[ISEA95] Panel: Kim Sawchuk – Critical frictions, connective affinities: “Ideologies of Interactivity”

Panel Statement

Panel: Ideology of Interactivity

In this talk, I will return to some rudimentary issues that have been pestering me for some time and which now seem pertinent. I hope it isn’t a statement on the obvious. Rather than offering my thoughts on art and surveillance, as promised, I would like to respond to a comment that Simon Penny made on Tuesday in another panel on interactivity and art. When asked what he thought of the critical writing on interactive work he gave a witty and provocative answer, an answer provided by Mahatma Ghandi. Apparently when Ghandi was asked what he thought of Western civilization. he replied, “it would be a good idea”. The implication, of course, is that the same can be said of writing on art and new media technologies.

This response piqued my interest because it says something about the very complicated ties- the surface tensions- between different practices or modalitiej of expression: theoretical
discourses, writing, criticism, art works, artists, and institutions. It made me reflect on the ways our terrains diverge and overlap. After all art and theory share some common features within North America in the popular imagination: they are both often seen as useless activities.

  • Kim Sawchuk  (Canada) is a media theorist who writes on marketing research as well as on the media arts. Her media arts forays examine the political and artistic uses of on-line and electronic technologies. Her most recent work has been on the confluence between medical imaging and aesthetics. She teaches in the department of Communication Studies at Montreal’s Concordia University.

Full text p. 248-251