whitelaw, transmateriality, and tangents

“The cultural imagination of data is crucial in a society increasingly enmeshed in the datasphere.” – Whitelaw

New media art provides a venue for the transformation and translation of the technical and conceptual artefacts of artificial life into cultural objects – conglomerates of rhetoric, metaphor, and aesthetics. Such translations are important… Because of the terms they articulate; at a time of rapid and dramatic technological change, the process of assimilating, debating, contesting and reflecting on that change within cultural domains is crucial. The interface of artificial life and cultural practice is particularly significant for all these reasons; it opens a space for creative experimentation and debate around the increasing technologization of living matter as well as broader issues of life and autonomy, agency and evolution, genetics, code and matter. (Reference: Metacreation: Art and Artificial Life, MIT Press 2004.)

One might take the extreme position that a significant interaction between an artwork and a spectator cannot be said to have taken place unless both the spectator and the artwork are in some way permanently changed or enriched by the exchange. A work that satisfied this requirement would have to include some sort of adaptive mechanism, an apparatus for accumulating and interpreting its experience….

… The navigable structure can be thought of as an articulation of space, either real, virtual or concpetual. The artist structures this space with a sort of architecture, and provides a method of navigation. Each position within the conceptual space provides a point-of-view, defined and limited by the surrounding architectural structure. Exploring this structure presents the spectatr with a series of view of the space and its contents. The sequence in which the spectator experiences these vistas forms a unique reading of that space. In Virtual Reality systems, the architectural metaphor can be taken quite literally. In other works, the architecture is more like a conceptual paradigm, a method of organisation of intellectual perspectives, opinions or emotions.” (David Rokeby, Transforming Mirrors: Subjectivity and Control in Interactive Media)

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