- Sidey Myoo: Kilka słów o sztuce i filozofii sieci (editorial)
- Marc Jimenez: Ethics and Aesthetics in 21st Century
- Oliver Grau: Remember the Phantasmagoria! Illusion Politics of the Eighteenth Century and Its Multimedial Afterlife
- Eduardo Kac: Telepresence Art
- Antoni Porczak: Interactivity – a Missing Link in Communication
Filozofia bytu elektronicznego
- Sidey Myoo: Ontoelectronics. Introduction
- Wes Cooper: Virtual Reality and the Metaphysics of Self, Community and Nature
- Ursula Frohne: Re‐Mapping the Virtual World. Utopian Construction versus Power Structures in Cyberspace
- Sherry Turkle: A Nascent Robotics Culture: New Complicities for Companionship
- Katherine Hayles: Toward Embodied Virtuality
- Wojciech Chyła: Techno‐connectionistic “Event” as a Source of the “Artificial Sublime” and “Artificial Infinite”
- Rafał Ilnicki: Chaosmos. From Ethico‐aesthetical Paradigm to Chao‐aesthetization of Dumping Sites of the Bio‐techno‐system Data
Ethics and Aesthetics in 21st Century
The Author presents an answer to the question: what is the place of aesthetics and philosophy of art today? Beginning with the historical and etymological sketch of the notion of “aesthetics” the Author points at its critical and emancipatory potential. This potential is confronted nowadays with the phenomenon of cultural industry and globalization as well as with new technologies. The intellectual tradition of Frankfurt School is here a main point of reference. Art and philosophical aesthetics are such kind of cultural activity that can be opposed to the “disenchanted” world of capitalist production and accumulation of goods. This shows ethical and political potential of aesthetics as a philosophical discipline invented in the 18th Century by the great Enlightenment’s project of modernization and its actuality in the 21st Century.
Remember the Phantasmagoria! Illusion Politics of the Eighteenth Century and Its Multimedial Afterlife
The medium Phantasmagoria, developed from the Laterna Magica and part of the history of immersion, opened up the virtual depth of the image space for the first time as a sphere of dynamic changes. In contrast to the Panorama, the Phantasmagoria suggests that contact can be established to the psyche, the dead or artificial life forms. It is a model for the functioning of illusionism, a material image machine as basis of an art work that appears immaterial. In the Phantasmagoria, phenomena come together that we are again experiencing in contemporary art and visual representation.
This essay discusses an art based on the integration of telecommunications, robotics, new kinds of human‑machine interface, and computers. This “telepresence art” can be understood within the wider framework of electronic interactive art. At its best, interactive art implies less stress on form (composition) and more emphasis on behavior (choice, action), negotiation of meanings, and the foregrounding of the public who, now transformed into “participants”, acquire a prominent and active role in shaping their own field of experiences. The role of the artist in interactive art is not to encode messages unidirectionally but to define the parameters of the open‑ended context in which experiences will unfold.
It seems to me that some confusion has resulted from the almost indistinguishable use of the words cyberspace, virtual reality, and telepresence in recent electronic art theory and criticism. This essay focuses on telepresence as a new art medium, but first I wish to clarify the meanings of these three words. Second, I will try to suggest that telepresence is a new kind of communicative experience. Third, I will point out the primacy of real time over real space as it pertains to this new kind of communication event, in general, and to telepresence art, especifically. Fourth, I will comment on some cultural implications of telepresence beyond the narrow field of scientific simulation. Finally, I will conclude with a brief discussion of the telepresence installation “Ornitorrinco on the Moon”, created by myself and Ed Bennett especially for the international telecommunication arts festival “Blurred Boundaries” (Entgrenzte Grenzen II), that took place around the world and was coordinated by Kulturdata, in Graz, Austria, in 1993.
