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by: Jennyfer Skiles
Jennyfer Skiles
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This 15 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jennyfer Skiles on Friday September 4, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to DESMA 0101 at University of California - Los Angeles taught by Staff in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 94 views. For similar materials see /class/177919/desma-0101-university-of-california-los-angeles in Design Media Arts at University of California - Los Angeles.


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Date Created: 09/04/15
Desma IOI Media Arts an Introduction Meeting 6 Art and Cybernetics Origins of Interactive Art These are just random notes they don t represent the entire lecture From representing life to creating it Traditionally arts have been understood as representations of life rather than as creation of life itself The imitation of life art history knows cases in which the artist s creations were so lifelike that they were taken as life itself about the mimetic tradition see Erich Auerbach Mimesis The artificial creation of life belonged to the field of the occult or to the field of engineering demonstrations often mytological stories mechanical living marvels automata fell outside the canons of art although figures like Leonardo da Vinci did both Jack Burnham calls this tradition subsculptural Automata were display pieces and attractions demonstrations of human ingenuity the Romantic imagination animated them Mary Shelley ETA Hoffmann s often providing them with uncanny threatening features Artworks as living entities In the second half of the 20th century the idea of art as living entity emerged Major early theorist was Jack Burnham His key work was Beyond Modern Sculpture I968 Coined the concept cybernetic art He also explored this idea in the classic exhibition called Software which has curated for the Jewish Museum New York in I970 According to Burnham cybernetic art will continue the trajectory of anthropomorphism in Western art Living artwork will inherit the role of works that only mimic the external appearance of living creatures For Burnham Robot could be an artwork robots are inheritors of the ancient tradition of automata Burnham s ideas were considered controversial among critics and even ridiculed Cybernetics as inspiration to cybernetic art Burnham s thinking was heavily influenced by Cybernetics The word cybernetics was coined in I948 by US mathematician Norbert Wiener I894 I964 at MIT It derived from Greek kubernetes quotsteersmanquot perhaps based on I830s Fr cybern tique quotthe art of governingquot Kybernetics is the science of control systems theory of selfregulating organisms It provided explanations for the functioning of command and control systems Feedback was the central concept Cybernetics offered itself potentially as an umbrella science that could also bridge machines and organic creatures social cybernetics etc explaining the modes of communication between them Cybernetic art Technology based motors light sound Often but not always responsive reacted in various ways to external stimuli wind light sound to natural elements or the visitors presence Bachelor machines were an anticipation of some forms of cybernetic art They were absurd often sexualized machines imagined and sometimes realized by artists and writers Marcel Duchamp Raymond Roussel Franz Kafka In the Penal Colony Jean Tinguely However these machines often had a whimsical fantastic dadalike quality that separated them from the more engineer and constructivist influenced nature of cybernetics artworks The classic book The Bachelor Machines ed Jean Clair and Harald Szeemann New York Rizzoli I975 Predecessors artworks as machines Duchamp Precision Optics Moholy Nagy Lichtrequisit Naum Gabo Permanent Wave Len Lye s late work Alexander Calder s Mobiles Calder s mobiles were a good example of the use of feedback hanging structures react to wind Kinetic Art I950s was a transitory stage active perception user activated works play with perception optical illusion did not necessarily use technology but often did Important theorist and curator of kinetic art Frank Popper Leading cybernetic artists Nicolas Schoffer Wen Ying Tsai Takis Frank Malina Edward Ihnatowitz James Seawright An important exhibition The Cybernetic Serendipity curated byJasia Reichadt London ICA I969 Jean Tinguely destructive selfdestructing machines Member or Le Nouveau Realisme close friend of Yves Klein Influenced by dadaism surrealism the tradition of bachelor machines absurd often erotic and conceptual machines as artworks described by artists and writers Duchamp Raymond Roussel Frank Kafka Jonathan Swift Humor meets subversion in varying degrees in Tinguely s works Close collaborator Niki de Saint Phalle became notorious for hers tirs shooting actions gtIltgtIltgtIltgtIltgtIlt Edward lhnatowicz I 926 I 988 Cybernetic sculptor participated in Jasia Reichardt s Cybernetic Serendipity show London I968 Responsive sculptures SAM I968 Senster I9697I Bandit I972 Senster was a giant l5 feet long hydraulic robot commissioned by Philips to their permanent Evoluon showroom in Eindhoven Holland Removed in I974 thought to have been destroyed but recently rediscovered without the electronic control system as a sculpture standing in front of the building of the company