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Array and Volume

posted 23 Apr 2010, 03:34 by Taymaz Valley   [ updated 7 Feb 2013, 15:57 ]


Contemporary artists are familiar with the new cultural developments, and new technology, which most adopt in order to produce work that can relate to the times we live in. Some might describe it as a new spin to historical struggles using up to date science and technology. However, one must ask what is the role of Art Historians in this age? The aim can be seen as to produce a critical view of the new trend developing in Art using art history disciplines. An interdisciplinary take linking ideas and concepts drawn from other areas will help produce viable argument for the positive aspects of new media art which is somewhat neglected by some historians.[1] Inclusion of new media art within the context of art history will help establish roots for evolving contemporary art. However, one aspect of Contemporary art which has been largely overlooked by most Art Historians until recently is indeed the impact of the Science and Technology. Today we take into consideration texts like Walter Benjamin’s “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”[2], and Jack Burnham’s “Beyond Modern Sculpture”, however this might not have been the case for some traditionally trained Historian’s who have dedicated their lived to other disciplines like Feminism, Marxism or Psychology, which albeit all important, have caused Technology and Science to be dismissed as ephemeral.[3] Edward A. Shanken asks: “What similarities and differences, continuities and discontinuities might be mapped onto the use of technology for artistic purposes throughout the history of art?”[4] This essay aims to answer some of these concerns whilst incorporating some new disciplines which have come to be essential to artists working today.

The main subject of this essay revolve around two multimedia installations by UK based group the United Visual Artists. They have come to be known as light based artists, as most their work incorporates light and indeed plays with light. So for them light became the essential part, and the subject. Throughout history of art light has played a major role in presenting a piece of work be they symbolic or technical factors. Light can be adopted as the truth, enlightenment, the good or just simply the illuminating factor. Religious and Mythological art plays with light and darkness to evoke emotions which can be overwhelming and at the time it was aimed to serve an influencing purpose. Artists like Caravaggio[5] and Tizian were particularly skilled at playing with light, and today we consider their work as some of the best examples produced. The Dutch artist Vermeer also played with light, and he is of much importance to today’s historians because of his use of new technology and science of seeing through a Camera Obscura[6]. Another artist whose interest in light produced the most stunning examples was the English painter J. M. W. Turner who was admired by the Impressionist Monet and indeed many others. One can almost assert that in Turner’s work light was the subject.

With the advance of technology light came to play a much more integral part in an artist’s work, and for Dan Flavin it came to represent the essence of art. Flavin is often described as a Minimalist, however his Fluorescent light installation are works that convey emotions far more complicated than any piece called minimalist can offer.[7] Another artist who has dedicated her life to light is Liliane Lijn, and her sculptures defy the most conventions in art history. Like Lijn, the eminent artist James Turrell has also dedicated his life’s work to the idea of light as a subject; and his early pieces like 1992 “Slow Dissolve” plays on the idea of perception of light as solid, and the need of the visitors to touch the piece is an important notion which will be discussed in this essay. Turrell is currently working on his most important piece the “Roden Crater” which is essentially a mausoleum dedicated to light[8]. The perception of light as solid is currently being investigated by the British born artist Anthony McCall, and his work “You and I Horizontal” and “Between You and I” which are just such examples of this notion as installations, where light takes a form of solid in a sculptural sense however illusionary. McCall muses in an interview: “It’s interesting, how many people when describing what they did or saw, they often mention this feeling they had to touch it, and that paradox that there isn’t a wall there at all... it’s a consequence of light, it’s space occupying and yet it’s not really there.”[9] For all the light based artists mentioned above an important factor of their work is the idea of audience’s immersion in the piece, where their perception changes through the artwork and the environment created by the work. Immersion is an important factor in today’s Artistic work and it has somewhat a long history, which will be discussed in this essay. Another important factor in today’s new media art is the idea of interaction, which alongside Immersion is being played with by United Visual Artist’s installations. The audience and the viewer have a much more elemental role in today’s artwork, and through the work of philosophers like Roland Barthes and “The Death of the Author”[10] historians have to come to accept this intrinsic role.


