Devising and Positioning Interactivity in Net projects


Session Title:

  • Devising & Positioning Interactivity in Net projects

Presentation Title:

  • Devising and Positioning Interactivity in Net projects



  • Panel Statement

    This panel will examine the strategic use of interactivity within net projects and ask whether to what extent there is an aesthetic based around interactivity. One of the consequences of the development of Internet projects, over and above that of other electronic media, has been the gradual defining of an aesthetic based around interactivity. This has operated both in the formation of the content of projects and in the way projects are developed for, and anticipate, the audiences. The development of recent applications and plug-ins has increased the use of ‘predetermined’ interactive devices in web projects but without necessarily diversifying the strategies that have been clearly developing over the previous years. Arguably, interactivity has been most prevalent as a device that is employed to facilitate non linear narrative structures. It is also, and more profoundly, the key element of projects which are predicated upon the ongoing participation of the viewers to contribute new material, and as such, use interactivity over the medium to long term to challenge the status of the distinct artwork. Not only are these strategies based on the assumption that the artist can anticipate a desire on the part of the audience to participate in the art work itself, as a creative agent or active observer, but, furthermore, it often pre-supposes the existence of a generic audience and is not structured to encourage diversity. The panel will address projects in which the status of the art work as a discrete object is reduced by, and enabled by, the focus on the interactive process. The panel will consider ways that artists choose to minimize the status of the art object within their work by focussing instead on the process of interaction; at the same time deal with the tension that can be created between conceptual engagement and the apparent lack of visual substance. The panel will also address the role of collective interactive projects: how ‘un-predetermined’ interactivity can shape the outcome of a project; and how a website can be used as central point for other kinds of interactivity that are facilitated through the site; how a long term relationship between artists and audience/participants can be developed and sustained while allowing artists artistic control over the evolution of their work.