Re: [-empyre-] PATINAGE and TURNBABY by Babel

At 04:13 PM 3/6/2005, Simon wrote:

I would question whether there is a viable thing called the "virtual".

Well, thanks for calling me on that, Simon. And I assume that you are not agnostic, but rather, expressing that the term is too vague to be useful.

For me, Chris' comments are right on target, foregrounding the durational aspect that the interface in itself sometimes (paradoxically) masks. Jim also referenced duration in his earlier comments when, as I remember, he described interaction as what makes this experience of variable (and, by extension, "nondivisible") duration possible.

And Helen's citing of FurtherStudio-Live, also picked up on by Chris, combines idea of nondivisible duration with dependency on an open communication channel being experienced by multiple people.

thought experiment:

Create an interactive video work on the Net that is to be experienced only once, by a single person who is not the same person as the one who made it. Further, the "interaction" is designed to immediately shut down the communication channel between the interactor and the system... Is that work interactive? Would it even matter during the one time it was experienced? For example, maybe it has happened to me that my computer has gotten a virus that causes a particular action from me including shutting down the computer and reformatting the computer hard-drive. This would be an interactive work experienced only once....etc. Nondivisible duration is suddenly interrupted/shifted into terminally-boring mechanical time because a communication channel (between me and system and between me and others), that should be open and ongoing, has been broken.

On the other hand, if I am sitting at the computer, on a clock, to make money, a viral attack could be seen as an interface and liberation into the physical, somatic realm. Note that I am not saying "back" into the physical... Rather, it becomes a stark and sudden revelation of the physical/somatic.

So, maybe it is the articulated back-and-forth movement - pointedly nonhierarchical - between physical and network temporalities that is productive in developing a materialist aesthetic of the interactive video.


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