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Roy Ascott (UK), artist and theoretician

Biography: Roy Ascott is the founding director of the international transdisciplinary research center, CAiiA-STAR (www.caiia-star.net). He is Research Professor at the University of Wales, and at the University of Plymouth (UK), and is Adjunct Professor in Design|Media Arts at the University of California Los Angeles (www.design.ucla.edu/home.html). A pioneer of cybernetics and telematics in art, he has shown at the Venice Biennale, Electra Paris, Ars Electronica Linz, V2 Holland, Milan Triennale, Biennale do Mercosul, Brazil, European Media Festival, and gr2000az at Graz, Austria. He has been Dean of San Francisco Art Institute, California, Professor for Communications Theory in the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, and Principal of Ontario College of Art, Toronto. He is on the editorial boards of Leonardo, Convergence, Digital Creativity, and the Chinese language online journal Tom.Com. He advises new media centres and festivals in North and South America, Europe, Japan, Korea, and lectures widely around the world. His publications are translated into many languages and include the books, Reframing Consciousness (1999), Art Technology Consciousness (2000), Intellect Books, Bristol; and Art & Telematics: toward the Construction of New Aesthetics. (Japanese trans. E. Fujihara), NTT, Tokyo, 1998. In 2002, University of California Press will publish his collected writings, Telematic Embrace, edited by Edward Shanken.

Contribution: Navigating Consciousness : Art and Transformative Technologies.

Abstract: Unless transactions in the Net yield transformations of consciousness, the quality of telematicity will be lost to the commercialisation of discourse. Telematicity is to art in the Net what plasticity is to biology: exhibiting adaptability to change in the environment, and offering scope for creativity. When telematicity is at the heart of molecular structures or epigenetic systems, then the promise of moistmedia can more fully be realised. The pathway from pixels to particles is not likely to be straightforward, and once the power of nanotechnology is properly understood every State will attempt to constrain its evolution. As artists we must resist these prohibitions on navigating into deepest matter.

Text of the proceedings : in english

Olivier Auber (France), artist

Biography: Olivier Auber develops since the early 80s installations and exhibitions based on various technologies in order to achieve a sort of mirors of behaviours. Among them, the Générateur Poïétique (http://poietic-generator.net ) is a system allowing real time collective interactions that he has experimented in different kinds of networks since 1986. In 1997, he founded together with the architect and urbanist Bernd Hoge the cultural laboratoty A+H (http://km2.net/aplush) that proposes interdisciplinary projects between physical and digital territories. The Nibelungenmuseum, virtual museum dedicated to a myth opened in 2001. Currently, he is working on the projet @RBRE (http://km2.net/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=127)

Contribution: The Aesthetic of the Digital Perspective

Abstract: Hybrid media, a mix of silicon, neurons and genes, what Roy Ascott called "moistmedia," generate representations–of people, whether in a group, a society or a world–using a perspective analogous to that used during the Renaissance, accepting, in the end, a digital code as vanishing point. This means reducing humanity to its representation, which is freighted with the forbidden, in the fields of politics, science, technology and economics. It is only in the field of aesthetics that it is possible to get around this prohibition: the aesthetics of the sublime inherent in digital perspective brings out the dimensions and limits of the collective and the individual, as well as the nature of their interrelationship. Various explorations of this aesthetics will be presented during this discussion. (Translation, L-S Torgoff)

