[ISEA97] Paper: Patrick Lichty – “Convergence” at the Nexus of Technology, Digital Aesthetics, and Social Theory


The digital era has given rise to a panoply of media, bombarding society with a wider variety of information than humanity has experienced in recent times at an ever-increasing velocity.This effusion of data that invades everyday human existence has created a ‘multimediated’ society, in which the presenter posits that technological cultures no longer converse in text, or images alone, but in a series of parallel, or concurrent, media texts, speaking in terms of words, imagery, and sound.This agrees with the writings of Jean Baudrillard who, in his book The Transparency of Evil, described the concept oftransparence, in which all facets of postmodern society (politics, aesthetics, sexuality) have become aspects of one another. Sports become polititicized, sexuality becomes aestheticized, discourse becomes rock video, and so on.The transparency of all aspects of the postmodern demands the provision of a greater context within which we can construct discursive spaces to describe multimedia cultures. Since 1990, Patrick Lichty (Lichty Studios) and Jonathon Epstein (Sociology, Kent State University), have investigated contemporary trends in critical thought through the use of technology and media metaphor for exposition of their theoretical work.These works have incorporated computer graphic pieces though interpreta-tions of Baudrillard’s writings on the hyperreal image, motion and video through Virilio’s commentary on speed, and Web installations following from Deleuze/Guattari’s thoughts on nomadicity and rhizomatic spaces. In each case, the work is tailored to follow ‘media equivalence’, that is, to use the technologies and media specific to the part of society under critical scrutiny. Haymarket Riot’s (Epstein, Lichty, Seawell) MACHINE video performance project holds with this concept, and addresses identity, religion, and politics of televised culture through the use of rock video.Through the convergence of digital technologies, social theory, and aesthetic vision, projects such as MACHINE create discursive spaces where borders between media, disciplines, and cultural forms blur and recombine. Following from this, theoretical concepts relating to postmodern society are then given a broader, more visceral context in which the media-saturated viewer can then relate more directly to the topics being discussed. Running time for the video is 18 minutes.

  • Patrick Lichty (USA), LICHTY STUDIOS, USA. Patrick Lichty is an artist/writer and creative partner with Lichty Studios. Was born in 1962 in Akron, Ohio to a family of artists, he studied Electronic Engineering with an emphasis in Studio Art at the University of Akron, and received a Baccalaureate Degree in 1990. Studied post-bac­calaureate Glass and Art History at Kent State University. Completed apprenticeship at Johnson Glass Studio inCanton, Ohio. Continuing independent studies since 1986 in postmodern Social Theory, Contemporary Art, Sociology, and Cultural Studies. Exhibits include the Fractal Design Art expo, Frankfurt (Germany) Cybernetic Arts Festival, Wirehead Virtual Media Gallery (CD-ROM), and the New York Digital Salon. Recent conference presentations include the American Society for Theatre Research, American Sociological Association, Popular Culture Association, Microchips to Mass Media Conference (Plenary speaker, DePaul Univ.), and Society for the Study of Symbolic Interactionism. Publications include numerous cyberculture journals including ****collapse, CTHEORY, and SPEED. He has taught seminars on art, social theory, and technology institutions including MCAD, Univ. of Minnesota, and
    Kent State University. Lichty is part of Bruce Sterling’s Dead Media Project, the Haymarket RIOT Performance project, and the SITU online art collaborative. Studies classical Japanese flute music in his spare time.      voyd.com