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Dieter Daniels - Strategies of Interactivity

Written on November 12, 2008

Interesting text that arises some relevant questions about the relationships between the interactivity as technology and its social and political implications / relations. I think nowadays, it is remarkable that all the ideas of the 60s and 70s originated by Cage and Fluxus can be pushed several steps forward as there are “no” technological limitations today, as there were 40 years ago. The question now is: have the “no technical limitation” made possible this “step forward”? Maybe not. “The uncompromising openness and infinite indeterminacy of the Happening and Fluxus ideal of an art that has no creator/spectator hierarchy proved to be a transitory phase”; this is being reproduced today by works such as Lozano-Hemmers “Vectorial Elevation”, just in a bigger scale.

As en extreme of this openness, the example of Linux being awarded with Prix Ars Electronica, brings the eternal question about what is art and what is not. I am not going to throw an opinion on this matter now, but I would like to remark a related topic covered by the text: “… as Cage saw it, was not to deliver an optimum ‘operating system’ for musical instruments, but to initiate an individual and social creative process which successively detaches itself from the intentions of its author”. When talking about “interactive art”, as it is “made” possible through the interaction of the audience, one can question the value of the author as opposed to the “closed” works where there is no user influence (this can always be argued though). This detachment author-work is almost really complete in systems like Linux, but I wonder if we have seen yet such a detachment in the art world (maybe this was the argument of Ars Electronica). Possible an evolution of Cage’s ideas could bring it.

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