Text of the proceedings : in french

Jean-Pierre Balpe (France), artist

Biography: Born in 1942 in Mende (Lozère), Jean-Pierre Balpe is the Director of the Hypermedia Department and of the Paragraphe Laboratory of the University of Paris VIII. He is also General Secretary of the journal Action Poétique. Researcher, theoretician of computer literature, author of various scientific and technological books, writer, he is interested in the possibilities that computer science provided to literature since 1975. In 1981, he co-founded ALAMO (Workshop for Computer and Mathematic Assisted Literature) and as such became advisor to the Pompidou Center for the exhibitions Les Immatériaux and Mémoires du Futur. Since 1989, he creates software for computer literature used mainly during exhibitions or public events among which Un roman inachevé for the booth of the Ministry of Culture (MILIA, Cannes, 1995 and MIM in Montreal) ; ROMANS (Roman) for the exhibition Artifices in 1996 ; Trois mythologies et un poète aveugle for the IRCAM in 1997 ; Barbe Bleue that will be the result of the combination of 3 generators : text, music (Alexandre Raskatov) and staging (Michel Jaffrennou) generators ; TRAJECTOIRES, interactive and generative novel for the Internet (www.trajectoires.com) ; he is involved in various shows among which Encuentras essentiales for the museum MARCO in Monterey (Mexico) together with Jacopo Baboni-Schilingi (music) and Miguel Chevalier (interactive stage design).

Contribution: Toward a DiffractedLiterature

Abstract:If a sheet of paper can bear pictures, it is never a picture: a picture book is not a picture. On the opposite, a screen, even when it displays texts is before all a picture.

The fact that literature, before being shut away in the book, is now gone out from it, force it to confront to the reality of that medium which is now completely its one: the screen. From that relation are emerging new questions and sketching creative possibilities never perceived before.

When the screen is also a digital screen of which the potential is a fundamental technical component, literature, while keeping to be literature, but coming close to something like a show, changes yet its qualities: its texts diffracting into the space of their potentialities, are inventing a new expression space.

Text of the proceedings : in french

Roberto Barbanti (France/Italy), artist and theorician

Biography: Studied philosophy, computer music and experimental music at the University and Academy Cherubini of Florence (Italy). Ph.D in "Art and science of art" at the University Paris I. Teacher at the University Paul Valéry, Montpellier III in charge of the Multimedia section of the Performing Arts Department. Founder and Chairman of the Center Pharos, Center for Study and Research in Philosophy, Art and the Science, co-directed together with the philosopher Luciano Boi (http://www.centrostudiricerche.org/). He has created several multimedia works : peformances, environmental music, installations and communication events. Among his last books :
- Francesco d'Assisi e Marcel Duchamp. Rudimenti per un'est-etica / Francis of Assisi and Marcel Duchamp. Rudiments for an aesth-ethic, Danilo Montanari Editore, 2001.
- L'art au XXe siècle et l'utopie, L'Harmattan (collection arts8), 2000 (with Claire Fagnart).

Contribution: Ultramediality and Ethical Issue

Abstract: Underlying all technological innovation today there seems to be a desire to profitably domesticate space, time and matter itself.

To the question of presence, or in other words, What is it that is before me in space and in time, today one could respond as follows: a desire to truly go beyond, which seems to mean annihilating this same space and time and with them the object of perception itself. In other words, while presence is still presence to something and of something, this something tends to slip away and disappear.

We are living in the era of "ultramediality." An era in which space-time (from nanometers to gigahertz) and matter itself are "worked" in such a way as to place them beyond all possibility of sensory detection.

Spatio-temporal communication at a distance, which aims to suppress this distance, is one of the forms of ultramediality.

This situation, which on the one hand excludes the sensorium de facto and on the other poses the question of the irreversibility and the dangerousness of the processes into which we are locked, thrusts us into an ethical dynamic (as the ineluctability of a possible choice, consciousness of an absence and the perspective of a substantial alterity), a dynamic that assumes basic importance and puts artistic activity in the context of its responsibilities. (Translation, L-S Torgoff)

Text of the proceedings : in french

Stéphan Barron (France), artist

Biography: Born in 1961 in Caen, Normandy. Grant from Villa Médicis in 1996 for Ozone.

