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Re: <eyebeam><blast> clues on translocal territories

Dear Andreas,

In interactive works, the qualities of inter-authorship take on 
different potential levels in relation to the "authoring" of the system 
by the initial author/programmer. There is a delicate balance to be 
addressed in computer-mediated inter-authorship, related to that which 
the initial author embues in the system, in terms of content, and that 
which the user contributes in terms of their input. Perry Hoberman 
states "In interactive art, we can find two seemingly opposite 
tendencies in the approaches to interaction: on the one hand a sharing 
(or even an abdication) of responsibility (or intentionality) on the 
part of the author; and on the other, a remarkable extension of the 
author's domain, an unprecedented attempt to control his/her audience 
and their response on every level." (Leopoldseder, 1996)

I do not think that one is necessarily manipulating the viewer in a 
negative way ('behaviour engineering') when a work elicits an emotive 
response, be it humor, in the work of Perry Hoberman (in a work like 
barcode hotel) or melancholy as in some of my work. The work "The World 
Generator / The Engine of Desire" empowers the viewer in a way few other 
interactive works do, enabling the creation of complex virtual worlds in 
real time. It does this in an environment which is emergent but often 
has a particular mood based on the sound that one can "place" in the 
environment. The sound mix is always emergent but constructed out of the 
same set of sound objects.

In every interactive work there is a balance between content, aspects of 
interactivity and the constraints of the system. I see this emotive 
aspect (getting at a particular state of consciousness) as a positive 
feature of the work not some kind of 'behaviour engineering.' You make 
it sould like I am using electric shock to promote some kind of control 

Are you suggesting that any interactive work that is emotive is 
controlling in a negative way? Your post sure reads like that when you 
say "The dividing line between art and
>manipulation seems to disapppear in the 'reframing of consciousness'
>that Bill Seaman describes as being key to his own work."

A "blues" musician can be said to be trying to explore a particular 
state of consciousness - again - this is not performing some kind of 
negative 'behaviour engineering.'

I would say that "The World Generator / The Engine of Desire" is a work 
"deeply engaged with historical currents and contexts, [and] aim(s) to 
empower viewers with perceptual tools, interpretive formats, and 
strategic avenues of action." as Jordan has suggests... within an 
emotive environment.

Bill Seaman

(Leopoldseder, 1996)
LEOPOLDSEDER, L AND SCH¨OPF (1996) Prix Ars Electronica 96: Free Choice 
Control by Perry Hoberman.   New York: SpringerVerlag  p. 53

>- understanding the new habits, routines and behaviours we are
>confronted with, that we may have to learn or unlearn (Jordan Crandall
>(11 feb 98) writes about the limitations of language-based approaches ad
>asks: 'I'm wondering if one key might be in the realm of the habitual,
>of encoded/embodied routines.' The flip-side of this is the problem of
>'behaviour engineering', something that Tim Druckrey has discussed
>extensively over the past years. The dividing line between art and
>manipulation seems to disapppear in the 'reframing of consciousness'
>that Bill Seaman (11 feb 98) describes as being key to his own work:
>'How can such an environment enhance or trigger particular "states" of
>consciousness in the user? To what extent can we "re-frame" aspects of
>the consciousness of the artist, via specific modes of "translation" of
>operative poetic processes and poetic elements of image, sound, and
>text, within functional computer-mediated networks?'

From: Bill Seaman
HOME FAX 410 744 7428
Tel. 410 744 7422

Associate Professor and Director of Imaging and Digital Arts
Department of Visual Arts
University of Maryland
Baltimore County
Department of Visual Arts
5401 Wilkens Ave.
Baltimore, MD21228-5398  USA
WORK PHONE 410 455 2150   OR   410 455 2151
School Fax    410 455 1070

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