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Indepth Arts News:

"First-time Ever Exhibition from Innovative Databank"
0000-00-00 until 0000-00-00
Estate Project for Artists with AIDS
New York, NY, USA United States of America

The Estate Project for Artists with AIDS (a project of the Alliance for the Arts) announces today three significant advances in its Virtual Collection, an on-line visual resource and digital archive documenting the cultural impact of AIDS. The Virtual Collection has upgraded its technology, using an innovative new soft-ware, and significantly expanded its site on the Internet.

A national exhibition program has been launched, with the first venue being Parsons School of Design, a division of the New School University, of an upcoming exhibition drawn from The Virtual Collection. The Estate Projectís Director, Patrick Moore, said of this announcement, Our new exhibition program will allow us to both preserve digital images of these works as well as show the works themselves. Public exhibitions such as these allow the art works to be enjoyed by a wider audience and continue to live.

The Estate Project is celebrating the growth of its site www.artistswithaids.org by publishing an on-line interactive journal and forum. The inauguration of Artery, an educational, controversial on-line journal will serve as an interactive forum for some of todayís most demanding issues. The Estate Projectís site is the Internetís only central resource for culture and AIDS.

Exhibition News on the Forefront of The Virtual Collection

Set to open at Parsons School of Designís Manhattan galleries in December 2001, the innovative exhibition is to be assembled by Parsonsí curators from this unique on-line source. Presenting vital work of artists who have been lost to AIDS or who are now living with HIV, the exhibition is made possible by the informed use of state-of-the-art digital technology. The Virtual Collection, source of the exhibition project, is a readily accessible digital archive of more than 3,300 artworks. With an increase in accessibility made possible by Luna Imaging, Venice, California, The Estate Projectís developer for the archive site, The Virtual Collection provides access to the Projectís database, a large collection of art that might otherwise be lost or dispersed. Confirming Parsons' curatorial adventure, Associate Dean Tim Gunn recently addressed this innovative juncture of technology and museum practice: This will be a fascinating process for us. In addition to showing important art works created during the AIDS crisis, we will be demonstrating that databases such as The Virtual Collection can be a valuable tool for curators.

Estate Project Director Patrick Moore, comments, The Virtual Collection is already an invaluable historical record of a time in crisis. Hundreds of years from now, these artworks will serve as tools for historians to understand the human impact of AIDS. Looking at the art of this period is one way to examine the impact of the disease. Randall Bourscheidt, President of the Alliance for the Arts, says that because of a sense of urgency, AIDS organizations have always led the way, whether it be in creating access to new drugs or preserving works of art. With The Virtual Collection, we have realized our goal in the Estate Project: to ensure that these artists and their work are not forgotten, that this and future generations will be able to see their powerful images, and that those artists living with HIV/AIDS will receive advice and help.

New On-line Journal: Artery

Available at the same site, The Estate Projectís new on-line journal Artery addresses the real challenge of dealing with the compelling issues of art and AIDS in the world since AIDS. Artery promises to be a central presence in the debate of cultural issues at a time when the presence of AIDS is diminishing as a vital subject of discussion in the public arena, tossed aside like a forgotten war in some equally forgotten country. While there is widespread concern that the epidemic seems to have lost its immediacy through compassion fatigue, perceptions of diminished risk, and the perceived imminence of a cure, the print and broadcast media offer less time for in-depth coverage and analysis. Artery speaks to such issues in an ongoing forum of participating artists, writers, and performers. In its debut issue a regular Artery feature pulls no punches as playwright and filmmaker Craig Lucas (Longtime Companion and The Dying Gaul) rails against those in the driverís seat of culture, exchanging tough perceptions with novelist/playwright Sarah Schulman and moderator Michael Bronski.

No stranger to arts activism, Arteryís editor, art historian and critic Robert Atkins comments that AIDS is the Vietnam of the 80s, a legacy that demands insight and attention at the risk of the loss of meaning. We need places to discuss such issues and express those feelings. Artery provides such a place. In another ongoing feature, artist and activist Gregg Bordowitz brings up the little discussed phenomenon of art produced in the post-protease inhibitor era. Bordowitz expresses his concern that he is fooling himself in thinking about living longer in the face of the reality that his course of medication may stop working, or the body may become resistant to available treatment. On-line Artery readers respond to such comments, to those of other Artery contributors, and to each other. Not without humor, Artery outs contributing panelist Nancy Princenthal, an Art in America critic, as camera shy for declining to contribute a snapshot portrait for the occasion.

