[ISEA97] Paper: Bill Seaman – Re-embodied Intelligence


Re-embodied intelligence can be defined as the translation of media elements and/or processes into a symbolic language enabling those elements and processes to become part of an operative computer mediated system. The ability to ”translate” the aesthetic conceptions of an author into a form that is operative within a technological environment, is fundamental to the creation of interactive artworks. We will consider ”intelligence” as referring to activities we have in the past considered intelligent, like “playing chess say, or recognising visual images” (Aleksander). In the creation of artworks the artist employs modes of thinking that might be considered illogical, nonsensical, intuitive, metaphoric, nonlinear. The intelligence embodied in an individual’s art practice, funtions in the service of their poetics. Already, in 1962, Eco saw the need for the use of multi-value logics, in terms of art production, which were ”quite capable of incorporating indeterminacy as a valid stepping-stone in the cognitive process”. How can the artist develop systems which re-embody multi-value logic, to work inter-dependently with systems which have traditionally been seen as singularly logical and non-emotive? Is there a set of salient properties intrinsic to interactive art production, that the artist can explore to become an ”author of responsive, self regulating systems, enabling ”intelligent” emergent poetic responses to viewer interactivity?

  • Bill Seaman, USA. Bill Seaman received a Master of Science in Visual Studies degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1985. He is currently a Ph.D. Fellow at the University of Wales, Centre for Advanced Inquiry into Interactive Art (CAiiA). His work explores language, image, and sound relationships through video, computer controlled videodisc, CD Born, Virtual Reality, photography, and studio based audio compositions. He is self taught as a composer and musician. His works have been in numerous interna­tional festivals, exhibitions, and museum shows. His video tape S.He is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He has won many awards including a National Endowment for The Arts Fellowship, Massachusetts State Council on the Arts and Humanities Video Fellowship, two different prizes from Ars Electronica for interactive art, the Awards in The Visual Arts prize, The 1st Multimedia Prize from the Berlin Film / Video Festival, the Siemens’ Stipendium, the The International German Video Art Prize and most recently the Bonn Videonale prize. He was visiting artist at The Intercommunication Center / NTT, Tokyo in 1994. Last year he collaborated with William Forsythe and Ballett Frankfurt on a major new dance work. He is currently Associate Professor and Director of the Imaging and Digital Arts Program, Department of Visual Arts at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Full text p.56-58