The world we live in is connected – a networked and interfaced reality. Man and machine interact on a scale that reaches from the human body via our living room to outer space. As a consequence of this process human experience is being re-designed by technological means. The key question in this reshaping of our environment is how the interface with advanced technology is developed and designed. Will technology force us to adopt its functions and aesthetics, or can we promote a human technology, endowed with the gifts of thinking and acting? These are burning questions at the University of Art and Design UIAH, and specifically in our newly founded UIAH Media Lab, a research center for electronic art and design. Acting at the interface of the fields of art, design, science and technology, UIAH also has strong partnerships with software and computer companies. The same interfacing activity is exemplified by ISEA’94, hosted by UIAH and organized as a large collaboration between Finnish art academies, cultural institutions and industrial corporations. I am sure that ISEA’94 will further strengthen the connections of UIAH within the network of international centers of electronic art and new media. I would like to express my gratitude to all the institutions and people who have contributed to the realisation of ISEA’94, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to welcome the ISEA’94 participants in Helsinki.
- YRJO SOTAMAA Rector, the University of Art and Design Helsinki (UIAH), Finland