TechnoMorphica - Introduction

Introduction to the publication "TechnoMorphica" that was edited and published by V2_ in 1997.

TechnoMorphica - Introduction

Technomorphica 1997

In 1992 the center for art and media technology V2_Organisation published the Book for the Unstable Media. This book dealt extensively with the problematic relationship between museum art and media art: what is it that distinguishes and connects these two developments? The book made a tentative inventory of the specific qualities of media art and did so by examining interdisciplinary projects, jointly undertaken by artists and scientists.

TechnoMorphica can in a sense be regarded as a continuation of the Book for the Unstable Media, although this time a completely different angle was chosen to look at current media art. Now, five years later, we see how media art has advanced considerably. It can hardly be described anymore in the classical terms with which art theory analyzes the artwork and in which the autonomous artwork and the autonomous artist are such key elements.

Meanwhile, a broadly based discussion on media art is getting on the way, focusing on dynamic relations and the multiplicity of correlations within which works of art are realized. This discourse is not limited exclusively to the domain of art, but has an overlap with discussions held in other disciplines ? such as architecture, urban and rural planning, neurology, mathematics and philosophy ? where the relationship between human and technology is a central issue.

TechnoMorphica reflects this discussion and further focuses it. In this book fourteen contributors ? artists, architects, philosophers and scientists ? deal with the issue of the continuously progressive fusion of the biological with the technological. This is a development which erodes the very basis of what we call the subject, the autonomous individual and the autonomous artwork: concepts that not only defined the philosophical and art theoretical debate in this century but also, and especially so, defined our self-awareness.

In this book therefore a fundamentally different view of reality is put before us. In this view concepts such as dynamics and complexity, randomness, self-organization and interactivity have become essential tools in describing biological and technological processes. The authors state that several processes intermingle, work against each other and at the same time co-operate with each other in forming our notion of reality. Which role does media art play in enabling us to experience this reality? How does it help us to shape and criticize this reality?

The classical divisions and contrasts that exist between nature and culture, between human and machine, between body and mind and that have defined our understanding of ? and control over ? reality are very much at odds with the realities that are described in this book. In both art and science, disciplines and concepts are becoming increasingly intermingled. This observation, this experience, has since long been a defining influence within the V2_Organisation in the way presentations and programs are developed and in how specific qualities and characteristics of media art are defined.
In describing the fundamental changes and the common processes which determine the relations of all professions and art disciplines to the domain of technology, we touch upon the roots of media art.


© 1997 V2_

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