More about The Virtual Collection and Artery

The response of curators, art critics, students, and the general public to The Estate Projectís Virtual Collection site testifies to its timeliness and utility. The Virtual Collection is an indispensable resource for their research and understanding of the impact that AIDS has on the arts. The Estate Project has established an ongoing design and technology relationship with Luna Imaging to maintain the site at the highest possible level, making it easier to navigate and more accessible to a broader audience. The Estate Project was the first organization to use the Luna Imaging browser version of itís Insight interface. With its advanced compression technology, Insight enables visitors to access and view high-resolution digital images of The Virtual Collection from anywhere in the world over ordinary telephone lines.

The Estate Project is the first organization to make the leap from presenting images of artworks on-line to organizing actual exhibitions from a digital database. The projectís debut exhibition with Parsons is expected to be followed by exhibitions both nationally and internationally at respected institutions. The Estate Project and Luna Imaging have created a tool that is accessible enough for a general audience but also advanced enough to provide a viable tool for curators and historians.

Through the latest and most advanced version of Lunaís Insight technology, The Virtual Collection now allows visitors vastly improved capability in viewing, retrieval, and search functions. Additionally, it will permit the general public and individuals who regularly use on-line collectionsócurators, researchers, publications staff, educators, and studentsóto select and find, zoom and pan, and create and save image groups to be used in lectures and presentations with greater clarity and ease. Most important, this improved version of The Virtual Collection can be accessed by all Internet operating systems (including Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Explorer) to reach larger and more diverse audiences than ever before.

Artery has grown organically out of The Estate Projectís work preserving artworks created during the AIDS crisis, and is a natural extension of its presence on the web. Artery can help viewers examine important issues raised by the artworks in the Virtual Collection: What have we learned from AIDS? What do todayís artistic responses, and yesterdayís, tell us about the epidemic and ourselves? How do artists respond to crisis?

Now visible online is Artery's prototype offering, which includes the following regularly formatted departments:

Artist in the Archives features Gregg Bordowitz, celebrated video-maker and activist who is involved in the Estate Project AIDS Activist Video Preservation Program. Symposium struggles to define the current states of AIDS-related art with critics Chris Dohse (dance), Stephen Holden (television and film), Eileen Myles (literature), and Nancy Princenthal. Centerpiece features include Plays, Lies and Ticket Sales, a feisty, moderated dialogue about AIDS and theater between playwright/screenwriter Craig Lucas and novelist/playwright Sarah Schulman with moderator Michael Bronski. Off the Wall: AIDS and Public Art. Robert Atkins looks at media-savvy works that have reshaped art and activists.

Established by the Alliance for the Arts in 1991, The Estate Project has since emerged as a vital presence in the cultural world through its initiatives, projects and events which draw attention to the impact of AIDS on the arts community. Whether preserving and archiving visual art through The Virtual Collection, safeguarding AIDS activist video and independent film, or documenting dance, The Estate Project uses the most innovative methods and technologies to address underlying preservation issues faced by the entire arts community.

The Virtual Collection was initially launched at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and made available at other participating institutions, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Getty Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and at Harvard, Yale and Cornell Universities. Since then, many of these institutions and others have continued to support, utilize and promote The Virtual Collection and its mission.

The Virtual Collection was realized through the collaborative efforts of a number of vital organizations, including Visual AIDS (New York), Visual AIDS Boston, Visual Aid (San Francisco), and the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. With the assistance of resources and archives from these organizations, along with other participating institutions, The Estate Project can now ensure continued access, preservation, and the study of the visual arts legacy created by the arts community during the AIDS crisis.

The Virtual Collection has been made possible through the generous support of: Robert D. Farber Foundation, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Photographers + Friends United Against AIDS, City of Los Angeles - Office of the AIDS Coordinator, Joseph Nicholson, and Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro. For further information on The Virtual Collection or other related projects, call The Estate Project in New York at (212) 947-6340 or in Los Angeles at (310) 652-1282.

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