RE: [-empyre-] old discussion, and pieces of history

Brett , you asked:
 Do you think it is possible extract a more complete thread of
>identity in the history of practice for such work?

and not to turn this into a thread just between the two of us, I'd say
definitely this would be possible and that this comprises part of what I
consider to be important aspects of new media arts' history and  includes
such early robotic, sculptural and kinetic art as Thomas Shannon's 'Squat',
through to Myron Krueger's 'Videoplace', to more contemporary stuff like
Bureau of Inverse Technology's interfaces - there's a history of
interaction (rather than interactivity) that is yet to be written for new
media art (well, I'm having a go at writing a bit of it at the moment ;-).

I'm interested to see other people's influences/histories some of which
emphasise the continuity with electronic media, others which place the
computer at the centre of a sphere of influence.

I'm also interested in Simon's challenge- to think outside names and
through practices and methodologies as well.  I would have to say that the
loop, feedback and scratching have probably been the most influential media
practices for me - starting with super8 film and reel-to-reel tape loops
and pointing the mike into the speaker and the video into the monitor,
repeat editing and cut'n'pasting...this seemed to happen for me around the
early 80s (maybe a bit late!) and its been going on ever since as one or
other  design feature in just about everything I make...of course these
become very different in the context of new media but I also find
interesting the historical relations between say scratch video and
contemporary vidding and bootleg practices....
cheers anna
>-----Original Message-----
>[] On Behalf Of Anna Munster
>Sent: Monday, January 05, 2004 9:42 PM
>To: soft_skinned_space
>Subject: RE: [-empyre-] old discussion, new discussion
>Brett - thanks for that abstract and now it makes me want to read the
>essay. I'm wondering here about the distinction that you draw between
>implementation and representation...isn't part of the problem that in
>these two are separated and by a particularly interfacial (in the D&G
>here) aspect of computational science's history ie HCI.  Hence the
>to 1:1 as visualisation. I agree that alot of art has tended towards
>working at the user interface level in terms of re-arranging
>representational components.  But this is also sometimes because the
>interface is conceived not as encounters between nonhumans(data,
>etc) and humans(bodies) but as some kind of middle ground where the two
>exchange communicationally through a mutually understood language of
>representation ...what I liked so much about 1:1 was the way it
>the intelligibility of data to direct translation through its gaps,
>nonreturns of queries and hence at the very point of contact, the
>interface, made the data in some ways unmappable in conventional
>cartographic terms.
>I think there is a whole history of new media art that challenges this
>interfaciality of the interface from David Rokeby through to Simon
>Penny...and I think this occurs because it refuses the representational
>status of the interface.  It's perhaps less obvious how this happens in
>environments but I'm sure there are instances of these and perhaps c5's
>work is part of this,
>cheers anna
>>Finally, new abstract for Database Logic(s) and Landscape Art...
>>"The aesthetic consequences of database can be viewed at different
>>layers as implemented in IT systems such as geographic information
>>systems. The most general of these layers are implementation (data and
>>processing tiers) and representation (interfacial tier). It is at the
>>implementation level(s) that GIS data may be allowed to express itself
>>and operate as a co-participant with artists. Because such data is
>>typically 'big data', (data sets that test contemporary processing
>>capabilities), artists need to take an explorative approach to practice
>>with such data; a practice that may not find its primary nexus of
>>expression or activity at the user interface. The questions to be
>>answered regarding landscape and database are provisional; landscape
>>data is a space ripe for exploration in part because the questions are
>>not yet well formed. The tact that I take to begin to map the problem
>>space is an analysis including semiology, precession, and abstract
>>machines; all as they relate to models that instantiate the actual,
>>including database modeling techniques such as entity relationship
>>modeling. Data lies in a conversational relationship between the
>>political/cultural realm and the actual landscape itself. Data is real
>>and capable of actualization due to its virtual form, where virtuality
>>is not considered as an artifact of computational machinery, but rather
>>in Deleuzian terms as abstract machines, or general processes of
>>instantiation of the actual. Because data can be considered as an
>>actualizing agent (through its virtual nature) whose network of
>>relations is not contained entirely within discrete state systems (IT),
>>artists working with database might seek to explore/reveal subject-less
>>and autopoietic relations of data in addition to those constrained by
>>relational algebra. The methodologies for such explorations are not
>>entirely clear at this time, but C5 suspects that systems emphasizing
>>the paradigmatic axis foregrounded by database as cultural form should
>>become the primary concern for any consideration of expression in art
>>performance. This is the key for contemporary exploration of the actual
>>territories that stubbornly remain even after their supposed
>>disappearance behind their model or their map, and may provide a
>>platform for developing general insights into emerging datascapes."
>>-----Original Message-----
>>[] On Behalf Of Nick
>>Sent: Sunday, January 04, 2004 2:37 PM
>>To: soft_skinned_space
>>Subject: Re: [-empyre-] old discussion, new discussion
>>Hi again -- I just got back from a weekend of writing out on Brigantine
>>Island in New Jersey. I haven't had time to reply, but have enjoyed
>>reading people's comments.
>>First, regarding some of the "new" (or actually, earlier) discussion,
>>seems strange that many of the emails have seemed to view new media
>>exclusively through the arts and solely as an artistic practice. The
>>of computer scientists such as Ivan Sutherland, Joseph Wiezenbaum,
>>Engelbart, and Alan Kay seems quite relevant to the creative and
>>uses of the computer. I'd hate to reduce new media to just being
>>science, however, just as I think it shouldn't be reduced to only what
>>artists have done or to the artistic perspective alone.
>>Regarding Jill Scott's opening statement, I'm very interested in how
>>exactly science is important today in new media art.
>>In recently reading Jill Walker's thesis, I learned how Dream Kitchen
>>a segment that riffs on Stanley Milgram's famous "obedience to
>>experiment, presenting a "obedience to interface" report card that
>>describes how cruel the interactor has been with the tools provided
>>on-screen. This seems to play on HCI methodologies and behavioral
>>psychology methodologies, but perhaps doesn't critique the principles
>>psychology or the results of Milgram's experiment. (Or maybe it does?)
>>So, I wonder if new media art will be able to enlighten the scientific
>>mainly by dealing with the tools and techniques of the sciences, or
>>whether it will tend to focus more on science as a world-view and on
>>ideas of natural order that science offers?
>>-Nick Montfort
>> My new book, Twisty Little Passages:
>>empyre forum
>>empyre forum
>all bodies are in a perpetual flux like rivers, and parts are entering
>them and passing out of them continuously.
>Anna Munster
>Lecturer in Digital Media Theory/
>Postgraduate Coordinator
>School of Art History and Theory
>College of Fine Arts
>University of New South Wales
>PO Box 259
>Paddington 2021
>Phone: 612 9385 0741
>Fax: 612 9385 0615
>empyre forum
>empyre forum

all bodies are in a perpetual flux like rivers, and parts are entering into
them and passing out of them continuously.

Anna Munster
Lecturer in Digital Media Theory/
Postgraduate Coordinator
School of Art History and Theory
College of Fine Arts
University of New South Wales
PO Box 259
Paddington 2021

Phone: 612 9385 0741
Fax: 612 9385 0615

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