that constructed it Issues raised by cybernetic art Led to the idea of art as a system Interesting issues should an artwork be a self regulating system What is the role of the audiencespectator Can art be a system that incorporates both the work and the spectatorparticipant Are hybrid cyberneticorganic systems possible How do responsive sculptures differ from interactive installations Responsive sculptures create onetoone responsiveness initiate a relationship usually are not really user controllable simple forms of actionresponse Interactivity raises the semantic aspects of human machine interaction in more complex ways How do work that respond to environmental stimuli Alexander Calder s mobiles differ from those than respond to human presence and actions Ihnatowitz s Senster In which sense can cybernetic artworks be considered as Iiving entities Artificial Intelligence and Art some very basic issues Can a computer system learn transcend preprogrammed constraints take a leap Is it possible to program a computer to be an autonomous artist Is it possible to create a smart conversational program that could fool a human user to take it as another human Some influential early projectsJoseph Weibenbau ELIZA I966 Nicholas Negroponte and the Architecture Machine Group MIT SEEK I970 show at Burnham s Software exhibition I970 Harold Cohen AARON Continuously under development since the early I970s The most important art project that involves artificial intelligence Influenced by Cohen s encounter with artificial intelligence research at Edward Feigenbaum s laboratory at Stanford University Aaron is an expert system that creates paintings and drawings relativer autonomously Cohen For 30 years the code has been constantly rewritten and expanded by Cohen Series of different output devices a drawing turtle moving on paper painting machines designed by Cohen himself more recently to a software application that automatically creates pictures on the desktop AI and ALife In the 60s and 70s artificial intelligence Al represented one of the frontiers of digital culture From the late I980s Artificial Life or ALife became a buzzword also among media artists One of the original centers for ALife Santa Fe Institute with Christopher Langdon Tom Ray Also elsewhere Larry Yaeger at Apple created Polyworld an artificial life ecological simulator Where is the difference between AI and ALife ALife a new beginning Al was about simulating human reasoning and intellect with a computer program interest in learning systems natural language processing ALife simulates biological lifeprocesses within the computer theoretical hypothetical alternate biosystems Uses genetic algorithms Artists who have explored the possibilities of ALife Christa Sommerer and Lurent Mignonneau Karl Sims Troy Innocent Jane Prophet Origins of Interactive Media Art What is interactive art Three Classics Videoplace by Myron Krueger Very Nervous System by David Rokeby Handsight by Agnes Hegedus Myron Krueger Videoplace I974 playful softwarehardware environment for humanmachine interactions Uses video camera as an input displays colored outline figures of the use interacting with the software features Nonimmersive and nontactile these were deliberate choices as Krueger has explained in his important book Artificial Reality II David Rokeby s Very Nervous System I982 exploring the intimacy and immediacy of the human computer feedback loop visual input sound output but could be anything physical interaction compare with nonart aplications like the Mandala System DDR Nintendo Wii where is the difference Agnes Hegedus Handsight I992 interactive art as a way of exploring an impossible virtual world modified virtual reality experience using a polhemus sensor No bodily immersion interactive art as an emotional experience with intellectual and historical connotations The immediate context and inspiration for artworks like these was the changing nature and role of the computer in the I960 s and 70 s from a statistical calculator to a personal interactive multimedia data processor This impulse was perhaps more important than the influence of the traditions of art Interface design led the development at Xerox Parc MIT s Architecture Machine Group and elsewhere A classic project that showed the way toward interactive art was MIT Architectural Machine Group The Aspen Movie Map I978 80 interactive spatial navigation system with a computercontrolled Iaserdisc future media artists such as Mike Naimark and Rebecca Allen were part of the team Interactivity a classic definition quotMutual and simultaneous activity on the part of both participants human and machine usually working toward some goal but not necessarilyquot Andy Lippman in Stewart Brand The Media Lab Inventing the Future at MIT I988 p46 Unlike it is often believed the computer should not automatically be considered an interactive device Interactive computing interactive media and interactive media art developed over time Interactive systems according to Ted Nelson You sit at a keyboard and type The computer receives the electrical signal from each key you touch When it is good and ready it types something back It types on paper or it types on a screen In the coming years interactive systems will help us with every conceivable human task whether painting a picture composing a sonnet or trying to decide how to invest your moneyquot Ted Nelson quotThe Magic of Interactive