[ISEA96] Poster: Henry Lowengard & Nik Williams – CYBERGOMI: here today, gone tomorrow

Poster Statement

The protean nature of the computer is such that it can act like a machine or like a language to be shaped and exploited. It is a medium that can dynamically simulate the details of any other medium, including media that cannotexist physically. It is not a tool, although it can act like many tools. It is the first metamedium, and as such it has degrees of freedom for representation and expression never before encountered ….. [Alan Kay, 1984] Computer software can of course simulate other, more traditional media. However, considered as a medium, computer software can also do many new things: it can interact with users in relatively arbitrary ways; it can simulate other processes; and perhaps most importantly, it can adapt. Unfortunately, as commonly implemented, computer software is not a very good communications medium. It is relatively cumbersome to distribute software, there are too many incompatible platforms that can only ‘display” very specific forms of it, it has very little structure, and it is relatively difficult to create “content” that exploits its full interactive potential. Also, software can be a dangerous medium. “Display” of the “content” in this medium (the execution of computer software) can actually cause damage to the property of the reader through theft or destruction of information. The internet/web is a bubbling primordial soup of opportunity and change. It is also a poorly developed and largely misunderstood rat’s nest of incompatibilities, platform incongruities, brain bending hacks and glossed over problems waiting to be solved by ruthless corporate megalabs willing to spend whatever it takes to dominate the nature of art and art in life into next millennium. Many “cybernauts” jumped into this broken tornado bright eyed, open hearted and flush with ideas waiting to be loosed on a receptive, like-minded world. I want to peel away some misconceptions regarding the capacity of the net to deliver dreams in tact while opening a dialogue and demonstration on how to good stuff done. Suffer not the slings and arrows of outrageous Fortune 500 companies. Understand a little more about how tools are made, what art requires of all of us and put aside the notion that 18 hour days make you a better anything.

Henry Lowengard: “For my part of the poster session, I demonstrated my animation
program Vapor Paint and showed a video tape of some of┬áthe animatrons and VRML objects made with the program.┬áVapor Parnt is written with a lot of phrlosophy In mind – Ideas
about how drawn art should be created on a computer.”

  • Henry Lowengard, USA
  • Nik Williams, USA

Full text p.107-108