“Array” and “Volume”: two light installations by United Visual Artists

In December 2008 United Visual Artists (UVA) displayed their installation “Array” which was commissioned by Yamaguchi Centre for Arts and Media (YCAM) for what was their fifth anniversary, as part of the Yuda Art Project[11]. The project was supported by The British Council, Tokyo, and it proved immensely popular with the media, spectators and the audiences[12]. Array was described by the artists as follows: “‘Array’ is a field of columns set in the courtyard of the Chuya Nakahara Memorial Museum in Southern Japan. The columns create a field of light and sound which gently shifts in response to the viewers’ movements, via a hidden network of ultrasonic sensors. Each column is lit by a pure, shimmering white light. This forest of light calls you in, and its response to your movement invites you to explore. Inside the grid lives a spirit, in the form of a single pure red light. This spirit is timid but often playful, revealing itself boldly then disappearing.”[13] These collective of artists had displayed a similar interactive installation in front of London’s V&A, called “Volume” which had left the spectators in awe and bewilderment. The Columns of light were also used in Volume which detected the presence of a body and reacted by emitting different coloured lights with accompanied sounds[14]. Those who experienced the installations are recorded to have described a spiritual feeling. Photographs and video recordings show people closing their eyes in front of the columns and observing each change with heightened sense of emotions. Volume led YCAM to commission Array for the Japanese public and it provoked similar reactions from the Japanese audience.

UVA started their career making visual installation for music groups like Massive Attack. They had showcased their work around the world bringing together music and digital performances. Light had played a major role in their work and with Array and Volume it became their subject. The UVA member Matt Clark who was involved in the Volume project, in an interview with Alan Yentob remarked: “In its very nature light communicates in a way that doesn’t need words... It’s an emotional communication. Much like music in its purest form.”[15] Rhythmic sounds were incorporated in both work, making the experience more immersing. Array and Volume adopted the very principles of Wagnerian Gesamtkunstwerk, where a total artwork experience is offered to the audience. Chris Bird, another member of UVA and responsible for Volume, compared the attraction of the work to prehistoric people gathering around fires and proceeding to dance accompanied by music and chanting[16]. The audiences interacting with these three dimensional artworks had took part in immersion having light and sounds as their interface, and the unity of senses played a major role in their experience.[17]  


Three dimensional artwork in Twenty First Century 

To comprehend how science affects art and life one only has to look at the development of art theory throughout history. As Roy Ascott indicates in his essay “Back to Nature II” nature and being natural has a deep root in art[18]. Indeed going back to ancient Greece, at the dawn of western art, sculptures like “Kritian Boy” c.490, or those of Polykleitos were revered as works of beauty and are still for their naturalism and attention given to detail; albeit exaggerations were made in order to enhance beauty[19], something that is still alive to this day, but even with the exaggerations and search for appeasement to the eye the work had to look natural as if it could be found in reality. Anatomy and the science of proportion were of great importance to ancient artist who wanted to succeed in their trade, which were followed into the birth of perspective in pre renaissance. Question of natural was on artist’s mind, and they used their skills and knowledge of sciences at the time to achieve the best representation of it. Leonardo da Vinci is an example of an artist who used science as his aid in all his endeavours. With the Romantics more attention was paid to the nature, and even with the Impressionists outdoor painting became a way of interacting with what is natural. As Jack Burnham points out in his “Beyond Modern Sculpture” Degas’ “Little Dancer” is an embodiment of search for natural, with the base of the sculpture being a slab of hardwood resembling the wooden plinth of ballerina’s practice floor[20]. Even with the Post-Impressionist like Van Gogh and that father of modernity Cezanne going back to nature was of essence, however it was presented with their modern concepts in mind. As Roy Ascott points out “Nature is, of course, all metaphor; the good, the pure, the unadulterated, the whole.” which did come under question by artists as technology and science dug deeper, and as nature became just the tip of the iceberg; however artist’s search for representing the nature as they knew it wasn’t changed only enhanced; and as Roy Ascott continues “As we move into the twenty-first century, we shall need to create new metaphors to house the complex interacting systems of biological, technological, and social life that we are developing.”[21]  Here science, technology and their development throughout modern history comes into play.        

