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Tecnologie e Società
15


Useless Utilities
by Saul Albert

The behaviour of software companies, jealously guarding copyright of their expensive products is not usually associated with artistic approaches to making software, but in these cases it does work both conceptually (forcing the user to pay clearly defines this as "not just art"), and economically, allowing them to maintain financial independence from corporate, art-world or state funding. Using these tools, and certainly programming them does address problems of authorship and intellectual property that many artists have struggled with when using software and digital media, by making the struggle for authorial control very explicit. By maintaining a delicate ambiguity these projects avoid definition as conceptual artistic interventions or as straight forward efficiency enhancing software tools.


 

Lev Manovich: how to speak new media
Interviewed by Daniel Palmer

We can talk about a painting using such terms as 'composition', 'flatness', 'colour scheme' and we can talk about a film using such terms as 'plot', 'cinematography', and 'editing.' With new media, the existing discourse focuses on 2 extremes: either purely industrial terms such as 'Flash animation' or 'JPEG image' (which all describe software used and don't tell you much about the work's poetics and the user's experience of it), or rather abstract theoretical terms created during the previous historical period [...] such as 'rhizome' and 'simulation.' [...] The focus of my work is on trying to come up with new terms, which can be used to talk about the works-both their formal construction and also the interaction between the work and the user.


 

N is for Nature
by McKenzie Wark

It is only when second nature develops that nature appears as a concept. Once the techniques are in place for making nature into a resource, for trapping or taming it, an appreciation arises for nature in its raw state, a state that only appears at the point where it is no longer a general condition. What cultures represent to themselves as nature is always a world we have lost. Nature, which appears as an origin, appears only retroactively, as it disappears. The lost world of nature exercises a magic fascination over culture, which expresses itself in its finest form as romanticism. But it also expresses itself as a consumer preference, for that which is close to nature, for that which, while produced, exposes itself in its production to the serendipidy of wind and rain. In spite of the fashion for organic foods and herbal remedies, the most enduring product of this hankering for a lost nature is wine.


 

Software Art
by Florian Cramer and Ulrike Gabriel

Since more than a decade, festivals, awards, exhibitions and publications exist for various forms of computer art: computer music, computer graphics, electronic literature, Net Art and computer-controlled interactive installations, to name only a few, each of them with its own institutions and discourse. Classifications like the above show that attention is usually being paid to how, i.e. in which medium, digital artworks present themselves to the audience, externally. They also show that digital art is traditionally considered to be a part of "[new] media art," a term which covers analog and digital media alike and is historically rooted in video art. But isn't it a false assumption that digital art - i.e. art that consists of zeros and ones - was derived from video art, only because computer data is conventionally visualized on screens?


 
Telepresence: Invocation and Evocation
by Chris Chesher

What has changed with computer-based media forms, including advanced teleconferencing, robotic telepresence, and virtual reality games, is a tighter integration between invocational and evocational components. The methods that address things and call them in from out of view (the invocations), and those that give them form (the evocations), have converged. [...] But what is most unsettling about experiencing new systems of telepresence, at least until they are rendered natural by familiarity, is how they call into question our assumptions about supposedly natural, unmediated presence. Telepresence draws attention to the artificiality of any sense of presence, even so called 'direct' experience. Not only is there no supernatural world. There is no natural world, either.



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