[ISEA94] Perttu Rastas – ISEA94 Electronic Theatre (Foreword)





The computer represents the same chameleon technology as video, although they have given names to two different forms of art (video art/computer art). The definitions describe the art forms’ contents as well as the technology used in them. Video art has its roots in experimental music performance art, feminist theory of the image and the everyday use of video, as well as in the conventions of traditional cinema and television. The computer can be understood as a language as well as a form of technology. It is an universal media, encompassing the typewriter as well as the 3 D animations that aim towards perfect likeness with the reality.

From the artistic point of view, the universality of the computer can be seen as a dilemma that escapes our definition. “Computer art” can be any thing that copies or replaces former visual technology. So far, the computer has not created its own  independent reality that would fulfill Gene Youngblood’s absolute definition of the computer art: “art that is not possible to create by other means.” Computers are widely used in the audiovisual technology due to their excellent editing properties. They have become an essential part of the working process, yet in aesthetics we are still discussing other things: pictures, sounds, stories and collages.