" My work is based on a perceptual and imaginary research on distance. In this research, I have realised since 1985 around twenty artworks using telecommunication technology. Ozone in 1995 was one of the first artwork using Internet. I have developped since 1995 the concepts of Technoromanticism and of Earth Art. "

My works and concepts are described at http://www.technoromanticism.com/

Online artwork : http://www.com-post.org/

Cdrom : Earth Art, Ed. Rien de Special, 2000

Book : Technoromantisme, Ed. L'Harmattan, 2002

Contribution: Ozone, o-o-o-, Contact"… Technoromantic Artworks Between Presence and Absence

Abstract: Ozone is a 1996 sound installation created for the Adelaide international festival. The sounds come from measurements of the ozone layer over Australia and ozone pollution in Lille. This was undoubtedly one of the first artworks to have used the Net. Online art poses the question of the physical relationship to the piece. Can an artwork whose existence is limited to a monitor provoke any emotional response other than a purely conceptual one? Sound is a way to rediscover a form of tactility, of enveloping perception. In this installation the Net is used only as a way to capture and transmit information in real time from one side of the planet to the other. o-o-o- is a further development of this work. Contact is an installation that transmits heat at a distance, pursuing this search for planetary tactility. (Translation, L-S Torgoff)

Text of the proceedings : in french

Maurice Benayoun (France), artist

Biography: Maurice Benayoun has been exploring the potential of 3D computer graphics' animation and Virtual Reality for several years.
Since 1984, he has been a professor of "Video Art and New Images " at the University of Paris 1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne) and has been an invited artist at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts of Paris.
In 1987 he co-founded Z-A Production, now one of the two oldest companies in France in the field of new medias, where he currently works as creation director.



Tina Cassani / Bruno Beusch (France), curators

Biography: Tina Cassani and Bruno Beusch are the directors of Paris-based new-media label TNC Network. Founded in 1995, TNC Network has produced ground-breaking events, new-style conferences and shows for TV/radio, museums, festivals, and companies in Europe, the US and Asia. Beusch/Cassani are curators at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, where they are responsible for the Electrolobby - Showroom for Digital Culture & Lifestyle. They are members of the jury of the Prix Ars Electronica. They consult for different international institutions, for telecom and media companies, as well as for European new-media research programs. Curators of two upcoming shows dedicated to mobile/wireless games & lifestyle (autumn 2002, Paris).
tnc network: http://www.tnc.net/

Contribution: Games Unlimited

Abstract:Portable communication devices - from mobile phones to PDAs to pagers to the Gameboy Advance - have become the most widely distributed computer-based consumer products. Moving through the realm of possibilities presented by the massive extension of wireless networks, Games Unlimited identifies the most promising creative approaches to mobile gaming, and shows how wireless games have the potential to free the gaming experience from the computer or TV set and extend it into the rich textures of the urban environment.

Samuel Bianchini (France), artist

Biography:Samuel Bianchini studied art through different approaches : Fine Arts, Applied Arts, Arts and Crafts (Arts et Métiers), Decorative Arts (Arts décoratifs) and plastic arts. At the age of 30, he mixed practice (exhibitions), theory (regular publications) and teaching (University of Paris I, Art school of Nancy). Membre of different research laboratories such as CRECA (Center for Research in the Aesthetics of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts, University Paris I) and CEDRIC (Center for Research in Computer Science of the Cnam), he is preparing a Ph.D on the reactualization of the issues of montage raised by interactive media.

Contribution: Interactive Image: Manipulation Strategies

Abstract: By joining together gesture and program, interactive images, insofar as they can be manipulated, bring about a coupling of image and action, representation and physical reality. The creators deploy strategies to foresee and sometimes condition the gestures of the viewers who will activate their images. In exchange, the users strive to manipulate these images. Each works out strategies and projects him/herself into the activity of the other. This manipulation has a double meaning that is to be understood as much ideologically as in gestural terms.

Images and more generally the media condition and model our way of perceiving and organizing reality and, recursively, our way of reporting it and playing with it, and even our temptation to construct realities. With interactive media, our relationship to time and action, our ability to grasp things, are redefined, giving rise to an art of operations and real time operators.

