Tag Archives: digital art

Weibel, P. (2007). It Is Forbidden Not to Touch: Some Remarks on the (Forgotten Parts of the) History of Interactivity and Virtuality. In _Media Art Histories_, O. Grau, ed. Cambridge and London: The MIT Press.

Peter Weibel has been the Chairman and CEO of the ZKM/Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe since 1999. Prior to that he was curator at the Neue Galerie Graz, as well as artistic consultant and artistic director of the Ars Electronica in Linz. In addition, he has been Professor for Visual Media Art at the Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst in Vienna, Associate Professor for Video and Digital Arts and Center for Media State at SUNY Buffalo.

In this piece, Weibel argues kinetic and op art are being rediscovered, only with new applications, and that it’s in art, specifically kinetic and op art (not computers) that we find the richest interactive and virtual art interfaces. In op and kinetic art, the viewer is now essential for the work. The illusion is not the device but the object, and in some cases viewers experience the kinetic/spatial “stereokinetic effect” (30).

Kinetic and op art are: contemporaneous with the emergence of computer arts and graphics, dependent on interactivity and virtuality, and bear “the rudiments of rule-based algorithmic art” (21). Algorithms are decision procedures; they have a set number of rules and instructions that lead one to a determined end. They are present in digital and electronic tolls, art and non-art, and rely on two forms of interactivity: manual/mechanical (e.g. op art) and digital/electronic (e.g. new media art).  There are two uses for algorithms in modern art: “intuitive application” (e.g. Fluxus) and “exact application (e.g. computer art). “The future of digital art can be found in approaches explored by kinetic practitioners” (38).


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Filed under Annotated Bibliographies, Media Arts, Minor Field, Research Fields

Flanagan, M. (2011). Play, Participation, and Art: Blurring the Edges. In _Context Providers_, M. Lovejoy, C. Paul, and V. Vesna, eds. Bristol and Chicago: intellect.

Mary Flanagan is an artist, scientist, and humanist who directs the Tiltfactor research laboratory at Dartmouth College. Her electronic literature and critical studies have been published as essays and as books, including re:SKIN (2007) and Critical Play (2009). She studies how games, social issues, and data intersect.

Digital art’s constant flow of information raises questions about “origin, authorship, immediacy, and community” (93). Artists are both interpreters and interventionists–just as the best planners are–in both “traditional” (e.g. gallery) and “native” (e.g. Net) spaces. Also evoking planning, Net art’s conceptual structure is the network and so we must observe the system’s operability in totality, and not the single user’s aesthetic experience.

Just as public space, per Lefebvre (1991), is a social construction, so is the Net a “political space of constructed relationships” (98). Therefore, per artist and roboticist Simon Penny (1995), we should not be so quick with the computer-is-the-key-to-utopia mantra. For one, access does not equal liberation. Second, public access, while democratic, isn’t mass. And third, networked art operates on colonialist assumptions regarding communication, in doing so, illustrating global, hegemonic power structures.

Still, “the Web is a public domain of sorts, a privatized public space for interaction–permeable, shareable” (97).

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Filed under Annotated Bibliographies, Media Arts, Minor Field, Research Fields