Alek Tarkowski

What is the most urgent need that you have?

I have an urgent need to be creative and grow in life.

What is the best/ interesting case or project on new media arts that you have just recently experienced?

“Interactive playing field”, an educational new media project created by Patrycja Mastej, Dominika Sobolewska and Paweł Janicki at the Wro Art Center (an independent organization specializing in contemporary art, media and technology, organizer of the WRO – International Media Art Biennale, located in Wrocław, Poland). The project is an inauguration of a series titled “Media kindergarten” and a bold step for the Center, which upon opening its new location started with an exhibition addressed to kindergarten-level children. The exhibition aims to introduce children to basic qualities and characteristics of media – rather than to digital technologies themselves. Three immersive installation allow visitors to: explore qualities of RGB color space inside a labirynth of transparent plexiglas cubes; “draw with light”, with the use of a camera tracking movement of light sources and transforming them into images projected on a screen; “compose” an audio-visual landscape by interacting with a range of objects. I consider this exhibition important, as it addresses the crucial – and neglected in Poland – issue of media education, while remaining in the field of artistic practice.

It is also a rare in Poland example of a digital project, in which the artists themselves wrote the software code and assembled the technologies.

In your opinion, is there a potential for change on and change through a policy level, i.e. has the status of policy as an accelerator/ a meaningful factor for practice changed?

In the field, in which I am interested – free culture – there is great potential for the promotion of this model and of innovative practices at policy level. Free culture (licensing, production and distribution

models) should constitute an important mechanism included in publicly funded cultural projects, and policy should reflect this. The main challenge that policy should address is the broadening and democratization of the role of cultural producer, as well as other roles in the cultural sphere (for example, that of the distributor, the archivist or the critic). Policy should take into account this new diversity and empower these new actors, active in the cultural sphere alongside commercial or public institutions.

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