A number of projects completed or underway will be presented during this presentation. Many can be see on the Web site: http://www.dispotheque.org/. (Translation, L-S Torgoff)

Text of the proceedings : in french

Maurizio Bolognini (Italie), artist

Biography: Maurizio Bolognini has worked with digital technologies since the late 1980s. His most well-known art works are the 1992 Sealed Computers (over two hundred machines programmed to produce a flow of endlessly different images, and left to work indefinitely) and Museophagia (a 1999 world tour in which he took furniture and objects from several international galleries and put together a travelling collection to be consumed via digitization: <http://www.cavellini.org/performance/emtour.html>). He has also been involved with teledemocracy and on line communication techniques (his so-called Hyperdelphi method <http://www.hyperdelphi.net/>) about which he has recently published the book Democrazia elettronica (Carocci, Rome 2001).

Contribution: "SMSMS (Short Message Service Mediated Sublime)": Art and Technological Sublime in the Urban Environment

Abstract:Maurizio Bolognini's project SMSMS (Short Message Service Mediated Sublime) is presented and some implications are discussed concerning the relationship between art and technological sublime. SMSMS derives from a previous work, the Sealed Computers (1992): over two hundred machines have been programmed to produce an endless flow of random images and left to work indefinitely without being connected to a monitor. In SMSMS, one of the software used by the Sealed Computers is employed in a public space installation in which images are made visible on a large screen and everybody can modify the software (and thus images) by sending an SMS to the system. It will be argued that SMSMS could be considered alternatively as either an exercise of collective intelligence or merely a disturbance of the perfectly unpredictable working of the machine. The conclusion will be that oppositions between control and randomness, self and complexity, and even art and technological sublime, lead us into a contradictory space which should itself be recognized as one of the most significant themes for artistic research.

Text of the proceedings : in english

Andreas Broeckman (Allemagne), theoretician

Biography: Andreas Broeckmann (*1964) lives and works in Berlin. Since the autumn of 2000 he has been the Artistic Director of transmediale - international media art festival berlin. Broeckmann studied art history, sociology and media studies and worked as a project manager at V2_Organisation Rotterdam, Institute for the Unstable Media, from 1995-2000. He is a member of the Berlin-based media association mikro, and of the European Cultural Backbone, a network of media centres. In texts and lectures he deals with post-medial practices and the possibilities for a 'machinic' aesthetics of media art. [http://www.transmediale.de/] et [http://www.v2.nl/abroeck]

Contribution: Reseau/Resonance - Connective Processes and Artistic Practice

Abstract:While most internet art projects use the net solely as a telematic and telecommunicative transmission medium, some artists are exploring the electronic networks as specific socio-technical structures with specific forms of social and machinic agency related to them, in which people and machines interact in ways unique to this environment. Recent projects by Knowbotic Research, Marko Peljhan & Carsten Nicolai, Ulrike Gabriel and Atau Tanaka, use the net as a performative space of social and aesthetic resonance in which notions of subjectivity, action and production are being articulated and re-assessed.

Text of the proceedings : in english

Annick Bureaud (France), new media art critic, theoretician

Biography: Works in the field of art related to technosciences. Director of Leonardo/Olats (http://www.olats.org/) ; founder and editor of the International directory of Electronic Arts, IDEA online (http://nunc.com/). New media art critic (column in Art Press). Teacher at the art school of Aix-en-Provence, the Ensci, guest teacher at the School of the Art Intitute Chicago (SAIC, 1999) and at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM, 2001). Co-organizer of the Symposium Artmedia VIII. Co-editor with Nathalie Magnan of the reader Connexions : Art, Réseaux, Media published by the Ensba in May 2002.

Anne Cauquelin (France), philosopher

Biography: Ph.D., emeritus professor of the Universities, director of the journal revue d'Esthétique. Vice-president of the society of aesthetics.