Science has indeed contributed greatly to the development of sculpture throughout history. Even the earliest forms of sculpture relied on mathematics and geometry of what can be seen as scientific measurements and concepts. Nearer to our own times, even with the Avant-gardes of the twentieth century, where artists like the surrealists were producing sculptures based on the ideas of unconscious and psychiatry, which are sciences in their own right; even though many were sceptical about its scientific authenticity at the time. Analytical Psychiatry which today no one can argue against its scientific merit was certainly under attack at the time. As C.G Jung recalls: “Under the influence of scientific materialism, everything that could not be seen with the eyes or touch with hands was held in doubt; such things were even laughed at because of their supposed affinity with metaphysics.”    

Constructivism owed much of its idealism to science through mathematics, physics, engineering. These concepts had an important effect on another sets of schools of modernity like Destijl and Bauhaus, where students and artists were producing works that were a combination of art and science. Moholy-Nagy being one of the most influential Bauhaus artists who experimented with technology and more importantly with light sculptures. The progress of sculpture from being based on idealism to what can now be seen as new imedia works and installations, owes much of its success to the artists who gradually replaced traditional material and started introducing everyday objects and material in their work. Namely Duchamp and Picasso who brought under question the nature of material based works.[22] Jack Burnham writes in Beyond Modern Sculpture: “What connects art to science is an abiding similarity between the artistic and scientific mind: it is as if both were motivated by the same pangs of discovery and desire for the consummation of ideas into beautiful totalities.” Burnham devotes a whole chapter in Beyond Modern Sculpture to light based work, as he saw it as being an important subject matter for the contemporary artists. And even though Burnham’s writings came under attack by many Art Historians later on, his vision and concepts must not be overlooked. As Edward A. Shaken writes of Burnham’s “Beyond Modern Sculpture”: “Despite the difficulties of ascertaining the influence of BMS, it is a landmark in the history of writing about art, science, and technology.”[23]

With physical movement becoming of interest to artists[24], the science of mechanism also found its way into art. Alexander Calder’s moving sculptures of 1940s demonstrate movement and kinetics. Vittorio Benussi’s experiment using circle patterns rotating produced what has been termed “stereokinetic effect” which combined the kinetic movement with depth seen in an optical illusion. This concept can be observed in Duchamp’s “Roto-Relicts” (1923-35) and Anemic Cinema a 1925-26 film. Hence kinetic art’s combination with optical illusion can be seen as a step toward illusionary kinetic light structures like Array and Volume. Kinetic art must be viewed beyond the mechanical component, as it can be linked to digital electronic categories. As Peter Weibel indicates in his description of Opand Kinetic Arts: “In both cases, mere representation was renounced in favour of real movement, real light. Optical illusions became recognisable as such. Real movement and real light became the media of art.”[25] The traditional  ideas of movement combined with light was experimented with by Moholy-Nagy in his 1922-30 artwork “Light Space Modulator” which was a six foot moving sculpture made from aluminium and chrome plated surface which moved by a mechanical motor[26]. To see the full effect of “Light-space Modulator” or “Lichtrequisit” as it was known in German, the sculpture would have to operate in the dark with beams of light shining onto its surface. Another German artist who had a great influence on light as a subject matter was Otto Piene who attempted moving beyond the concepts of Moholy-Nagy to produce works that had light as performers. His Light Ballet 1961 used sounds and music accompanied by projection of revolving light onto walls by motorised machines[27]. Two years earlier, in 1959 he had produced the same work however without the use of machines, using hand held lamps, however it was the 1961 work that had the most influential effect on the audiences and future artists. This work by Piene essentially allowed the audience to be immersed in a performance that was awe inspiring and at the same time quite natural and happening in real space and time. It influenced much of the later psychedelic performances by artists using light and music. Roy Ascott writes: “Contrary to popular view of art’s relationship with nature, it is these technological and computerised systems that are providing us with a threshold, an open doorway into the natural world.”[28] In the similar way Array and Volume manage to combine technology and science of light and sound with an experience which comes close to nature, and that is precisely why the audience find the work fascinating and exhilarating. Jill Scott asks: “Can artists improve the relationship to machines by altering their design to be touch capable, soft and more organic?”[29] The spiritual feelings described by those who had viewed the UVA installations owes much of its success to the way we can interact and immerse ourselves in a reality which we come to experience and depend on as natural yet new. With the advancement of technology and science we become more familiar and fascinated by works that feed our creativity and allow us to interact. The way contemporary three dimensional works uses media and light to produce an alternative reality for us, we can see virtual reality artists taking up to produced purely software based programs to take us into another dimension. Creation of right environment is essential for any piece installation or virtual, and this has been taken into consideration by artists[30]. Time has also become very important in today’s installations and works of art, and where as at one stage performance artists were aiming to make us aware of time, today’s artists make us lose ourselves in time and space. So maybe it is more accurate to refer to light installations and sculptures being produced by artists like UVA as four dimensional works.           

