "sigma" manifestoes, "the reconsideration of the environ- ment as an object of artistic research" and they aimed, manifestly, at the development of an "intelligence able to adapt them to a future cul- ture" inescapably marked by "the development of an algorithmic cul- ture". Structures, frames, schemes, recurrent invariants, technical manipulation, calculation, repetition and scientific-like insight were the main marks of their aesthetic outlook. "Organizational" and meliorist, positivist and centripetal, highly "humanistic" in a contem- porary sense, such artistic endeavors are nonetheless stamped by that profoundly Utopian drive of the historical avant-garde. Their unex- pressed goal was to regain a certain, "alternative transcendence" for our times, one that was believed to be controllable, science-based,

computational, and eventually thoroughly intelligible.

Source: Erwin Kessler, "Making Art by Numbers" [1]