Transcending Into the Virtual: Presence Prognostications and the Re-Calibration of Telematic Art


Session Title:

  • Virtual Reality, Virtual Materiality, Virtual Instrumentality

Presentation Title:

  • Transcending Into the Virtual: Presence Prognostications and the Re-Calibration of Telematic Art




  • “As for the potentials and validity of methodology we used in the mid-seventies remains to be rediscovered and reaffirmed as soon as those in the arts with Internet2 capabilities become bored with watching local performers interacting with displays simply presenting remote participants.”    _Kit Galloway, Sherrie Rabinowitz, “Aesthetic Research in Telecommunications”

    Telematic Art, first described as part of the “telematic embrace” by artist and theorist Roy Ascott, and inferred by Marvin Minksy of MIT labs as “telepresence” or digital spatialization and temporal distributed events with real-time interaction is being re-calibrated incorporating a new generation of software, connectivity and arts practices over robust 1gigabyte fiber optic research networks. These networks are limited in their ability to conduit information only by the speed of light.  Due to advances in digitization, connectivity, upgrading of core infrastructures and the prioritization of nations throughout the globe to construct high-speed networks, these environments are undergoing rapid development.

    Human movement can be transformed into digital images that become sound, and that sound can then be reincorporated back into the image, launching new potentialities of interactivity between different global telematic nodes. Different sensor technologies data can be sent to various locations. These new software and methodologies raise compelling technical, aesthetic, social and cognitive paradigms of meaning concerning the intersection of human and digital arts, sound, storytelling, dance, music, installation, and participatory works.  What are the emerging aesthetics of these combined mediums over distance networks? Are they developing into something truly unique, or are they just repackaging appropriated forms? By necessity the issue of presence and immediacy become mediated.  Does this mediation make arts practice into augmented broadcast or something more compelling?

    This paper will explore recent experiments using telematics with 3D Virtual worlds, improvised performance, motion capture suits, spoken word, video art, live and pre-recorded dance, VDMX V-J effects, MAX/MSP/Jitter and various music and sound programs in front of both live audiences and as on-line performances.

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