MARCEL is a permanent high bandwidth interactive network and web site dedicated to artistic, educational and cultural experimentation, exchange between art and science and collaboration between art and industry.
It is also a portal site for the network listing information in art, science and industry for its members, but open to the public. MARCEL was designed as a tool to help people move into the high bandwidth network space with art, science and education and to claim a part of the network space for culture.
During a meeting in Souillac, France in July 1997 a group of international experts from art and industry agreed on the importance of fundamental artistic research, rather than merely applied arts, in the development of telecommunication networks. The need for collaboration between artists, artistic establishments and the public and private sectors in building a permanent high band-width network for artistic experimentation was the central point of the first conference.
During the second meeting in Souillac, one year later, it was decided to build the permanent network and a portal site for organising and co-ordinating it. That decision marked the beginning of the project MARCEL and the creation of this site, now in its third generation.
The model for the site has been developed since Souillac to expand its possibilities, adding categories and enlarging others to better serve the needs described by all the working groups during all the meetings in Souillac including a third meeting in the summer of 2000. Development of MARCEL began in 2001 at Le Fresnoy, an art research institute based in the region of Lille and continued in collaboration with the Wimbledon School of Art, The Public in West Bromwich and other art institutions in Europe and North America.
The portal site MARCEL gives participants access to and allows them to post information on relevant art projects, educational programmes, research, events, pertinent information in many categories, on-line collaboration, and partnerships. It is an open platform for expansion to interested future participants.
That goal is translated into the following programme:
- to promote artistic experimentation and collaboration in all forms of interactive art
- to promote philosophical exchange between art and science
- to develop the potential of the network as an educational tool
- to study the network as a pedagogical subject
- to develop co-operation between art and industry
- to participate in the development of cultural expression on the network