Database Aesthetics: Art in the Age of Information Overflow (Electronic Mediations)

Database Aesthetics: Art in the Age of Information Overflow (Electronic Mediations)

Language: English

Pages: 336


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Database Aesthetics examines the database as cultural and aesthetic form, explaining how artists have participated in network culture by creating data art. The essays in this collection look at how an aesthetic emerges when artists use the vast amounts of available information as their medium. Here, the ways information is ordered and organized become artistic choices, and artists have an essential role in influencing and critiquing the digitization of daily life.


Contributors: Sharon Daniel, U of California, Santa Cruz; Steve Deitz, Carleton College; Lynn Hershman Leeson, U of California, Davis; George Legrady, U of California, Santa Barbara; Eduardo Kac, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Norman Klein, California Institute of the Arts; John Klima; Lev Manovich, U of California, San Diego; Robert F. Nideffer, U of California, Irvine; Nancy Paterson, Ontario College of Art and Design; Christiane Paul, School of Visual Arts in New York; Marko Peljhan, U of California, Santa Barbara; Warren Sack, U of California, Santa Cruz; Bill Seaman, Rhode Island School of Design; Grahame Weinbren, School of Visual Arts, New York.


Victoria Vesna is a media artist, and professor and chair of the Department of Design and Media Arts at the University of California, Los Angeles.













delay may have caused. Sincerely, Bodies© INC. 12 Victoria Vesna Bodies© INCorporated was conceived as a response to the need of the Vir- tual Concrete online audience to “see” their bodies and it was informed by my research of MOOs, multiuser worlds, cyborgs, and avatars. I did not simply want to send back what was demanded, but to answer in a way that would prompt the participants to consider their relationship to the Internet as a corporate machine and understand the meaning of online

program that would compare values and send signals to a stepper motor. Steve Kee, director of Media Relations at TSX, generously provided these files. In 1996, the dress was designed and stitched, complete with a complex system of cables, loops, and weights sewn to the interior of the skirt to ensure that the hemline length changes could take place smoothly. With the next engineer who assisted with the project (there would be several before it was finally complete in 1999), I undertook

examples are popular multimedia encyclopedias (which are collections by their very definition), as well as other commercial CD-ROM or DVD titles, which are collections as well—of recipes, quota- tions, photographs, and so on. 3 The identity of a CD-ROM as a storage media is projected onto another plane, becoming a cultural form of its own. Multimedia works that have “cultural” content appear particularly to favor the database form. Consider, for instance, the “virtual museums” genre—

half-completed projects, and erasures. It is the void between data and plot points. In time lines, an absence is what cannot fit on the path. In a map, absence is what cannot be classified. In a film, absence can be what lay just outside the frame, or just before the action begins. A ruin embraces the absence of the original act. We have only the remains of that act, what was not consumed by the moment. In Bleeding Through, various absent spaces combine: between memory and the city,

Interface Design In order for an interface to work, the person has to have some idea about what the computer expects and can handle, and the computer has to incorporate some information about what the person’s goals and behaviors are likely to be. These two phenomena—a person’s “mental model” of the computer and the computer’s “understanding” of the person—are just as much a part of the interface as its physical and sensory manifestations. . . . Faced with this nightmare, our seminar at

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