Every day we transform our surrounding space into proper place. We have our own ways to walk through the city and creatively reorganise our houses. Partly under the influence of new technologies our environment grows in diversity, size and complexity. We cross borders more easily and make faraway, invisible or vanished places “tangible” through television or mobile phone. This, however, stands in tension with the intangibility of all sorts of technological networks in our environment. We are not always aware of the “controlling” power of surveillance cameras, RFID or data banks.
It is in the field of tension in between visible and invisible interferences, between actively and passively dealing with the environment where some developments within media art are situated. These projects do not only take the man/technology/environment relationship as a point of departure of an artistic interference, but also as a goal. The work of art is a result of reflecting on the relationship mentioned above, but at its turn wants to intrude on the environment and “tactically” reassess the relationship between man, technology and living space. This they do, for example, by making invisible qualities of spaces visible, “writing” spaces or giving tools to people so they can create their place in space themselves. The often – literally – border and discipline transcending media works make a different, often more holistic approach to space possible.
The fields of tension between tangible and intangible, place and space and between disciplines serve as the source of inspiration for alternative field studies on “space”. In this research we chose to combine methods in the cultural and visual studies with the artistic and design research to make a more holistic and material approach to the man/technology/environment relationship possible. The study takes shape in a tactile interface that reveals possibilities to develop a creative and enduring relationship with the hybrid environment.
- Liesbeth Huybrechts & Thomas Laureyssens, Media and Design Academy
Catholic University Leuven, Belgium
Full text (PDF) p. 238-239