Interactivity and Immersion in contemporary Art

Roy Ascott writes in “Gesantdantenwerk”: “One can no longer be at the window, looking in on a scene composed by another, one is instead invited to enter the doorway into a world where interaction is all.”[31] The relationship between the viewer and the art object has always caused debate, which can be traced back to religious art and its place within the church. As art pieces were seen as a window to the vision of God and having holy elements, viewers were often prohibited from interacting with them by touching or closely inspect them. The artworks were meant to produce a humbling effect on the audience from afar, which was aimed to place them in awe of some divinity. These notions were shared by all monotheistic religions, be they Judaism, Christianity or even in Islam where the decorated shrines of “Imams” were protected by gold cages and the pilgrims were refrained from touching the artwork. Seeing seems to be the only interaction deemed suitable for religious artworks, and this was further implemented later on by the restrictions of ownership and private property laws which is still in place today. As Erkki Huhtamo writes: “touching with one’s eyes only, was a manifestation of an ideological ‘mechanism’ where the formation of aesthetic experience was associated with ‘stepping back’ – maintaining physical distance from the artwork.”[32] As he rightly points out the condition of art as valuable commodity, and the romantic notions of artist as a mad genius contributed to the limitations being imposed on interactivity with an artwork. However, with the emergence of the avant-garde and a fresh take on presentation of art pieces by artists like Duchamp and the Surrealists in the 20th century, the path toward interactivity and the idea of “touch” becoming essential to works of contemporary artists was laid. Erkki Huhtamo continues in his essay concerning new media and idea of “Touch”: “The idea of interactive art is intimately linked with touching. As it is usually understood, an interactive artwork is something that needs to be actuated by a ‘users’.” He then proceeds to explain that the notion of “touch” is nor restricted to the physical act carried out by hands or other parts of the body, and can include vision and motion senses and even sound. He goes on to say: “In a technological culture, forms of touch have been instrumentalized into coded relationships between humans and machines.” Interactivity of new media artists, especially light artists like UVA consists of interaction between man and technology, be they machines, computers or electric circuits. Before the advancement of technology, one could observe similar type of interaction between man and man, through games like chess or backgammon where the board would become the interface connecting two separate individuals. Art in the form of traditional painting and sculpture can also observed as an interface, however in that case it is one sided; only communicating the ideas of the artist to the viewers. However as technology and science based artwork became part of the art scene, interactivity became much more mutual on both the artist and the viewer, and in some cases the artist becomes unimportant as the interaction takes place between the viewer and the art work itself. Light can be seen as a perfect interface between man and machine built by the artist, however a machine never the less. So, one can predict that in the future, it will be this interactivity which takes a life of its own eliminating the artist from the process gradually, and they no longer will be the integral part of the experience.

