[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: <eyebeam><blast> other

 An intersubjective experience, by definition, includes an other and
some element of  reciprocity. I think it is useful to make a distinction
between this intersubjectivity and interactivity, even though they may
be mixed in any "click" or digital encounter. In an intersubjective
exchange, the very framework of the encounter may be challenged and the
subjects may be changed. There is risk involved. If I am lucky, I may
change my mind. The ebb and flow, expansion and contraction in a
dialogic format like this are like collective breathing.  Roles are
exchanged: writing as well as reading, listening attentively as well as
responding or weaving new threads.

        The interactive/intersubjective distinction is not a mutually
exclusive or normative one.  Art can make use of the naked
instrumentality of interactivity between machines and machines, machines
and humans and even humans and humans.

        Ryszard Kluszczynski made a response to my own negative
assessment of a networked piece I saw at the Isea in Rotterdam a couple
of years ago that changed the way that I understood the piece and a
whole range of experiences in cyberculture.  The piece transformed sound
into light and permitted input from a locally situated piano as well as
the web. I thought the piece was weak and pointless interactivity. 
Ryszard  said that at first the piece responded to his piano plunks, but
then he lost control of it.  The most amazing feeling came over him when
he realized that now he was just one of many inputs steering the display
This was a very different "conversation" than the dialogic format we now

        The question formed in my mind, why do we like to lose control?
I began to see this phenomenon in many other aspects of cyberculture--it
is a mistake to see having control as its sole motive force.
Furthermore, what is this losing control? an oceanic feeling of fusion
with others with all its delicious and dangerous implications? if there
is a death drive involved in the temporary loss of ego boundaries,is
there also a drive toward creating greater and greater unities or life?
Are they so easy to separate? The elation of having given birth is
confirmed only by losing part of onself to the relative autonymy or
self-determination of one's creation that signifies "life".

        I do think that "life" and "death" are engines or desire that
saturate cyberculture.  Virtualities or fictions of presence are also
fictions of absence. We are not discussing late 19th century rumors that
art or god are dead.  This fiction does not need to look "real" to work
its own "fiction effect."  The subjunctive of culture, the ghosts of
what was, what might be otherwise and what could be are not necessarily
figured or enacted in another scene--they share our world.

a critical forum for artistic practice in the network
texts are the property of individual authors
to unsubscribe, send email to eyebeam@list.thing.net
with the following single line in the message body:
unsubscribe eyebeam-list
information and archive at http://www.eyebeam.org
Eyebeam Atelier/X Art Foundation http://www.blast.org