Computerquot Nelson Home Computer Revolution I977 According to Huhtamo to be understood interactivity as a cultural phenomenon should be placed within a wider context It can be understood in terms of a historical dialectic Mechanizationl800 full mechanization from around I900 Automation cybernation origins automata automatic machines in late I9th century full automation from around I950 Interactivity since the I960s entering the culture of interactivity when FuII Mechanization Three characteristics a hierarchy of standardized segmented and subsegmented parts and subparts all interchangeable a fully Taylorized workforce performing standardized repeated actions a continuous sequential assembly line Peter Wollen From Mechanization to Automation quotMechanization fixes his worker39s time and fixes his movements and he has to produce a series of semiintelligent mechanical motions to keep the machine fed and moving Automationby being a selfadapting and a changing piece of mechanism enables a man to work at whatever pace he wants to work because the machine will react to himquot Bagrit The Age ofAutomation I965 p39 Automata one of the origins of automation Automata are selfregulating feedback mechanisms supposed to work without human intervention after having been started They are the opposite of interactive media Automation quotis a process which substitutes programmed machinecontrolled operations for human manipulations It is the fruit so to speak of cybernetics and computersquot Daniel Bell Preface to Bagrit The Age ofAutomation I965 pXvii Origins of Interactive Art Go much further back in time than the advent of digital technology Media art has been influenced by technology and popular culture coming from outside the traditional art world Changing the spectator and art audience into active participants Breaking taboos of the untouchability of the art object by bridging art and life The Counter Machine The emergence of the counter machine in the late I9th century an important development These were machines used for pleasure and not for productivity The initiative belongs to the user Countermachines were used for several purposes selling snacks postage stamps etc gaming development of skills fortune telling Physical pleasurable interaction with the machine was essential contrary to the forced interaction in mechanized factory or office Some early sources of Interactive Art Early 20th Century AvantGarde art was influenced by popular culture Dadaism and Surrealism good examples circus vaudeville slapstich comedy The effort by the avantgarde to bridge art and life created interest in the use of machines and the humanmachine interaction Not just avartgarde art but also exhibition design contributed to the emergence of interactive art Frederick Kiesler s design for Peggy Guggenheim s Art of this Century Gallery New York I942 pointed toward interactive art Ken Feingold Ken Feingold s pioneering interactive installation Surprising Spiral I99 I is a playful comment on Duchamp s Pri re de Toucher and much more Ken Feingold s more recent works using talking animatronic heads with behaviours and characters have been influenced by automata ventriloquist dummies fortune telling machines and other anthropomorphic machines They are also ambiguous commentaries on the discourses on artificial intelligence Roots of interactive art can be found from many different fields arcade and coinoperated machines educational devices like teaching machines protointeractive television programs like VVinky Dink and You in the I950s driving flying etc simulators Experimental instruments and interfaces created by artists like Oskar Fischinger s Lumigraph I955 Happening and performance Fluxus Optical and other philosophical toys including games Desma C101201 Media Arts an Introduction These notes are not the full lecture script They are just meant to help your memory Meeting 2 The Urge To Destroy The urge to destroy has been part of the development of the media arts from the early 20th century The idea of destruction was built into the ideology of modernism old culture and its arts have to be destroyed to make room for the new modernism wants to begin from tabula rasa point zero This was the credo of Le Corbusier and many others The ideal was already present in Cubism Pablo Picasso Georges Braque destroying the monocular point of view and the painting as an illusion of reality replacing this with multi perspective simultaneity materiality and tangibility of the artwork For the early modernists old artforms represented an obsolete society made irrelevant by new technology science theory of relativity media urbanism mass society To find a new harmony destruction of the old was seen as inevitable Futurism A passionate paradoxically romantic attack on passeist bourgeois society and its values Began in Italy I manifesto 1909 spread to other countries like pre revolutionary Russia Ideological and aesthetic leader FT Marinetti 1876 1944 Italian poet Other central figures Umberto Boccioni Antonio Sant Elia Giacomo Balla Totalistic goals replacing existing art and society by futuristic forms From painting sculpture and poetry extended to theatre music Art of Noises fashion cinema architecture urbanism radio art aerial theatre The most radical futurist ideas existed only in manifestos projects and plans rather than as realized creations Cinema seemed to be in line with the Futurists39 veneration of