16 August 2012
Venue: Room 501 (Pat Hanan Room), Arts 2 (Building 207)
Host: Charlie Gere
The paper traces the social transformations wrought by new technologies of information and communication, especially in relation to art. Marshall McLuhan famously declared that electronic telecommunications would turn the world into a ‘global village’. In the late 1960s the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the American Defense Department had started to explore the possibilities of networked computing. The result was the formation of the ARPANet, the ancestor of the Internet, initiated in 1969 as a network of four computers, three in California and one in Utah, which were linked by telephone lines. From that point on artists began to explore the possibilities of such networks. Such technologies and networks were also involved, instrumental for the changes corralled under the term ‘postmodernism’. It is this set of conditions that sets the scene for the experiments in communications and telematics that emerged in the late 1970s and 1980s. In particular it fostered new forms of art involving live streaming of information and video, such as Roy Ascott's La Plissure du Texte, and Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz's Hole-in-Space, in which images were transmitted in real time. Such works offered a paradigm of technologically-oriented art both similar and markedly different to video art, which developed at about the same time.
Charlie Gere is Professor of Media Theory and History at the Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts, Lancaster University. He is the author of Digital Culture(Reaktion Books, 2002); Art, Time and Technology (Berg, 2006); Non-relational Aesthetics, with Michael Corris (Artwords, 2009), and co-editor of White Heat Cold Technology (MIT Press, 2009) and Art Practice in a Digital Culture (Ashgate, 2010). In 2007, Professor Gere co-curated Feedback, a major exhibition on art responsive to instructions, input or its environment, in Gijon, Northern Spain. He is co-curator of FutureEverybody, the 2012 FutureEverything exhibition, in Manchester. His new book, Community without Community in Digital Culture (Palgrave MacMillan, 2012), will be published later this year.
Drinks and snacks to follow