Numerous books, among which : La ville, la nuit, PUF, 1977 ; Cinévilles, 10/18, 1979 ; Essai de philosophie urbaine, PUF, 1982 ; Court traité du fragment, Aubier, 1986 ; L'invention du paysage, Plon, 1989, rééd. PUF, coll. Quadriges, 2000 ; Aristote, le langage, PUF, 1990 ; La mort des philosophes et autres contes, PUF, 1992 ; Aristote, Le Seuil, 1994 ; Les animaux d'Aristote, La lettre volée, Bruxelles, 1995 ; L'art contemporain, PUF, Que-Sais-Je ?, 1996, 6ème édition, 2000 ; Le voleur d'anges, l'Harmattan, 1997 ( sur la peinture) ; Petit traité d'art contemporain, Le Seuil, 1996, réédition 1998 ; L'art du lieu commun, Le Seuil, 1999 ; Les théories de l'art, PUF, Que-Sais-Je ?, 1999 ; Le site et le paysage, PUF, éd. Quadriges, 2002.

She is currently working on a new book : Notes sur les jardins, Payot/ rivages.

She edited two issues of the journal revue d'esthétique dealing with art and technology : "Les Technimages" (n° 32) et "Autres sites, nouveaux paysages"( n°39).

Christophe Charles (Japan/France), artist

Biography: Christophe Charles (born Marseille 1964), currently Associate Professor at Musashino Art University, Tokyo), works with found sounds, and makes compositions using computer programs, insisting on the autonomy of each sound and the absence of hierarchical structure. These compositions have been released on the German label Mille Plateaux / Ritornell ("undirected" series), and on several compilations (Mille Plateaux, Ritornell, SubRosa, Code, Cirque, Cross, X-tract, CCI, ICC, etc.). Group exhibitions: ICC "Sound Art" (Tokyo, 2000), V&A "Radical Fashion" (London, 2001), etc. Permanent sound installations at Osaka Housing Information Center (1999), Tokyo-Narita International Airport Central Atrium (2000). Web site: http://kubric.musabi.ac.jp/~charles

Contribution: Practice of (de)(com)position

Abstract:The notions of composition-decomposition, position-deposition can be understood by considering three aspects : (1) the unpredictability of form defines, rather than an object of contemplation, a contemplation without object; (2) the character of the work is in its essence unclassifiable, as the work is intermedia, that is, intermediate, as it is based on the mixing of different categories, and because it is related to media which enable multiple combinations; (3) instead of a reference to the ideal of the artwork as a closed totality, such works show a poly-artistic openness toward a perpetually destabilizing decentralization. There is not one center, but the orbiting of a plurality of mobile and multi-functional centers, which accept without trouble the generalized digitalization: the condition is that the "achieved" work which remains always flexible and adapting to its context, is able to simulate the continuity of a network.

Text of the proceedings : in french

Daniel Charles (France), philosopher

Biography: Musician (student of Olivier Messian at the Paris Conservatory : First Price, 1956) and philosopher (agrégation, 1959 ; Ph.D. under the direction of Mikel Dufrenne, 1977), Daniel Charles has founded and directed during 20 years (1969-1989) the Music Department at the University of Paris VIII (Vincennes) ; head of the general aesthetics faculty during 10 years (1970-1980) at the University of Paris IV (Sorbonne) and during 9 years (1989-1999) at the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis. He published numerous articles and books among which 6 have been translated into German and 2 in Japanese. His talks with John Cage (" Pour les Oiseaux ", 1976) have just been republished (Paris, 2002) on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the death of the composer.

