High-tech media production often passes the bounds of human capacity for perception: a stream of circles and sports in Ulf Langheinrich’s «Semisphere» (exhibited in Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, 2008) moves on the spectator and overwhelms him, even in the case of eyes closed; experiments with electronic music from Pierre Henry to Ryoji Ikeda try the threshhold of audibility… Media art including animation has driven to an extreme the sense of tragedy and horror caused by the fact of machine’s growing role which is considered to leave less and less place for humans (or, as F. Kittler puts it, media do not have «people» as presupposition for their existence, at all). It proposes a specific «embodiment» of that feeling, like in «The Substance of Earth» by Jin-man Kim (South Korea, 2007). Such works demand a «big narrative» to be their interpretation, and this interpretation has to deal with apocalyptic understanding of technique. But having tested the variaty of expressive forms which became possible with technological development, having come to forms that are hurdly devidable into genres, art seems to now develop less «formal» approach and to come closer and with more accuracy to the intimate in man. It could be characterized in terms of «new sensibility» or «new honesty». It doesn’t mean that art is going to be an a-technological nonconformist. Rather, it uses technical means differently so that to create a special space of exchange — between artist and viewer, between «work» itself and conditions that make it visible/audible — a space, medial to them all. These works may not show anything special or quickly eye-catching, they just invite those who come to see or hear them to fell close to someone’s activities, to fell in-common.
- Nina Sosna, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, Russia