[ISEA2011] Paper: Andreia Machado Oliveira – Bodies, Interactivity and Technicity in Media Art


This paper addresses the degrees of interactivity produced with and within an artwork. The act of experiencing an artwork shows that any experience is made up of relations of intensity within processes of interactivity between bodies and milieus. It is maintained that there are various degrees of interactivity in experience: mixtures, attractions, incorporations, embodiments and perceptions. Mixtures are the voluntary and involuntary affects between bodies in associated milieus. The understanding of mixtures of bodies is related to various philosophical conceptions of immanence. Attractions speak of an animal art that shows us the potential of the milieu and the affects of bodies. The body referred to includes not only the human but non-human others as well—animal, technological, immaterial—formed by the speed or slowness of matter-taking-form. Such bodies embody life through technics and technicities which do not dissociate the natural and the artificial, the analog and the digital, matter and form. The (mis)perceptions produces an ephemeral landscapeness within the meta-stable system constituted by the artwork-human-milieu. These ideas are based on the philosophical writings of Baruch Spinoza, Gilbert Simondon and Gilles Deleuze and are applied to the field of interactive art in order to understand that artworks are created and modified through the artist/spectator/artwork/milieu experience. Interactive artworks are fundamentally relational, they break down the frame and require participation. By being an art of action, interactive art can instantly produce action-reactions, or the action can be the effectiveness of the techno-aesthetic operation of the artwork itself as performed by the spectators, in other words, an artwork keeps its operation open in order to allow the spectator to access its implicit forms. Therefore, the questions become: what is possible (or not) within this construction of bodies and milieus in interactive art? Where is the ethical limit which guides such productions? How much can a body endure within the proposed relations? Thus, interactive processes are driven by an Ethics of the potential of bodies to act, which is to say, by what a body can do in its intensity in the dynamics of degrees of interactivity in the experience of the artwork in media art.

  • Andreia Machado Oliveira is Ph.D  in a Multidisciplinary Ph.D. Program at UFRGS (Brazil) and at the Université de Montréal (Canada). She has researched extensively the relationship between technicity and body in interactive media art. Her expertise lies in the study of art and technology, as well as contemporary philosophy with special emphasis on subjectivity. She is a member of the NESTA (Subjectivity, Technology and Art Work Group), Ways of Contemporary Subjectivation research group in Brazil and Sense Lab research-creation group in Canada. She has been published her researches in several academic journals and proceedings. Since 1992, her art practice is concerned with drawing and printing; she has participated in several collective exhibitions and one-person shows. Currently, her research–creation makes free use of electronic and digital technologies such as audio-visual projection. She also is professor in a Post-Graduate Program of Visual Arts and chair of ICT in Education in UFSM/Brazil.

Full text (PDF) p. 1813-1818