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Embodiment in Digital Art

( via artificial.dk )

A little background via their site >>

Welcome to artificial.dk – your news resource for information about net art, software art, and other computer based art forms. Our mission is to promote these art forms to a broad audience because we believe they can develop and nuance our views on advanced technologies and the society they are a part of.

Artificial.dk is now an archive of articles and activities from the period 2001-2007. No new articles will be added, but you are welcome to browse through our previously published articles. Your hosts and editors were Kristine Ploug & Thomas Petersen. Contact us at: artificial at artificial dot dk.

Special: Embodiment in Digital Art

Dan Graham: Body Press, 1970-1972. Photo: Dan Graham, courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery , New York and Paris.


‘[…] the image can no longer be restricted to the level of surface appearance, but must be extended to encompass the entire process by which information is made perceivable through embodied existence. This is what I propose to call the digital image.’ (Mark Hansen: New Philosophy for New Media, p. 10)

In this last special at Artificial we have chosen the theme: ‘Embodiment in digital art’. Inspired by current trends in media art and theory, we take our point of departure in the expanded notion of the digital image in order to have a closer look at the role of the body in contemporary digital art and culture.

Art has always actively involved human beings: whether you read a book, watch a film, visit a museum – or just talk to a good friend. As soon as you engage in the world, a process of interaction and exchange occurs.

In his widely acknowledged book, New Philosophy for New Media, Mark Hansen demonstrates how the embodied spectator is involved directly in the very production of contemporary media art with focus on process, performance and interaction. The ‘image’ can no longer be understood as an external formal thing, e.g. as a canvas hanging on the wall in a gallery. The so-called digital image has to be acknowledged as an open field or terrain of possibilities in-formed or in-framed by physically present human beings in specific situations bound in time and space. The embodied existence is the filter, the nexus and the materiality of the art experience. Following Mark Hansen’s argument means that in order to grasp the new scene for the digital art event, we have to turn our focus from the level of code towards the embodied human experience.


Left: still image from Myron Kruegers Videoplace, 1970. Info and video: www.artmuseum.net/w2vr/timeline/Krueger.html. Right: Nam June Paik: Random Access, 1963. Photo: Manfred Montwé. www.nydigitalsalon.org/10/artwork.php?artwork=13.

This special consists of a number of interviews and articles about international projects – from young talented ideas to prominent research projects – which investigate aspects of embodiment in different art forms supported by state of the art technology. Our focus on this subject is part of a wider theme on ‘body and technology’ which will be launched by the web magazine Turbulens (www.turbulens.net) in March 2007 (the curator group Maskinstorm (www.maskinstorm.org) is also involved in the theme). Keep an eye open this spring for a broad variety of activities within the field.

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Filed under: applications, architecture, art, consciousness, DIY, hack, locative, mobility, new media, research, social, space/place, technology, urban

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