[ISEA97] Artist Talk: Miroslaw Rogala – Dynamic Behavorial Spaces: Interactive Art in Public

Artist Statement

The artist’s latest works investigate and explore public and personal spaces, experienced through a variety of interactive media works produced. This multimedia presentation into the specific attributes of interactive art in public places is set in a larger context which engages with the role of randomness and predictability in the movement of people through public spaces; issues of control in self-directed experiences, and the relationships between physical and psychological space.

INTERACTIVITY IN LARGE-SCALE PUBLIC ENVIRONMENTS: Electronic Garden/ NatuRealization (Rogala 1996), a large-scale, public interactive installation was undertaken as a part of Re-Inventing the Garden City, sponsored by Sculpture Chicago. Daily observation and periodic documentation (video, photography) was conducted over the 6-month period of the installation. Questionnaires, “round-table” discussions, and focus groups have also been constructed to engage meaningful feedback. This was an opportunity to apply initial principles of theory and research into practice. Through this development of on-site practice, a relevant base was produced for further research into the form of an on-line installation  with feedback from global communities engaged through the Internet website.
The installation emphasizes the relevance of the physical body to interaction and participation in public artworks. While previous work in media arts has emphasized the temporal dimension, little attention has been paid to space, to the behavior of the body, and to the implications of interactive systems for new kinds of spatial experience. This initial project has outlined the direction of interaction within large-scale public environments. Concepts of responsibility, freedom, and choice are central to the interactive model in group dynamics. Through the use of practice, research and evaluation, factors began to define components contained in complex and dynamic systems, which enable large groups of participants (3000 weekly); in a sustained (e.g., 5-10 minutes, daily visits, return visits, loggings into website) interactive relationship with the artworks produced.
Although a certain lack of distance is reflected in the context of interactive art and video art, and more recently in computer arts, the role of the artist has changed significantly, gaining independence from traditional art language, and becoming an active participant in societal change, rather than being a commentator on the outside. This in turn suggests that interaction may be possible not only between participant and device, but between participants, and between participants and creators.
The artist will present excerpts from his interactive installation and CD-ROM work, Lover’s Leap (1995), and Divided We Stand (1997-1998), a forth-coming audience interactive media symphony in six movements. Video: Electronic Garden/ NatuRealization

  • Miroslaw Rogala (Poland/U.S.A.) is a media artist whose work is known internationally for incorporating new interactive media and expressing a transformed and diverse sense of exis­tence. Electronic Garden/ NatuRealization (1996), is a site-specific interactive sound installation and free speech pro­ject with an extensive web site on-line, extending into world-wide cyber­space. Rogalo’s Lovers Leap (1995) is an interactive envi­ronment produced in two forms simultaneously, as an interactive multimedia installation using the viewer’s body as a triggering device, and as a CD-ROM using the viewer’s hand as a triggering device.The work is included in two international traveling exhibitions and has had viewer participation in 20 countries: An audience interac­tive new multimedia project, Divided We Stand, by Miroslaw Rogala, (1997); and an Interactive Media Symphony, featured in a two-month, one-person gallery exhibition/ workshop, Divided We Speak, this fall at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago artist is a doctoral candidate in the on-line Ph.D. research program at the Center for the Advancement of Inquiry in Interactive Arts (CAiiA) at the University of Wales College in Newport. Rogala is a recipient of MFA degrees from The School of Fine Art in Krakow, Poland (1979) and The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois (1983). He is on the faculty of the Department of Art at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.   wikipedia.org/wiki/Miroslaw_Rogala