Re: art & technology: an issue of audience?

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by sawad on April 18, 1997 at 12:28:32:

In Reply to: Re: art & technology: an issue of audience? posted by geekgirl on April 13, 1997 at 13:31:51:

: : the use of technology once again raises the issue of the importance of mastery in the practice of the arts. Indeed, art as often been evaluated in terms of the artist's "hand skills", her r his ability to paint or scuplt well, etc. the intricacies of technology often call for a collaboration between the artist as "concept" developer and the technician as the person who is in charge of implementing those concepts. There has been extensive discussions as to what an artists needs to know about technology to experiement with it. It seems interesting to note, however, that the use of video (at least in its early stage) did not seem to raise such issue: artists appropraited the technology and freely experimented with it. When it comes to "new media", it seems like the issue is raised differently. Is it a matter of the audience it reaches out to?

: Perhaps the issue is simple: the artist is unwilling to invest the necessary time in mastering the more complex aspects of the new technologies. Once the power to create no longer resides solely in the hands of the artist the perception of their contribution is compromised.

both benjamin and geekgirl raise important questions. i respond to benjamin's
raising of mastery as an important issue to consider in the use of technology.
i am too young to recall the first uses of video. i experienced them much later.
however, i can recall my own introduction into video. it seems to me that the
technology of video was more-or-less a single system built to accomplish only a
few things (recording and direct output). video systems were designed and marketed
with this in mind. in contrast, "new media" is experienced as a collection of
systems developed over time and often independently of each other. new media
technology, it seems to me, owes its other name ("multimedia") to a desire to unite
various technologies which were not necessarily designed to interface seamlessly
together. what two technologies are actually seamless when brought together?
perhaps none, or they would cease to be known as separate. what seem relevant is
that the strange history of computational machines, their heritage as reprogrammable
tools, is experienced now as a multiplicity (not a rich one, but a multiplicity
nonetheless) of "dialects" about which a participant or user often needs to
invest a certain amount of time in order to translate among them with some success.
the question of the amount of time and access individuals have to make such an
investement does seem to me greatly determined by class.

i don't think that taking the hands out of the equation of authorship will
significantly change the issue of mastery. i think this because i see "the
hands" as bodily references to or incarnations of ideational control. such
a desire for control belongs to a history of the west which extends further
than the history withing which the hands have played a prominent role. in
other words, i don't believe that cutting out/off the hands displaces the
desire to assign authorial agency to an individual. the inverse of this
would be thinking that a machine is doing all the work/inventing, which
doesn't seems to me a very satisfying interpretation either. the problem
can better be approached, it seems to me, if we question the often assumed
inside/outside relationship between body and technology.

ok. would be good to hear what others say.

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