Title: The aesthetics of inevitable failure: process and contingency in the presentation of electronic media art

Authors: Lewis Kaye

Addresses: Department of Communication Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON, Canada

Abstract: This paper examines the practice of electronic media art from a perspective that stresses the technological and spatial contingencies of presentation. Electronic media art is by nature dynamic, a dynamism that extends to the spatial and technological specificities inherent to the ultimate exhibition of a work. Media artworks are often transformed by the context of exhibition, and it is the question of how to best approach this relationship between artistic intention and local infrastructure that concerns us here. To explore this question, this paper examines how infrastructural issues experienced during the installation of Flow in Toronto (2002) affected the presentation of several artworks. It also looks to the interactive work of Canadian artists David Rokeby and Istvan Kantor as examples of artists whose design and exhibition aesthetic grapples with this question in a productive fashion.

Keywords: new media; electronic art; interactivity; installation; space; gallery infrastructure; exhibition; David Rokeby; Istvan Kantor; Luke Jerram; Jean-Francois Guiton; aesthetics; media artworks; artistic intention; technology; spatial contingencies; technological contingencies.

DOI: 10.1504/IJART.2010.035829

International Journal of Arts and Technology, 2010 Vol.3 No.4, pp.390 - 401

Published online: 05 Oct 2010 *

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