With the birth of modernity another path was set of art becoming independent from form and material. Through artists like Picasso and Duchamp, less significant was given to material and more attention was paid to the concept and idea. Art was on its way to conceptualisation, and with it the role of artists became more diverse and less essential, detracting from materialistic value and adding to the role of audience and viewer. With the advancement of science and technology the relationship between the concept and audience became more dominant and important, and this gave the viewer a more hands-on role becoming an intrinsic part of artwork’s existence, completing the concept of art with their interaction. Louis Poissant writes in “Passage from Material to Interface”: “Until the apparition of new media arts, artistic activity was associated with the creation of forms. With the gradual abandonment of solid materials and ‘the decline of object’ to the profit of what Lyotard named ‘Immaterials’ the emphasis shifted progressively from the process to the experimentation of device inviting the spectator to connect on another level and eventually interact with the artwork and its environment.”[33] With new media arts, or in this case light installations like Array and Volume the relationship between the artwork and the audience is under questions, and the material used or the relationships of different parts of artwork toward each other has been given less importance. What essentially became important was the relation of objects and subjects, and not the objects themselves. Light structures interacting in relation to the viewer. The artist Jesus Rafael was similarly interested in the relationship between objects, and as Peter Weibel explains: “He quickly recognised the laws governing apparent movement, whereby precisely the relations among the elements, as opposed to the elements themselves, are crucial to the generation of illusory motions.”[34]

Use of light in illusionist’s work were very popular in the 18th century. Dark theatres were illuminated by ephemeral images projected by Magic Lanterns to produce awing visions of ghosts and devils, which left audiences terrified and entertained. These performances became so popular that stronger light sources like Argand Lamps were eventually used to treat a larger crowd to the similar spectacles. These were the earliest plays on Immersion. Bruno Corra and Arnaldo Ginna, both Futurists, had designed a set in 1909 where the audience were dressed in white and had coloured lights shined on them by a specially designed colour emitting organ, including them in the piece; which can be seen as early interpretation of interactivity and immersion. Light in this case can be seen as an interface and an instrument in the inclusion of audience, and an important step toward new media art instead of material based art. Serbian had also envisaged a similar piece for Promeheus around 1910 which also included the use of light. Light indeed played a vital role in developing modernity, and this can be seen as resulted from the development of electrical technology and science. With the early experimentations with light, the audience were transformed from playing a passive role as a mere observer to playing a more integral part in completing a spectacle, without whom the artwork work would have ceased to exist. During the 1960s Happenings and Fluxus movement, the audiences were given instructions as how to interact with each piece in order to produce a favourable outcome intended; hence for the piece to work the interactivity of the art-work was bound by the rules planned out by the artists. However, with interactivity of the new media art especially those of the light artists this concept has changed somewhat. In works like Array and Volume the audience is allowed to make their own decisions on most occasions, and the only limiting factor seems to be the technological capabilities. So, the audience have the freedom to experience each piece in their own individual way and have a unique out-take. Andreas Broeckmann writes: “Unlike in a performance, where the execution is conducted by main actor, in interactive system the interacting person is typically not executing a more or less open program, but is included in the technical system as a secondary factor, or as a trigger, who can then observe passively the programmed result of his or her action.”[35]

