[ISEA95] Paper: Ingeborg Bloem, Klaus Kempenaars, Andrea Wollensak, Ming Tung & Gabrielle Götz – Visual boundaries?



Design studies and visual theory have become transformative critical practices that question boundaries and ideologies. This discussion will present issues related to visual communication, design and media as the accessible spaces in between the now established positions in media art.

The dialogue and image development of ‘Visual Boundaries?’ occurred electronically throughout the month ofAugust. The presentation is the result of that discussion. The content of the visual works addresses the topics discussed. For the exchange, all the participants used Macintosh systems with a common application format (Adobe Photoshop). At the present time, no real-time interactive on-line space exists for the exchange of text and images that supports a diverse and heterogeneous set of client computing  environments. Some homogenous spaces are being developed (e.g. in Person for Silicon Graphics), but are targeted for high-end workstations, making them expensive and necessitating that all users have powerful workstations with high speed internet connections. Spaces in common use that allow for multi-user real-time interaction tend to support lowest-common-denominator (e.g. can be run on any platform including a vt100 “dummy” terminal) text-based environments, such as internet relay chat (IRC) and markup languages. Another recent development is the use of clients that allow for cross- platform image exchange (e.g. Adobe Acrobat), although this is currently oriented more towards simplifying file exchange rather than creatinga real-time collaborative multimedia space for image development. Although originally conceived as a server for interactive on-line role playing, the ramifications of a MOO (a “Multi-User Object-Oriented Dungeon/Domain” or “Mud-Object-Oriented”) as a set of spaces (rooms or conferences) with interactive objects suggests a powerful metaphor for directions in which to develop the nascent technology of on-line visual collaborative space. Musical uses of a MOO environment have, for example, used instruments as objects whose musical sequences can be edited and played by any of the participants in that space. The inevitable extension of this type of interactive collaboration into the visual realm should be guided by the needs of the creative artists involved and their collective understanding of the integration and extension of the creative process into this type of environment. One important method in which artists and designers  can contribute to this development is by prototyping visual models of ideal electronic environments. Such participation will serve to provide useful models for software engineers
and also to stimulate new ways of thinking about multi-user interactive spaces for artistic collaboration.

  • Andrea Wollensak, Moderator
  • Klaus Kempenaars, New York City, USA
  • Ingeborg Bloem, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Gabrielle Giitz, Stuttgart, Germany
  • Ming Tung, Ampang, Malaysia

All of the participants are practicing graphic designers primarily working in print media,
and now exploring multimedia and electronic forms of designed information.

Full text p.319-321