Institutional Presentation Statement
The pick and mix, cut and paste provision of commercially available software packages can be compared to the supply of ready-to-wear outfits and accessories. In both cases the user will find that the merchandise does the job. But no matter how much careful mixing and matching takes place, there should be no illusion, this is neither Fine Art nor haute couture. It therefore follows that instruction in the use of software packages simply is not enough if artists are to work creatively with computer technology. Submerged into a ‘culture of silence’ – that of the end-user, with little or no understanding and control over the metaphors of software and the conventions of others, artists become the oppressed. CONTROL, SHIFT, ESCAPE is the current antidote for artists and designers united by their desire to change the status quo – by taking control of the technology, shifting from end-users to instigators, escaping from the dictates of pre-written software to create their own conventions. The degree show is the culmination of 1 year intense study on the MA Digital Arts course at the Centre for Electronic Arts, Middlesex University. By a focus on the algorithmic use of computers in the representation of form, the MA demystifies the concepts underlying the digital medium and critically examines issues arising from the convergence of the arts and new technology. Throughout the course students use a range of the latest technologies, including Java, html and C programming to find a personal language to explore their concerns. Their video, robotic and sound installations, Web-based work, screen-based games, photographic prints, reactive and interactive systems challenge the look, feel and content imposed by commercial computer software. The orchestration of artistic intuition and logical structures results in the creation of new computermediated spaces for computer-contaminated cultures.
- Tessa Elliott, UK, Centre for Electronic Arts, Middlesex University.