[ISEA2011] Panel: Gor­dana No­vakovic – A Sec­ond Man­i­festo for Neu­ro­plas­tic Arts

Panel Statement

Panel:  The Institute of Unnecessary Research

Al­though a grow­ing num­ber of sci­en­tists are now look­ing at the ef­fects of the in­ter­net on the brain, they are in fact just look­ing at the tip of an ice­berg. They are leav­ing un­ex­plored the rest of the com­plex fab­ric of the dig­i­tally en­abled con­tem­po­rary en­vi­ron­ment, which is in con­stant two-way in­ter­ac­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion with our bod­ies, and with our plas­tic brains, chang­ing them in an un­known man­ner. The spe­cific branch of neu­ro­science that stud­ies brain plas­tic­ity – the ways in which the brain can rad­i­cally mod­ify and re­con­fig­ure it­self through in­ter­ac­tion with the en­vi­ron­ment – has great po­ten­tial for help­ing us to un­der­stand the brain’s par­tic­u­lar sus­cep­ti­bil­ity to dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies. This ap­plies not only to the in­ter­net and the broader dig­i­tal en­vi­ron­ment, but also to the multi-sen­sory ex­pe­ri­ences within the grow­ing body of process-based arts en­abled by dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies, and in par­tic­u­lar in­ter­ac­tive art. Can we be sure that neu­ro­science will one day look at the whole pic­ture, and pro­vide us with ex­pla­na­tions of these phe­nom­ena? Or might it be that there is a role left for in­ter­ac­tive artists, keen to re­search the very essence of their artis­tic medium and its ef­fects on their au­di­ences, to push re­search for­ward to pur­sue, pro­duce, and apply the nec­es­sary knowl­edge?

  • Gor­dana No­vakovic was orig­i­nally a painter, with 12 solo ex­hi­bi­tions to her credit, she now has more than twenty years’ ex­pe­ri­ence of de­vel­op­ing and ex­hibit­ing large-scale time-based media pro­jects. Her artis­tic prac­tise and the­o­ret­i­cal work that in­ter­sects art, sci­ence and ad­vanced dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies has formed five Cy­cles: Par­al­lel Worlds, The Shirt of a Happy Man, In­fonoise and the on­go­ing Fugue. A con­stant mark of her work through­out her ex­per­i­ments with new tech­nolo­gies has been her dis­tinc­tive method of cre­at­ing an ef­fec­tive cross-dis­ci­pli­nary frame­work for the emer­gence of syn­ergy through col­lab­o­ra­tion. Gor­dana ex­hib­ited and lec­tured at lead­ing in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary fes­ti­vals and sym­posia, and artis­tic and sci­en­tific con­fer­ences. Her works from the on­go­ing Fugue Cycle has been widely pre­sented and ex­hib­ited. Along­side her artis­tic prac­tice, in the last six years Gor­dana has been artist-in-res­i­dence and also a Teach­ing Fel­low at Com­puter Sci­ence De­part­ment, Uni­ver­sity Col­lege Lon­don, where she has founded and cu­rates the Tesla Art and Sci­ence Group. She has re­ceived a num­ber of in­ter­na­tional and British aca­d­e­mic awards. fugueart.com  gordananovakovic.org