[iDC] Re: Interactive City: irrelevant mobile entertainment?
desvirtual at gmail.com
Wed Aug 23 11:31:57 EDT 2006
It seems to me that this debate about the mobile projects presented at
ISEA and some of the Interactive City works express different
conceptions on public art and its transformations by the use of mobile
I will repeat here something I already posted, but redirecting the discussion.
I also have some comments about the militarization of the quotidian
and they also discuss the public sphere.
1) Public art in nomadic culture
Mobile devices are devices intrinsically related to the multitask
style of contemporary life. They are made in a way to allow the
performance of simultaneous and unrelated tasks, such as driving and
talking, or writing SMS's and attending a class. Therefore, they
cannot be limited to a field of special attention to the works, such
as museums and movie theaters. Because of this they catalyze a process
of de-spectacularization of art, in the scope of the mobility culture.
In this sense it does not surprise me that someone can not participate
or interact because needs to work. This is urban space... Not the
museum. Public art in this context is risk. The challenge of doing
something that nobody will see or perceive. How to deal with an art
form to be experienced "in between" while doing other things? How to
think about put public art without updating the idea of the monument?
Our bourgeoisie background taught us that we had a role in the public
sphere but the emergence of the "multitude" changed a lot those
ambitions and reconfigured the public experience towards distributive
patterns rather than locative and person to person relations.
Paradoxically, it seem that we, artists, critics and producers devoted
to the investigation of mobile art in public spaces have more to learn
from Robert Smithson and Richard Serra than from Debord and the
situcionist mythology of the psycho geography...
We learned from Foucault that power operates through the microphysics
of power. The militarization of the quotidian in the US and the
strength of its conservative discourse are distributed through the
airports agents, Fox products like 24 hours and stupid people like the
woman Anna met in Starbucks. This is quite obvious for everyone.
But I think we can say that this conservative discourse is effective
when we have the opportunity of being part of the crowd who was at the
South Hall to see the "Survival Labs", one of the most disturbing
experiences I ever had in my life.
Presented as a group of performers who uses a unique set of ritualized
interactions between machines, robots, and special effects devices,
employed in developing themes of socio-political satire, in spectacles
where humans are present only as audience or operators, those
post-modern gladiators and their Counter-Strike minds made me sick.
In our political moment, it is impossible to operate the critic of
violence (and war) converting violence in spectacle that deal with
humans as just audience or operators. The most disturbing part of all
this ritual, of course, is too see how easy it is to domesticate the
public sphere transforming its presence in a happy audience delighted
to be scared by the noise and special effects they see on CNN as
distant real life.
> > Molly Hankwitz Cox
> > Faculty - Interior Design
> > The Art Institute of California
> > PhD candidate
> > Creative Industries/Queensland University of Technology
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