Contribution: About John Cage's "Imaginary Landscapes"

Abstract:John Cage had let himself be convinced by the abstract cinematographer Oskar Fischinger, of a fact he held indeed as fundamental: inanimate objects have a "soul", and that "soul" is sound. Thus, although he was still studying harmony and counterpoint with Arnold Schönberg, he began to compose for a little percussion ensemble. Since he had come to auscultate the "soul" of things to extract their sonorities, the instrumentarium through which he strove to attain the utopia of "pantonality" was intended as omni-inclusive, therefore always expanding, in progress. Hence, as of 1935, the "crafty" period which witnesses Cage mixing the exploration of sounds of all nature with that quest for coherence which leads him to compensate for the loss of pitch control, in his percussion pieces, with an overdetermination of the duration. In 1937, he presents a historical manifesto (The Future of Music: Credo) in which he asks, foresightedly, that laboratories or studios allowing access to electronic music be made available to composers. In 1938, he invents the "prepared piano": tones arise that are for a large part totally unpredictable and whose emergence, further to a number of imponderables, is akin to – dixit Cage – "collecting seashells along the beach". In the wake of this process comes the series of the five Imaginary Landscapes, composed in two stages: the first three between 1939 and 1942, the other two between 1951 and 1952.

The inaugural piece – in 1939 – opens to the electronic era in introducing for the first time periodical recurrent and diversely manipulated frequencies against instrumental sounds left "dry". The work develops according to a preestablished time pattern. But since there is no identifiable link between such an abstract rhythmic pattern and the effective evolution of sound, the architectonics can only get unnoticed. They nonetheless constitute much more than a simple safeguard : a regulating concept. The first Imaginary Landscape renews with a strategy of the "mise en abyme" – the age-old scheme of the microcosm's fitting onto the macrocosm - whose diverse avatars are well known since (at least) Guillaume de Machault (XIVth Century), but which, be it in the species of "fractal geometry" and thanks to the developments of electronic technology, has to be more and more reaffirmed as the XXth Century is growing old.

Text of the proceedings : in french

Grégory Chatonsky (France), artist

Biography: Studied Fine Arts and philosophy, Master degree in Aesthetics at the University of Paris I on the ontology of virtual realities and the deconstruction of narratives in interactive structures. Hypermedia studies at the Fine Art School in Paris.

Co-founder in 1995 of Incident (http://www.incident.net/).

Between 1995 and 1998, Chatonsky designed and achieved the cdrom Mémoires de la déportation which received the Mobius Award in 1999, he also designed various cultural sites such as the web sites of the Pompidou Center and of the Villa Medicis.

He created interactives installations and net installations such as : Incident of the Last Century, Disoriented Frontiers, Sous Terre, Revenances, La Vitesse du Silence, Nervures, .IO-N, etc.

In 2002, Chatonsky is artist-in-residence at the Abbaye de Fontevraud (France) for the project "Dislocat.io-n" and at the Inclassables (Canada) for the project "Translat.io-n".

He had works exhibited in many events in France and abroad.

He works on the issues of narratives, cinema, memory and language.

Contribution: Programmatic Fiction

Abstract: Many people consider IT fiction as a phantasm of hyper-industrialization. While its theoretical necessity would seem to follow from the generalized deconstruction of narratives in the 20th Century, its practice is still primitive and disappointing. This may be because it is a pastiche of preexisting narrative models, or because it is metaphoric and adopts a pseudo-cybernetic language rather than its structure, or because it cuts narrative trees out of classical narratives. Based on Translation, a project done in Montreal (AFAA), we offer numerous operational concepts for IT fiction: the relationship between database and fiction, the compatibility of the fragments, the unimportance of tone (Stimmung), the temporal a-causality, the diagrams of the transcendental imagination, the conflict between the earth and the worlds, the configuration of the rules of the possible, the predominance of the spatial over the temporal.

