[-empyre-] Fwd: noiseless art / redemptive 3

This is the fourth and last one. I ask you to read the messages and
disconsider for now any other -- no irony -- noises.

best for all


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Johannes Birringer <Johannes.Birringer@brunel.ac.uk>
Date: Nov 26, 2006 10:45 PM
Subject: RE:noiseless art / redemptive 3
To: sergio basbaum <sbasbaum@gmail.com>

Now on to performance and its languages of technological media:

i want to dwell briefly on inter-activity, and the utopic dimension of
participatory/collective art (play).

Interestingly, here,  the reference to Brazilian art of the 60s (Hélio
Oiticica, Lygia Clark) may not come as a suprise to some of you,
especially since some writers have already commented on precursors of
today's networked art/distributed art, and how these perhaps initially
reflected the technical aspects of their projects within a mainly
conceptual and metaphorical perspective, placing the accent on process
and embodiment rather than material technological advances.

But here in the north, as we try to move beyond the cold first phase
of interactivity, we are now discovering, in the warmer second phase,
some remarkable links to earlier experiments with interactive
vocabularies developed from  participatory creations (e.g. Clark's
Bichos, or her Nostalgia of the Body and Organic or Ephemeral
Architectures; then Oiticica's Penetráveis, and his Parangolés), for
example the wearables that emphasize relationships around the body's
internal and external spaces, that emphasize haptic space explored
through tactile, auditory, olfactory and kinetic propositions.
Looking at today's wearables [in dance, but also in work by digital
artists  and designers like Lucy Orta] , it is remarkable how the
Brazilian artists from the neoconcrete movement  explored unique
universal interactive vocabularies with their manipulable objects,
immersive environments and experiential propositions based on wearable

In the context of digital interactivity and performance, we
distinguish now between two stages of interactivity:

I grew up in a theatre that began to use projections and analog
film/sound, video, then eventually ditigal media.
But whereas choreographers today often continue to use digital
projection as mise-en-scčne in conventional theatre auditoria, the
more crucial changes are happening with interactive digital art which
no longer requires a theatre. Interactive systems have changed as well
over the past fifteen years, growing up from more static programmed
environments - interactive cinema and interactive media installations
- in which specific sets of permutations could be "triggered" by the
user, to the more dynamic, emergent environments capable of evolving
real time generative processes in continuous interaction either
through either direct close-to-the-skin (sensors, smart fabrics,
wearables) or indirect (optical, magnetic, ultrasonic, camera
tracking) interfaces. The design and manipulation of the interface or
correlation between embodiment and technical mediation is undoubtedly
central to the play/game of digital performance. The main shift in
interactive art also involves what some have called "user-centered
design" - the emphasis is on the user experience, marking the
dissolution of the distinction between artwork and process and between
artwork and audience.

As Edmund Couchot & Norbert Hillaire(L'Art Numerique: Comment la
technologie vient au monde de l'art", Paris, 2004)  quite correctly
point out, this again might point to a utopian drift, if we didn't
know better:

In the first "historical" phase of interactivity, the cybernetic model
of human-computer interaction focussed on controls, and on a
stimulus-response or action-reaction model. The interface remained
tangible as mapping between performative input (gesture) and output
(sonic, visual) were easily inferred.  The current second phase of
interactivity concerns itself with action insofar as it is guided by
complexity and multi-leveled emergence, and by a different
understanding of enactment  - with corporal and sensory-motor
processes - and with autonomy (auto-poiesis).

As a consequence, what is significant in this shift to second stage
interactivity is the importance it accords human embodiment abd
collaboration; the salient principles informing the computer progams
turn out to be the very ones that govern biological emergence, or in
otherwords, human-machine interactivity could thus be understood to
catalyse emergence in in a double sense:  emergences of new human
behaviors, and of new machinic processes.

And now, recuerde el movimiento situacionista .............

Those involved in "détournements",  re-tooling game engines and
re-engineering code to make "play"  become a new form of interactive
fluxus  (Igloo, Blast Theory, and various groups working with urban
interactive gaming or the Lozano-Hemmers of this world working with
relational architectures and machineries),   or to make wearables a
catalyst for late parangolés of the imagination, those are assuming,
of course, that it is indeed true that the kids (like innocent
butterflies) like to intuit modes of behavior, and then let them modes
evolve, later modify them as we all become modified, and then discover
the joy of the collective euphoria ( as we do during each world cup).
Tsunamis are fodder for Hollywood.  Corporations enjoy noting the same
joys.  Games companies realize that customisation by tweaking the game
maps and characters can be as much fun as playing the game itself, and
if the multiplayer option has surpassed the single autist player mode
in importance since players enjoy interacting with others via the game
as a more visceral experience than playing against the machine itself,
then our future User Manuals for the redemptive art  will be
predicated on collaborative enactment as a form of both aesthetic and
existential re-tooling.

bi Johannes Birringer

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