This publication gives a brief account of three years’ work and events: this is how much time was necessary for the mere plan of the first university level media art training to metamorphose into an undeniable, officially approved fact. During these three years the INTERMEDIA Department, founded at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Art, -students and professors alike- found action served the purpose more than inert expectation. So today, as we are through the legitimating process and through the first entrance exams -the act that put the final stamp on our legitimate existence- we would like to present an overview of the doings of the department to those who have been supporting, or are in some way involved with our work, and to our possible prospective partners.
The task of Intermedia is to broaden the study of art toward such art forms and techniques that first appeared in 20th century fine art and do not yet have a tradition in Hungarian higher and institutionalized art training ( photo kinetic and electronic art, multimedia, installation, environment, performance new communication techniques; multidisciplinarity. Beside arousing awareness of change in the function of art, the goal is to develop an active and creative presence in the cultural sphere of the information oriented society, and, beyond this research and support of cognitive (perceptive) artistic behaviour.
The department and division evolved in synchronously with other similar European enterprises, but the developement was marked by regional peculiarities. At the time the project was being launched, the main Hungarian ( also East-European) characteristic was, in essence, an unprecedented process that made an effort to readjust a bankrupted system and its economy; to reprogram it into a functioning society. This ongoing period, weighted-down by unpredictable difficulties, is interesting from an artistic point of view, because it made behavior the development of an alert disposition for intuitive action necessary for creative. Given the widespread area art covers, inter-medial and inter-disciplinarian awareness is near indispensable in creating a bond between cultural traditions and the constantly changing actual situation.
The nucleus of the five years intermedia art program consists of the artistic use of new mediums in theory/practice, science, technique and aspires to view art as a whole. As such, we don’t favour any single technique, form or viewpoint, however we do try to make any direction interpretable in many respects. We do try to make them teachable and cultivable. Since theory and practice are combined in this form of education, ( of which the fifth year is the diploma year and it may be extended by two years of so-called master training ) through at least four, but in some cases even throughout seven years, the students may pursue the study of individual mediums: its history, form, aesthetics and sociology. They may concentrate on the creation of what could become the master piece of the pupil. The student may concentrate on questions of interpretation. He will be able to do all this with the essential materials close at hand, in this way the materials will become familiar (i.e., camera, cutting board, basic materials, etc.) Among the cultivable branches of art and techniques any might appear as the possible one. This is a decisive advantage - even if it does not seem to be so at first. The training is based on the union of the different branches of art, on their effect on each other and on their mutually corresponding and differing singularities. The department that directs the work of the section is intended to be a research centre where top technology (suitable for artistic usage) is as available as the already well known, even obsolete, technically outdated equipment in four interconnected studios. Presently, with co-operation, applications for financial support through competitions and by winning further support, we will be capable of research and maintaining this model-like institutional existence. (We concluded such agreements -by doing so also aiding the teaching- with the Balázs Béla Studio, the FRÍZ television production office). The research and teaching, begun in the fall of 1990, has reached the point, where our prior expectation, existence as an autonomous artistic section has become reality, bringing the possibility (or necessity?) of creating the conditions for the next step.
Miklós Peternák (1993)