Panel: The Institute of Unnecessary Research
“…as art collapses into science, centralized control dissipates into networks, and culture migrates beyond man, the old models of explanation, classification and discussion are rendered obsolete.” _Virtual Futures Conference (1996)
In an environment of increasing information complexity and emerging technology should art’s role be to merely represent cultural developments or instead commit itself to cultural engineering? As pace of change in technological innovation occurs in a present of terminal velocity and future of increasing acceleration are we in a state in which an anthropological analysis of our current virtual state seems impossible? Where traditional academia may fail can performance based research take up the challenge of engaging a new public in the dissemination of this complexity? This paper will explore the historical work of the University of Warwick’s Cybernetic Cultures Research Unit in deconstructing, deterritorializing and devolving the work of academics to allow for a new level of artistic understanding. I will be looking at what we can learn from this cult multidisciplinary group, who chose to track convergences in the post-humanities through artistic expression.
- Luke Robert Mason is a researcher, filmmaker and digital media artist. Having recently graduated from the University of Warwick he will be joining Philter Phactory early next month as their Research Director helping to develop their post-user software Weavrs.com.His work deals with issues of cyberculture, the post user web and infomorphology. Mason was also responsible for the revival of the cult cyber-conference conference Virtual Futures, which aimed to reconnect the University of Warwick with one of the most important intellectual and cultural developments of our times – the technological extension of the human condition. virtualfutures.co.uk