Panel: The Madness of Methods: Emerging Arts Research Practices
Grounded in a longstanding interest in the photographic, my artistic research is partly based around the idea of the indexicality of the photographic document as a trace of the real and a record of the past. My work attempts to probe the question of whether photographic indexicality functions differently when experienced within a mutable digital environment than in a fixed analog one. In this paper, I will present an analysis of several interactive new media projects that I have been instrumental in developing. These are works of computer interface design that feature both photographic and cinematic imagery in ways that represent space, place and time in specific cultural contexts. This analysis will draw on theoretical writings about the indexical in cinema, photography, new media and language by such writers as Roland Barthes, Mary Ann Doane and Rosalind Krauss.
- Rosemary Comella is a new media artist with a background in the visual arts, in particular interface design, photography and video. Since 2000 she has been working as a researcher, project director, interface designer and programmer at the Labyrinth Project, a research initiative on interactive narrative. At Labyrinth, she developed the main interface for Tracing the Decay of Fiction: Encounters with a Film by Pat O’Neill, a collaborative project between experimental filmmaker Pat O’Neill, Kristy H.A. Kang and the Labyrinth team, and she helped direct The Danube Exodus: The Rippling Current of the River, an interactive installation with filmmaker Peter Forgács. Additionally, she developed Bleeding Through: Layers of Los Angeles, 1920-1986, an interactive installation and DVD-ROM, in collaboration with media artist Andreas Kratky, cultural historian Norman M. Klein and the Center for Art and Media (ZKM) in Germany. She directed and served as photographer for Cultivating Pasadena: From Roses to Redevelopment, an installation and DVD-ROM, including catalog, exhibited at the Pasadena Museum of California Art in 2005. Comella is currently creative director for Jewish Homegrown History: Immigration, Identity and Intermarriage, a public on-line archive and multi-screen museum installation that allows users to practice their own historiography by inserting their own histories and memories—using text, home movies, photographs and ephemera—into the contents of the website which includes previously published histories and newly uploaded scholar contributions.
Full text (PDF) p. 505-510