often point out that what you do is a new way of doing art, far different
from the past. Plese tell me more about that.
work embraces what I have called a dialogic aesthetics. Dialogic art is
not framed as stable material composition to produce contemplation and
interpretation, but is predicated on the idea of intersubjectivity (the
encounter and engaement of two or more subjects) and that what subjects
bring to the work contributes to the experience that they have. It is important
to point out that by "subjects" I do not mean exclusively humans; instead,
I consider the whole gamut of sentient life forms. Subjects are actively
engaged in the network projects that followed my minitel work of the mid
'80s. If you have a dialogue, you certainly don't have the traditional
idea of the artist as an individual who is solely responsible for the work.
I have been producing artworks in which you can still recognize the role
of the artist - there's a title that helps frame a sense of inquiry, there
is a specific material context, there is consistency from one work to another
- but what actually unfolds is not something that I can control. One could
say that with any artwork there is an element of uncontrollability; since
interpretation is not something that the artist can control. But in dialogic
work this uncontrollability is manifested in a kinesthetic manner. The
formation of meaning is not introspective, not something that happens purely
and simply at a level of cognition. You are an active, physical maker of
meaning. Through this process of negotiation of meaning - ideally - the
viewer will come into contact with his or her own process of discovery
do you define 'distance' in post-telematic times?
may think that through media we see distant places, but what we actually
experience is a particular kind of fiction, one created specifically for
television consumption. What we see is always fragmented and decontextualized,
reinvented, manipulated. Ultimately, it reaffirms our distance, rather
than bring us closer. Fortunately, it is also true that new communities
have evolved worldwide as a consequence of digital telecommunications,
and that portable devices (cel and satellite phones in particular) have
enabled new forms of social interaction, from the organization of prostesters
in Seattle to more frequent conversation among family members in small
villages in Africa.
seems that controversial new media art like web parodies and genetic art
need more and more traditional media (press and tv) attention to succeed.
Is this a paradox or an unavoidable mechanism of our times?
media is an envinronment in which information exists in a particular way.
Certain artists are able to "perform" the media like an instrument, like
a pianist performs with a piano. It is not a paradox. It is just another
realm in which art can exist.
probably one of the first artist that conceived 'biotelematic', using digital
technologies for interfacing humans with animals. Is the tech-interface
a tool to improve the respective consciousness?
key issue I have been addressing in my work for about 20 years is communication.
My work investigates the question of communication not as the transmission
of information from one point to another, but as a vital force. My work
explores communication as a shared space in which meaning can be negotiated.
In my work I create what Humberto Maturana calls "consensual domains",
social spheres in which dialogical interaction can emerge. Biological processes
are important in art because they are at the crossroads of profound social
transformations, underway through developments in biotechnology. These
developments have cultural consequences. Art is uniquely positioned to
investigate the social and cultural meanings of biotechnology beyond simplistic
affirmations of determinism.
you think that every genetic art piece is a 'hacking' of life?
sensu, you could say so, yes. If the work manipulates life at a genetic
level, there's an element of hacking (although, for me, this is not really
the most important issue per se).
one of your most famous works, GFP Bunny, you created a glowing rabbit
then adopting it as a member of your family. Did you intend also to code
a metaphor for the acceptance of diversity, beyond the genetic issue? Will
the minority of genetic modified organisms need our responsible reception?
this is correct.
your opinion, where really is the cyberspace? Inside us or invisibly around
is an element in a network of environments and communities.
different genes are the alphabet, is the body a language construct?
are not the alphabet. It is important to deconstruct and criticize this
metaphor. It is necessary to resist this reductionism. However, human language
as a whole certainly plays a fundamental role in the creation of realities.