Exit PNEK

Production Network for Electronic Art (PNEK) is a network of 10 independent Norwegian organizations, which work with the production and dissemination of electronic and interdisciplinary art. The organizations are production and exhibition venues for electronic art, and PNEK is mainly built around the activities of these nodes in the network and conducts professional follow-up and assistance in the production environment in general. PNEK is a foundation that was established in 2007, with the council as the supreme body. On 12 May 2020, PNEK held the annual Council meeting, with a very special issue on the agenda: Transformation – which means closure, primarily as a result of the phasing out of the operating funds from the Norwegian Cultural Council, for which the foundation operates. A working group had worked in advance and looked at various opportunities that were presented. It was with a heavy heart that the board presented the case and the nodes decided to abolish / liquidate the foundation, but they had their reasons. The nodes will of course remain and these are the ones you must make direct contact with in the future, each and every one. The guest apartment PNEK has been managed together with UKS, but will now be taken over by NOTAM: still for the use for the entire electronic field.

Attached is a statement from PNEK’s founders:

Statement from the founders, which in the foundation PNEK is considered by both the council and the board of PNEK to be representatives of the founders listed in the articles of association § 1: Atelier Nord v / Ida Lykken Ghosh, BEK v / Lars Ove Toft, ioLab v / Hege Tapio, NOTAM v / Christian Blom and TEKS v / Espen Gangvik; has assessed whether the foundation can continue to exist with amended articles of association, or by merging. Following an overall assessment, the founder / founders unanimously agree to recommend the liquidation of PNEK, by the end of June, 2021. An unanimous council supports this decision.

Loss of operating support

The main reason is that the operating grant from the Cultural Council has been gradually phased out over the last three years, with the last grant paid out in 2020. As the board of PNEK states that signals in meetings with the Cultural Council do not give hope that this grant will come back, the basis for continuing the foundation in line with the purpose described in the articles of association is no longer present. The assessment is further supported by a case presented at the Council meeting by PNEK’s board and by a statement from a specially appointed working group to investigate the issue in advance, which has reached the same conclusion. The Council has decided to liquidate the PNEK foundation, which according to PNEK’s articles of association § 6, is the only body in PNEK that can adopt a transformation. The decision was unanimous and all the founders on the council were involved in the decision.

The Cultural Council’s justification for phasing out the operating grant

The Cultural Council can say that the committee has chosen to make relatively large changes in the operating grants in recent years and that they have chosen to phase out and cut operating grants to several in the category of umbrella organizations which are a unifying and coordinating resource between producing environments or arenas for art communication, in PNEK’s case: the nodes. The reason is that they would rather provide fixed assets more directly for network building in the operating grant in those who are producing actors and to the artists. Some new committee members have been elected from 2020 onwards, who in theory may have other ideas about this, but the Cultural Council’s administration believes it is unlikely that they will review the previous committee’s decision. The Cultural Council has also chosen to give more support to some and phase out others, than to spread the funds thinly over many, in a longer period where the Cultural Fund’s funds have stagnated and thus in reality been weakened in relation to price and wage growth. The closure of PNEK could positively lead to the field’s nodes and producing environments being strengthened, by applying for increased operational support for specific collaborations and to continue the network function, such as for the implementation of the annual council meeting. In the last three years of phasing out the operating support from the Cultural Council, the issue of PNEK’s future has taken a lot of time at the council meetings. Although it is sad that PNEK’s chapter in history is over, it should be good to be able to go further and discuss issues at the council meeting that are not about the organization’s future in itself. We recommend that the council continue with the annual council meeting for its own funds in order to take care of this valuable meeting point.

The Cultural Council has also chosen to give more support to some and phase out others, than to spread the funds thinly over many, in a longer period where the Cultural Fund’s funds have stagnated and thus in reality been weakened in relation to price and wage growth. The closure of PNEK could positively lead to the field’s nodes and producing environments being strengthened, by applying for increased operational support for specific collaborations and to continue the network function, such as for the implementation of the annual council meeting. In the last three years of phasing out the operating support from the Cultural Council, the issue of PNEK’s future has taken a lot of time at the council meetings. Although it is sad that PNEK’s chapter in history is over, it should be good to be able to go further and discuss issues at the council meeting that are not about the organization’s future in itself. We recommend that the council continue with the annual council meeting for its own funds in order to take care of this valuable meeting point. Safeguarding PNEK’s function and purpose

Safeguarding PNEK’s function and purpose

PNEK  has had a very important function over the years. The founders consider that PNEK’s network of nodes can to a large extent take over the unifying and coordinating resource PNEK has been and continue the network role in the environments within electronic art in Norway and abroad. This presupposes that they increasingly undertake to work for increased publicity about the content and development of electronic art, as well as to coordinate and exchange technical resources and professional competence, across disciplines and geography. The board believes that this will be possible with increased operating funds from the Cultural Council, with more direct contact between the nodes themselves and by retaining the annual council meeting. The founders are nevertheless concerned about who will be able to take over the mandate as a national unifying organization on behalf of a diverse myriad of large and small players in the electronic art field across the country. This applies to the network of contacts PNEK has built up over the years internationally, where the disappearance of PNEK as a national front line for foreign actors into the country for artistic collaboration and exchange and for the entire electronic art field’s diverse character of production environments, individuals, artists with technical and artistic competence. between art and technology and curators with a special interest in the field. Each of the nodes will naturally be more oriented towards their own activities and geographically to the region they belong to and not have the same national overview, which is firmly rooted in PNEK’s mandate. This must be resolved in a new way with PNEK’s disappearance. We will also lack an obvious unifying and independent mouthpiece for the field in public hearings and input to the Government and the Storting. The breeders / founders will therefore encourage the nodes to have a closer contact with the artist organizations in the Artist Network to ensure that the special conditions for production, display, performance, collection, archiving, critique and exchange of words about the materiality, character and uniqueness of electronic art, and the artists’ conditions for developing and creating the art are taken care of. This statement from the creator was adopted at the council meeting on May 12, 2020, implemented digitally via the video conferencing platform Zoom, due to Coronavirus’ risk of infection.

The founders will take the opportunity to thank each and every one of those who have put in work in PNEK and devoted their time and resources to promoting electronic art. Signed by the founders of the PNEK Foundation, 12 May, 2020.

Ida Lykken Ghosh , Atelier Nord Director

Christian Blom, NOTAM Director

Hege Tapio Director / curator in / o / lab

Espen Gangvik, TEKS Director

Lars Ove Toft Director, BEK