By showcasing the Array piece in Japan, the UVA were tapping into a long ancient tradition of a country very familiar with the concept of Interactivity and Immersion.  Japanese culture has a long artistic history and they view their “bijutsu” (Meaning ‘Visual Fine Arts’ a term introduced in late nineteenth century as Japan opened relationship doors and trading with the west) as having roots in traditional concepts of immersing in art which they value highly. Art played an integral role in Japanese life; and instead of being something revered as special, it was used in everyday life and surrounding with ordinary use. The tradition of painting pictures goes back throughout Japanese history, however it was seen as harmonizing the living and religious environment by hiring artists to paint their work on screens and sliding doors. Artwork could be found on most household items like tableware, chests and trunks. Elegant designs and complicated embroidery could be found on clothes and accessories. During the nineteenths century there was an export surge of artwork to the west; from bronze and ivory statues to decorated porcelain, some of which were made purely for the western market, however original Japanese works were produced with Japanese life in mind. Prints became popular as wood-block printing technology came into practice around mid-nineteenth century which mesmerised artists and collectors in the west, and had a tremendous influence on the Impressionists and Post Impressionist artists like Van Gogh[36]; however in Japan they along with calligraphy were seen as a way of immersing oneself in life which explains why they were replaced often in Japanese homes according to the seasons. Oliver Grau writes: “Immersion can be an intellectually stimulating process; however in the present as in the past, in most cases immersion is mentally absorbing and a process, a change, a passage from one mental state to another. It is characterized by diminishing critical distance to what is shown and increasing emotional involvement in what is happening.” In the same context the Japanese were very fond of visual spectacles and performances accompanied by music and poetry, in which everybody would participate, hence interactivity and immersion was essential to their idea of celebrations. These historic traditions are still alive today, and even with the western introduction of Art as a concept of its own, Japanese artists still use their traditions in their art. Launching Array in Japan aimed to relate to just such traditions, and Array with its visual and sound effects brought about another way for the audience to Immerse and Interact with an artwork.                     

Oliver Grau writes: “Immersion is produced works of art and image apparatus converge, or when the message and the medium form an almost inseparable unit, so that the medium becomes invisible.”[37] And certainly with artworks like Array and Volume, the audience lose themselves in the experience, unaware of the medium or the artwork. Most contemporary audience fail to recognise such work as art and concentrate on working out a way to interact with the piece in their own individual way. They are immersed in an environment accompanied by changing lights and sounds which they control by their movement and distance. It can be described as another alternative existence. Oliver Grau writes: “The most ambitious project intends to appeal not only to the eyes but to all other senses so that the impression arises of being completely in an artificial world,” and where as Grau is referring to virtual reality, one can pursue the same notion in explaining the light installations of UVA with a difference which is: where as in virtual reality one is aware of being immersed in an artificial world, in connection with light installations in question one is faced with real environments which can produce a sublime and lasting effect when immersion takes place.      



History of light is the history of universe going back to its creation with a “Big Flash rather than a Big Bang”. Play on light and darkness has always helped artists to convey their message more accurately. It has helped people deal with questions of life and mortality in their own individual way. Hence it is only befitting that it should be a subject for art, and UVA and indeed many other new media artists using it as an interface can be seen as a step forward to understanding ourselves. Array and Volume as three dimensional artworks is a step forward from material based Sculptures and Installations because with the advancement of science and technology they have become more natural and understandable. No longer is an artwork seen as an object that exists for admiration only, owned by the few. Art through technology has become an experience which can be shared and admired by all without putting too much emphasis on the artists and regarding them as mad geniuses whose work are akin to that of a god like figure. We are now allowed to interact and immerse ourselves in a world that can become entertaining and bewildering without limits of environment and rules of establishments. The audience and the viewer has become as important to an artwork as the creator; a fact that all artists now and in the future keep in mind at the moment of creation. Works created by new media artists the likes of UVA bring us closer, and shouldn’t that be the aim of all art?        

[1] Oliver Grau in his Introduction to “Media Art History” speaks of ways Art Historians can incorporate new developments in art.

[2] In this text Benjamin considers the new technological developments and its effects on the arts. Photography and reproductions were subjects that he saw as having a great influence on how people perceived arts.  

[3] Art Historians like Rosalind Krauss who rejected ideas of Jack Burnham and are yet to consider science and technology as factor affecting the contemporary new media arts, however Krauss does praise Benjamin and the Surrealists’ adaption of new technologies like photograph reproduction.

[4] E. A. Shanken, ‘Historicizing Art and Technology: Forging A Method and Firing A Canon’

[5] Caravaggio’s “Calling of St. Matthew” is a perfect example of a work that uses light as symbol of divine and truth. You can find this work in appendix a).

