Week Seven

Readings

In these readings, Paul discusses the medium of digital art – “Activist projects in the realm of digital art frequently use digital technologies as ‘tactical media’ for interventions that reflect on the very impact of the new technologies on our culture.” [1] This observes the ability of speculative artists to make greater use of the sorts of new or unusual mediums that can communicate more deeply and meaningfully the intentions of the artists. These sorts of thoughtful mediums work well for speculative objects. As discussed below, this week included a visit to CarriageWorks to visit an exhibition full of speculative artwork, which links to this .

Awfully Wonderful

This week involved visiting CarriageWorks to attend the Awfully Wonderful: Science Fiction in Contemporary Art exhibition [2], as curated by Lizzie Muller. There were a number of interesting and thought provoking pieces which reflected on the sorts of ideas of the future that we’ve been discussing throughout the course of this semester.

One interesting and interactive artwork was the depiction of the robot from Metropolis. Made of tissue, balloons and other fragile materials, it daintily walked around the exhibition. While the figure of Maria from Metropolis is a symbol of human destruction by technology, it is contradictory that this fragile sculpture could cause harm – “At the basis of many digital art projects addressing artificial life are the inherent characteristics of digital technologies themselves: the possibility of infinite reproduction in varying combinations according to specified variables: and the feasibility of programming certain behaviours…” [1]

[1] Paul, C (2003) “Artificial Life” (p.139-146), “Tactical media, activism and hacktivism” (p. 204-212) and
“Technologies of the Future” (p. 212), in Digital Art, Thames and Hudson, London
[2] http://carriageworks.com.au/?page=Event&event=Awfully-Wonderful-Science-Fiction-in-Contemporary-Art

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