[FISEA’93] Paper: Norie Neumark – Interactive Journeys: making room to move in the cultural territories of interactivity


What happens when a theorist /radio producer and a visual artist journey into the terrain of
computer interactives? This is the story I want to tell in this paper, by beaming you up and
I morphing you over, by navigating you through some of these journeys with me. And, as we go,
we’ll map the ground for a criticism of computer imagery and techniques in both popular
games and in those interactives which lie at the crossroads of art, science, and education practices and paradigms. Along the way we’ll be venturing into the broader territory of tv and film computer graphics in order to excavate cultural meanings underlying the dominant aesthetics in these images and interactives and to ask what they do for their producers and users.
My interest in these cultural terrains lies at the intersection of a theoretical project on computer
culture and a practical project of working with a visual artist on an informational computer
interactive. My theoretical project concerns how computer aesthetics and techniques express
and (re)produce subjectivity, in postmodem culture – how they texture the ways that technology
operates as “fundamental constraint in the producion of subjectivity”. The transition to
this culture, in the postmechnical, information age, is characterized by a sort of cultural crisis
and accompanying identity crisis or crisis in “identity” and identities. This crisis is experienced
and produced at the subjective level, through everyday aesthetic experiences, representational
practices, and techniques and accompanying changes in perception and practices. My political
concern is in the ground this opens up for different versions and subversions of computer
culture, particularly across a spectrum of gender, age, ethnic and racial diversity.

  • Norie Neumark,  USA/Australia

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