Steve Dietz is a serial platform creator. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Northern Lights. He was the Founding Director of the biennial 01SJ Global Festival of Art on the Edge in 2006 and is currently Artistic Director of its producing organization, ZERO1: the Art and Technology Network. He is the former Curator of New Media at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he founded the New Media Initiatives department in 1996, the online art Gallery 9 and digital art study collection. He also co-founded, with the Minneapolis Instite of Arts the award-winning educational site ArtsConnectEd, and the artist community site mnartists.org with the McKnight Foundation. Dietz founded one of the earliest, museum-based, independent new media programs at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 1992.
Dietz has organized and curated numerous new media art exhibitions, including Beyond Interface: net art and Art on the Net (1998); Shock of the View: Artists, Audiences, and Museums in the Digital Age (1999); Digital Documentary: The Need to Know and the Urge to Show (1999); Cybermuseology for the Museo de Monterrey (1999); Art Entertainment Network (2000); Outsourcing Control? The Audience As Artist for the Open Source Lounge at Medi@terra (2000); Telematic Connections: The Virtual Embrace (2001-02); a nationally traveling exhibition; Open_Source_Art_Hack (2002), with Jenny Marketou, at the New Museum, New York City; Translocations (2003), part of â€śHow Latitudes Become Formsâ€? at the Walker Art Center; State of the Art: Maps, Games, Stories, and Algorithms from Minnesota at the Carleton Art Gallery (2003); Database Imaginary (2004), with Anthony Kiendl and Sarah Cook, Walter Philips Gallery, Banff Center for the Arts; Fair Assembly, web-based projects for Making Things Public: Atmospheres of Democracy (2005), with Peter Weibel and Bruno Latour, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany; The Art Formerly Known As New Media (2005), with Sarah Cook, Walter Philips Gallery, Banff Centre; Container Culture (2006), with Deborah Dormer-Lawler, Zhang Ga, Alice Ming Wei Jim, Gunalan Nadarajan, Ellen Pau, Johan Pijnappel, Soh Yeong Roh, Yukiko Shikata at the 01SJ Festival; Edge Conditions (2006), at the San Jose Museum of Art; and selected projects for the Ingenuity Festival in Cleveland, Ohio, July 19-22, 2007. Dietz was artistic director of the 2nd Biennial 01SJ Global Festival of Art on the Edge and curated its lead exhibition Superlight. Through Northern Lights he initiated the UnConvention, August 30 - September 4, 2008, a multi-organization collaboration, and he curated Spontaneous Storefronts (2008) for Forecast Public Art. In June 2009, he will co-curate with Christiane Paul, Angel of History at Laboral in Spain. In September 2010, he will again be the artistic director of the 3rd 01SJ Biennial.
He speaks and writes extensively about new media, and his interviews and writings have appeared in Parkett, Artforum, Flash Art, Design Quarterly, Spectra, Salmagundi, Afterimage, Art in America, Museum News, BlackFlash, Public Art Review, Else/Where and Intelligent Agent; in exhibition catalogs for Walker Art Center, Centro Parago, Site Santa Fe, San Francisco Art Institute, and aceart; and in publications from MIT Press, University of California Press, and Princeton University Press. Many of his writings are online at http://www.yproductions.com/writing/.
He has taught about curating and digital art at California College of the Arts, Carleton College, the University of Minnesota, and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
Prior to the Walker Art Center, Dietz was founding Chief of Publications and New Media Initiatives at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and editor of the scholarly journal, American Art.