Interactivity – a Missing Link in Communication
Art and cyber‑culture direct their interests in the area of media interactivity, i.e. the new communication technology, allowing for individual participation of an entity in the global network exchange of ideas. Now the processing of existing culture is not the exclusive right of groups of licensed authors, but it is a massive movement of all connected entities towards participation in widespread communication and culture. This process may be presented as the passage from the vanguard product art to the art as an area testing technology for creativity. Art alongside science and technology becomes one of the social development triangle, leaving behind the triangle: beauty, elitism, selection. The act of interactive media communication is not a delivering of the author’s message by mediation of formally finished (artefact) because now it is not designed for interpretation, but constant transformations of its forms by perceiving entities. The interactive artefact which is exhibited to public perception becomes an area of transformation performed by users. In this field the structure of the artefact is transformed, it becomes a reusable item which is understood as the transformation of other work into the user’ own one. As it seems to me that this transformation is a missing link in the development of social communication, where previous inner (invisible for others) recipient’s interpretation is replaced by the user’s expression which is a direct reaction to the sender’s work. The transformation of other form of the artefact into the piece of art of the perceiver follows, thus social circulation of individual ideas fills in the missing link, which endows equal rights of communication to the former recipient (better to say: the addressee) who also becomes the co‑author of the artefact. The inter‑actor is treated by the author as the partner addressee who shows his/her ideas, competencies as well as skills of using complicated equipment and his/her emotions or meanings during the operational perception.
Article presents various forms of relations between the man and the electronic environment and shows that human engagement with new technologies touches upon moral, artistic and existential problems. Human activity is being transposed into the electronic environment and that process in effect blurs the traditional boundary between what is real and what is virtual. The author introduces a notion of “electronic realis” as the alternative to the traditional real-virtual distinction. The principle of anthropization according to which the electronic realis is being shaped by human action suggests that electronic environment should be treated not only in functional terms, but also as a new realm of lived experience.
Re‐Mapping the Virtual World. Utopian Construction versus Power Structures in Cyberspace
This essay is devoted to a problem of representation of the world in new realm of cyberspace. Internet is often presented as a global medium that would allow to realize the project of global virtual communication. It opens completely unique realm for complex discourses that are de‑centralized, interactive, non‑hierarchical, trans‑medial and intercultural. This unprofitable system of information exchange co‑creates new global society. From the perspective of art historian and media theorist cyberspace needs new critical study that would allow to understand its emancipatory potential from the constraints of actual social realty. New communication and visual technologies can be treated as means to achieve a new kind of electronic community and to realize the utopian project of “good society”.
A Nascent Robotics Culture: New Complicities for Companionship
Encounters with humanoid robots are new to the everyday experience of children and adults. Yet, increasingly, they are finding their place. This has occurred largely through the introduction of a class of interactive toys (including Furbies, AIBOs, and My Real Babies) that I call “relational artifacts”. Here, I report on several years of fieldwork with commercial relational artifacts (as well as with the MIT AI Laboratory’s Kismet and Cog). It suggests that even these relatively primitive robots have been accepted as companionate objects and are changing the terms by which people judge the “appropriateness” of machine relationships. In these relationships, robots serve as powerful objects of psychological projection and philosophical evocation in ways that are forging a nascent robotics culture.
Toward Embodied Virtuality
This essay – the first chapter from a book entitled “How we Became Posthuman” – presents mutual interconnections between three different stories. The first centers on how information lost its body, that is, how it came to be conceptualized as an entity separate from the material forms in which it is thought to be embedded. The second story concerns how the cyborg was created as a technological artifact and cultural icon in the years following World War II The third, deeply implicated with the first two, is the unfolding story of how a historically specific construction called the human is giving way to a different construction called the posthuman.
Techno‐connectionistic “Event” as a Source of the “Artificial Sublime” and “Artificial Infinite”
This essay presents the phenomenon of democratization and proletarization that accompany the Internet. This leads to dissipation of creativity through the loss of connection with the symbolic thinking and collective memory. The speed of teleinformatic communication is here a crucial factor. This situation is conditioned by dependence of creativity on a technical memory and autopoietic systems of the Internet that repress the history of art through the techno-connectionistic artistic “events”. The idea of autonomy of art is destroyed by the “artificial sublime”.
Chaosmos. From Ethico‐aesthetical Paradigm to Chao‐aesthetization of Dumping Sites of the Bio‐techno‐system Data
The aim of the article is to show how the mode of organization of chaosmos is changed in the postmedial era. It is also deeply connected to the process of aesthetization of reality. Radical changes transmute aesthetic, ontological and ethical spheres. Metamorphosis of reality is provoked not by any particular cultural paradigm, but by technical media. This article shows how the aesthetic paradigm is changed by technical transformations.