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FCJ-120 Other Ways Of Knowing: Embodied Investigations of the Unstable, Slippery and Incomplete

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Author(s): Petra Gemeinboeck | Rob Saunders

Journal: Fibreculture Journal
ISSN 1449-1443

Issue: 18;
Start page: 9;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: embodied interaction | robotics | new media art | digital art | locative media | virtual reality | digital media

ABSTRACT
This article looks at the nature of boundaries in digital media, and in particular how they are enacted, embodied, crossed, and transformed. The boundaries of concern mark the limit between polar terrains such as the material-immaterial, virtual-actual, animate-inanimate, human-machine, and nature-technology. Three concepts, transduction, transmateriality and transversality, assume a form of boundary or boundary condition, which is crossed or overcome, whether transferring across, transforming into, or extending across possibly a number of planes, lines or limits. The discussion is based on the idea that crossing the boundary holds a potential for the boundary to transmute and that new media art often is driven by the desire for such transmutation.  The examination will be grounded in our own artistic practice and a selection of the authors' interactive media artworks. Uzume, a virtual (CAVE) environment, produces a strange, performative reality, whose 'whirling', always unfinished is based on spatial representations of the temporal behaviour of nonlinear, chaotic systems. Moving around inside the installation space, participants traverse the various chaotic states of the system. Impossible Geographies 02: Urban Fiction, a locative media work and installation, uses mobile phones as 'lenses' through which to look at the city in ways that afford a reading outside of known and fixed relations (Haraway, 1991; Rogoff, 2000). Participants moving through the urban landscape, their encounters, and crossings of invisible boundaries weave together, distort and rip apart a 'living' map. Zwischenräume [In-between Spaces], a robotic installation still in the making, will serve to take a closer look at a politics of transmateriality. The work embeds a group of autonomous robots into the walls of a gallery. They punch holes into the walls to inspect what's outside, signal each other, and conspire. It develops a political relationship between the stealthy invasion of digital surveillance and urban combat tactics in which soldiers are instructed to literally walk through private walls (Weizman, 2007).

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