[-empyre-] Simon Biggs on Participatory Art: New Media and the Archival Trace

Timothy Murray tcm1 at cornell.edu
Mon Jun 8 11:36:04 EST 2009

We are happy to to present Simon Biggs's thoughts on the archival 
trace in participatory net culture.

From: "Simon Biggs" <s.biggs at eca.ac.uk>

In my current creative work I am exploring how signs, and language in 
particular, may have a life of their own. Assuming that the sign 
gains its significance from the interaction of authorial intent and 
readers' interpretations, this inquiry asks what happens when signs 
become separated from this social equation, interacting amongst 
themselves and other sources of potential agency. This work employs 
large scale visualisation of live speech to text acquisition and 
generative grammars involving multiple agents in public spaces where 
acquired speech can interact independently of people, recombining to 
form new utterances that inhabit an evolving linguistic eco-system. 
It hopefully facilitates critical reflection upon the social 
contingencies of meaning and value.



Simon Biggs is Research Professor at Edinburgh College of Art, UK. A 
visual and inter-disciplinary artist, he uses the computer and 
interactive systems within large-scale installation, web-based 
artworks and other contexts to explore issues around identity and 
reality as social constructs. His publications include CD-ROM's Great 
Wall of China and Book of Shadows (both Ellipsis, London); monographs 
Halo (Film and Video Umbrella, London) and Magnet (McDougall Art 
Gallery, NZ); Autopoeisis (with James Leach, Artwords, London). His 
work is featured in Internet Art (Thames and Hudson World History of 
Art series, USA), Medienkunst (Daniels, ZKM, Germany), Web Fictions 
(Fassler/Hentschlagen, Austria), Clicking In (Hershman, Bay Press, 
USA), Art and Animation (Channel 4, London), Digital Aesthetics 
(Cubitt, London), British Film and Video Artists (Curtis, London), 
Les Lieux de Video (United Media Arts, Canada) and Pioneers of 
Interactive Art (Dinkla, ZKM, Germany).

Renate Ferro and Tim Murray
Co-Moderators, -empyre- a soft-skinned-space
Department of Art/ Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art
Cornell University

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