speed but few Futurist films were made the most important quotVita Futuristaquot has disappeared Veneration of war led Marinetti and the other Futurists toward Fascism another totalistic or totalitarian solution Paradox because the fascists were mostly interested in monumental neo classicism that was alien to the Futurists The 1st Futurist Manifesto Le Figaro Paris February 20 1909 A plea for the reneval of the arts made public in mass media on the front page of a newspaper not in the art world written by F T Marinetti 1876 1944 This was an important gesture for the future development of the media arts We declare that the splendour of the world has been enriched by a new beauty the beauty of speed A racing car with its bonnet draped with exhaust pipes like fire breathing serpents a roaring racing car rattling along like a machine gun is more beautiful than the winged victory of Samothrace From The First Manifesto of Futurism 1909 We will destroy all museums and libraries and academies of all sorts we will battle against moralism feminism and all vile opportunism and utilitarianism From The First Manifesto of Futurism 1909 The Art of Noises was one of the most influential futurist contributions to experimental art It was initiated by painter Luigi Russolo he wanted to extend music just like Marinetti s words in freedom and destruction of syntax had extended language and poetry Aimed at embracing the wealth of sounds including noise To achieve this created special instruments Noise intoners Intonarumori to explore the field of noises These noise machines as well as Russolo39s manifesto on the Art of Noises have become founding moments for experimental sound art Balla and Depero manifesto The Futurist Reconstruction of the Universe 1915 Considered one of the minor Futurist manifestoes but interesting and refreshing Futuristic universe run according to the principles of the Futuristic toy Construction of Plastic Complexes toylike machines in different sizes and forms With mechanical motions emitting light and noise Also decomposing machines appearing and disappearing machines fire water smoke Such art will make adults and children escape from dull conformism via laughter agility imagination sharpened senses give physical courage to fight and WAR by means of huge outdoor toys dangerous and aggressive Artificial Landscape will replace boring nature populated with millions of Metallic Animals that will bring about the greatest warwhich will undoubtedly follow the current marvellous little human conflagration Dadaism Began during World War I among refugee artists in Zurich Switzerland reaction to the madness of war and mass destruction protest against the irrationality that had led to the war Original venue Cabaret Voltaire opened February 1916 in Zurich Participants Hugo Ball Marcel Janko Tristan Tzara Hans Arp Richard Huelsenbeck Emmy Hennings In uence soon spread elsewhere Paris Berlin New York Berlin dada was the most political work of many partticipants later ridiculed and destroyed by Nazis as Degenerate art Entartete Kunst Attack against reason motives originally political Dadism has also seen as anti modernism it was about negation of the negation etc It turned against the futuristic ideology of the modernists avoidance of definitions polar oppositions anti anti etc clear definitions was essential The First Media Artist Another Candidate Marcel Duchamp 1887 1968 Duchamp was interested in machines media optics language games as possibilities and channels for art Roleplay with his female alter ego Rrose S lavy was the first media performance also form of life art Simultaneously Duchamp created another alter ego as the Precision Oculist a self made optical scieentist optician engaged in experiments with illusions created by spinningb optical discs povered by a machine which was a breakthrough A machine as a artwork had earlier been considered an impossibility Created a subversion of Mona Lisa titled Marcel Duchamp LH00Q Paris 1919 The title is an obscene pun Elle a chaud au cul She has a hot ass It is important that Duchamp used a mass printed image not the original painting as his starting point While it was a dadaist provocation the work also raised issues about the relationship between art and mass reproduced media imagery This has provided the model for countless later examples of appropriation art Marcel Duchamp Rotoreliefs Disques optiques 1935 Series of optical illusion discs meant for the mass market Although this failed it provided the origin for quotDevice Artquot art sold as multiple copies on the mass market at the moment it is particularly popular in Japan Surrealism IY first 39 in 1924 Andre Breton In many ways an offspring of Dadaism although claimed to represent a break Used automation and chance as creative methods like dada but focus on the surreality of the human mind Central technique quotautmomatic writingquot in uenced by Freudian psychoanalysis According to Bretion the rational consciousness should interfere as little as possible to the spontaneous creations of the unconcious In reality surrealist works often contained much conscious structuring and composition Political elements subversive events in public places products as deliberate provocations to shock the bourgeoisie bizarre lifestyles as an artform Salvador Dali One of the most notorious acts of public provocation le film Un chien d Andalou Andalusian Dog 1928 by Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali Hit in the face of the bourgeoisie followed by L Age d Or Golden Age 1930 considered even more shocking erotic desire anarchism blasphemy of christian doctrine and values Situationism Avantgarde movement founded in 1957 of the union of two earlier groups Imaginist Bauhaus and Lettrist International Ideas expressed in Internationale situationniste journal books various art activities In uenced by surrealism Purpose to create situations constructed encounters and creatively lived moments in specific urban settings instances of a critically transformed everyday life Peter Wollen Looking for new perspectives to the dullness and alienation of everyday reality faced with the alternative of love or a garbage disposal unit young people of all countries have chosen the garbage disposal unit Later aimed at creating a political theory and strategy to free people from the grip of the Society of the spectacle Guy Debord Situationist Tactics Goal to create artistic political strategies that would make it possible to reclaim individual autonomy for people living under the condition of spectacle Debord Main ideas situations psycho geography play as free and creative activity derive drift and d tournement diversion semantic shift Derive is a way of re defining and re appropriating the city attempts to discover lost intimations of real life behind the perfectly composed face of modern society Can be expressed in charts of psycho geographies Later manifested in GPS based work by artists tlike Blast Theory and Masaki Fujihata although these did not necessarily consider Situationism as their model Detournement turning the signs of power against themselves interfering with seemingly innocent everyday reality revealing its alienating and subordinating structures Especially since the late 1960s Situationism became a major influence for radical arts Its influence could also be felt in the way how Malcolm McLaren the manager for the notorious punk band Sex Pistols manipulated the British media newspapers TV by organizing event that echoed throughout the mass media One of these was the signing of a record contract in front of the Buckingham Palace Guy Debord 1931 94 Ideological leader of Situationism books articles films mostly using found footage Main work The Society of the Spectacle 1967 In societies where modern conditions of production prevail all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles Everything that was lived has moved away into a representation The spectacle is a social relation between people mediated by images The spectator feels at home nowhere because the spectacle is everywhere The typical condition in the society of spectacle is alienation A society organized as appearance can be disrupted on the field of appearance Scratch Video Movement in the early 1980s particularly strong in England Influences punk John Heartfield Situationism early scratch music Lee Scratch Perry etc Communal video workshops new editing tools that enabled repeat edit typical feature political demand early Reaganism and Thatcherism social struggle Makers often groups Gorilla Tapes Duvet Brothers etc Appropriating TV images scratching them to make them reveal their true meanings as with Heartfield leaving the seams of manipulation visible The Emergence of Destruction Art in the 1950s and 60s The post WWII situation memories of war sense of quilt sense of rupture Reactions against the social and economic developments of the post war era consumerism the formation of the Society of the Spectacle Debord automation cybernation new militarism Cold War the fear of nuclear holocaust Also new sense of liberation from the dead hand of the past also felt in the new rebellious youth cultures Abstract expressionism and drip painting as liberating forces the influence of John Cage Connection with the ruptured traditions of the past in particular dadaism the emergence of Neo Dada John Cage 1912 1992 One of the most influential innovators of the media arts composer philosopher visual artist In 1937 manifesto quotThe Future of Music influenced by Russolo39s Art of Noises quotWherever we are what we hear is mostly noiseWhether the sound of truck at 50 mph rain or static between radio stations we find noise fascinating quot Intention to quotcapture and control these sounds to use them not as sound effects but as musical instrumentsquot A review of Cage s concert in 1942 Chicago Daily News quotPeople Call it Noise But he Calls it Musicquot The musicians played39 beer bottles flowerpots cowbells automobile brakedrums dinner bells thundersheets and quotanything we can lay our hands onquot Cage More about Cage later Other influences for destructive media arts Jackson Pollock action painting drip painting A liberating act Influenced not just painters but performers Attention from art object to art as a process an action Big influence on Happenings Allan Kaprow Influence felt even in Japan Gutai artists applied it in their radical actions painting by bicycles etc Yves Klein 1928 1962 French radical non conformist innovator associated with Nouv au Realisme New Realism manifesto 1960 assemblages of everyday objects primacy on performative actions sophisticated use of mass media obsession with space void Evolution of Art Towards the Immaterial 1959 with all its connotations IKB International Klein Blue


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