[ISEA97] Paper: Florian Clausz & Micz Flor – CyberTattoo and The Aesthetic Prothesis


Fact: FORM FOLLOWS COMPRESSION. With a telematic tattooing machine strapped to your body the motif is filtered from the cognitive through the digital into the mechanical and downloaded under your skin. History happening all at once and now. “This painter. Real classical. Bio-meth”. (Virtual Light).  Collapse. Entertainment, media and the new establishment. CyberSex unwillingly developed it’s very own aesthetic. It created a series of images—beautiful humanoids covering their private parts with plastic gadgets in neon and anthracite. Clean and slick; hit and run. No scars, no blood, no body — just pleasure. FORM FOLLOWS FETISH. I never saw it. EyberTattoo? How ’96. The aesthetic of the interface. Information relies on com-pression. WYSIWYG is what the machine made for you. FORM FOLLOWS CROSS-PLATFORM. Cognition follows reconstruction. Beauty is in the control files of the beholder and vectors become the brush stroke of the art of digital revolution. The logo which has been converted by EyberTattoo conveys both. The reference to the corporation and the reference to the interface. Compression is the aesthetic prosthesis of the picture. In the context of mutual affect between the application and the compression it establishes an aesthetic on its own. Somewhere along the on-line we lost the link of the signified. But when? The iconography of the internet is the iconography of colonialism: ships and anchors, explorers, flags and oceans. FORM FOLLOWS SCOUTS. The seaside metaphor has been dusted down and reintroduced into high tech navigational systems. The mythology of the sea as U.S. American epics: Mayflower, Boston tea party, Netscape Navigator 3.0… Whereas sailors used to be the plug-inns for cultural imagery, they have long been exchanged by eternal carriers. Stigma, Paper, Fax, Internet. Today the tattoo.gif is being culturally exchanged at #tattoopics. There we go, and where do we want to go today? The new agents: While everybody is talking about uploading the self we are still pondering on downloading identity. Why is that? Here and Now: content is the act of detaching signifier and signified (when talking *about* the net). Users: we are encouraged to stay on the surface. In fact: we have to, or how are we expected to deal with the inflation of information? Call it post-modern? Economical and political success of colonialism legitimized detaching the surface form of culture from the origin of the colonies and reapplying the movable cultural heritage to enrich the fashion of the home countries. Using the imagery of colonialism as the SI of internet navigation we are encouraged to occupy and imbibe. Turn the search engine on and bookmark your territory. Who is supposed to read all this? Talking aesthetics/ politics. FORM FOLLOWS. Next thing we know someone will work on an application to directly translate a CyberTattoo control file into data vectors and render them onto virtual surfaces. Hey, the animated tattoo for the next millennium. Why didn’t we think of that?

  • Florian Clausz (Germany) was born in 1973 and studies cultural stud­ies and theater in Berlin. Beside theater acting and direct­ing activities he was involved in the set-up, sound and design of TokTok, a Berlin based techno project. He also organized the screening of a series of films and an accom­panying exhibition on the film history of horror and trash in 95.Clausz currently lives and works in Berlin. In 96, with collaborator Micz Flor, he set up ‘art-bag berlin’ on the internet, which also hosts their current project, CyberTattoo. Since the beginning of 97 they are co-producing and con­tributing to the radio show ‘convex Tv.’ in Berlin which is focusing on alternative ways of using radio transmission as well as combining internet and radio by mixing text and sound in real time.
  • Micz Flor (Germany) CYBERTATTOO. Mica Flor was born in 1969. He studied Psychology in Darmstadt (Germany), Manchester (U.K.), Berlin (Germany). Since 1994 he has been involved in curatorial and artistic activities in Berlin. He worked with the institu­tion Kunst-Werke Berlin on Club Berlin at the Venice Biennial, and founded the art/ theory group luxus cont. in 1995, which released the related e-zine contd in 1997. Last year he released two experimentally lo-fi records on Landspeed Records London (two more releases with the ambassadors to come in 1997). At the Documenta X in Kassel (Germany) he co-organized and co-conceptualized the Hybrid WorkSpace. Flor currently lives and works in London. In 1996, with collaborator Florian Clausz he set up Art-Bag Berlin on the internet, which also hosts their current project CyberTattoo. Since the beginning of 1997 they have been working on co-producing and contributing to the radio show Convex TV in Berlin, which is focuses on alternative ways of using radio transmission as well as combining internet and radio by mixing text and sound in real time.