[6] Vermeer was certainly an intellectual and was aware of the new developments in science and technology and he was interested in using them in his art. Appendix b) shows an example of his work that highlights his interests. 

[7] Dan Flavin’s light installations managed to create an environment which one could lose oneself in. They were highly complex and awing. You can see an example of Flavin’s work in Appendix c)

[8] Turrell is interested in perception of light and invoking a new way of observing light. His early installation did indeed produce a solid effect from light. You can see an example of just such work in appendix d). 

[9] In a BBC Interview for a program called “Let There Be Light”

[10] R. Barthes, Image Music Text

[11] Please refer to appendix e) for a photograph of the institution.

[12] Please refer to appendix f) for a photograph of the work Array.

[13] Official description of Array by United Visual Artists on their website.

[14] For a photograph of Volume please refer to appendix g).

[15] The interview was conducted for “Imagine”

[16] Nigel Spivey conducted an investigation into the tribal rituals of dance and music around fires in his “How Art Made the World” and through it he proceeded to explain the prehistoric cave paintings. It can be found in a BBC Published book with the same title.

[17] For more academic takes on unity of senses and consequently the arts please refer to “Empire of the Senses” edited by David Howes.

[18] R. Ascott, ‘Back to Nature II: Art and Technology in the Twenty-First Century’

[19] Nigel Spivey in his “How Art made the World” does write of exaggerations made to beauty and human figures throughout history in order to produce works that are beyond nature, however one must argue that even with the enhancement of beauty in painting and sculpture one is always aware of the resemblance to natural and worldly creations.

[20] J. Burnham, Beyond Modern Sculpture, (London: Penguin Press, 1986)

[21] R. Ascott, ‘Back to Nature II: Art and Technology in the Twenty-First Century’

[22] Picasso’s using everyday objects in his collages and paintings can be seen as a way of rejecting the material based artwork and diving into a modernity. The example in appendix h) shows just such piece which paved the way for new artists.

[23] E. A. Shanken, ‘Historicizing Art and Technology: Forging A Method and Firing A Canon’

[24] Like to the Italian Futurists who influenced by cubism tried to take it further by presenting motion in their work.  

[25] P. Weibel, ‘It is forbidden not to touch: some remarks on the (forgotten parts of the) history of interactivity and virtuality’

[26] Please refer to appendix i) for a photograph of “Light-Space Modulator” at work.

[27] A photograpg of the Light Ballet can be found in appendix j)

[28] R. Ascott, ‘Back to Nature II: Art and Technology in the Twenty-First Century’

[29] J. Scott, ‘The Body as Interface’

[30] I. Kabakov, ‘On Installations’ considers the importance of environment to any installation, albeit comparing Russian artists with those of the western. 

[31] R. Ascott, ‘Gesamtdatenwerk: Connectivity, Transformation, and Transcendence’

[32] E. Huhtamo, ‘Twin-Touch-Test-Redux: Media Archaeological Approach to Art, Interactivity, and Tactility’

[33] L. Poissant ‘The Passage from Material to Interface’ in O. Grau (eds.) Media Art Histories (London: The MIT Press, 2007), pp. 229-251

[34] P. Weibel, ‘It is forbidden not to touch: some remarks on the (forgotten parts of the) history of interactivity and virtuality’ in O. Grau (eds.) Media Art Histories (London: The MIT Press, 2007), pp. 21-43


[35] A. Broeckmann, ‘Image, Process, Performance, Machine: Aspects of an Aesthetics of the Machinic’ in O. Grau (eds.) Media Art Histories (London: The MIT Press, 2007), pp. 193-207

[36] Van Gogh was certainly a fan of Japanese prints and he collected them. He even painted his self portrait with the print ‘Geisha in a Landscape’ by Sato Torakiyo which was in his possession in the background. You can see a photograph of that work in appendix  k).

[37] In an introduction to O. Grau, Virtual Art, From Illusion to Immersion, (London: The MIT Press, 2003)