The concept of programming broadens day by day as if the control and the harnessing of technology broadened its ambit. Nevertheless it is surprising to note that based on a logical-analytic machine language whose presuppositions are theoretically questionable, it is possible to produce the unanticipatable, the incalculable and the unpredictable, or in other words the perceptible. The fact that computer programming can enter into relation with aesthetics and logos casts doubt on the dominant ideology of the anthropological instrumentality of technologies and perhaps makes it possible to sketch out a new aesthetic project. (Translation, L-S Torgoff)

Text of the proceedings : in french

Mario Costa (Italy), philosopher

Biography: During the sixties and the seventies, Mario Costa gave a philosophic interpretation of many artistic avant-gardes. Later, about at the end of seventies, he put his attention on the philosophic involvement of new technologies, of which, among other things, he tried to outline the aesthetics.

His ideas are shown in around twenty books and in a great number of essays, partly translated and published in Europe and America.

Mario Costa is professor of Aesthetics at the University of Salerno, of Criticism's Methodology at the University of Napoli (IUO) and of Ethics and Aesthetics of Communication at the University of Nice.

Contribution: "Communicating Bloc" and Flux Aesthetics

Abstract:In regard to the modalities of the "being together" of the media, we must distinguish between "multimediality," "hybridization" and "bloc." In addition to the "bloc-image" which began to be constituted during the 18th century and whose history is being recapitulated here, today we also have the "communicating bloc" which has yet to be recognized and defined.

The "communicating bloc" induces unremarkably performative attitudes that in fact constitute a flux of an anonymous machine energy that substantially responds simply to the need of the media themselves to communicate.

Thus the point for art and artists will be to extract communications technology from the logic of the "bloc" and activate an entirely different flux, which can only be done within the dimensions of a varied and polymorphous communication aesthetic. (Translation, L-S Torgoff)

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Edmond Couchot (France), theoretician

Biography: Edmond Couchot has a Ph.D. and is Emeritus Professor of the French Universities. He chaired the programme Arts and Technologies of Images at the Paris 8 University for 20 years and is still involved in the research programme of the Centre for Digital Images and Virtual Reality. As a theoretician, he is interested in the relations between art and technology. He published on the subject numerous articles and two books : Images. De l'optique au numérique, Hermès, 1988, and La Technologie dans l'art, J. Chambon, 1998. Originally an artist, he created since the mid-sixties interactive cybernetics systems involving the participation of the spectator. For some years, "real time" technics allowed him to further his researches.

Contribution: From Communication to Commutation

Abstract: A consideration of the technological arts and especially the digital arts from the point of view of aesthetics cannot do without an analysis of the technological objects on which these arts rest and which without determining them nevertheless strongly influence the processes of creation and reception. We will try to show how, with the advent of the computer and digital networks, the production, distribution and socialization of information (in the cybernetic sense) have gone over from the realm of communications in the strict sense of the term to the very different realm of "commutation." How the mode of linking "one with all" corresponding to non-digital media (like television and radio) has been joined by (and all but replaced by) the mode of "all with all, all at once" corresponding to cyberspace. Thus, in an extension but also a rupture with an aesthetic of communication there would emerge an aesthetic of commutation corresponding not only to networks but to the ensemble of digital mechanisms. (Translation, L-S Torgoff)

Text of the proceedings : in french

Luc Courchesne (Canada), artist

Biography: Luc Courchesne est né à Nicolet (Québec) en 1952. En 1974, il a reçu un baccalauréat en Communication Design du Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (Halifax) et en 1984, un Master of Science in Visual Studies, du MIT (Cambridge). En 1984 alors qu'il réalise, avec un collectif du MIT, Elastic Movies, une des premières oeuvres interactive utilisant la vidéo.

Il a créé depuis plusieurs installations dont Encyclopédie clair-obscure (1987), Portrait no.1 (1990), Portrait de famille (1993), Salon des ombres (1996), Paysage no. 1 (1997), Passages (1998), Rendez-vous (avec un collectif de la SAT, 1999) et The Visitor: Living by Number (2001).

Son travail a été présenté dans une douzaine de pays en Amérique du Nord, en Europe, en Asie et en Océanie. Il a notamment fait l'objet d'une exposition personnelle au Museum of Modern Art de New York. Ses installations font partie notamment des collections du Musée des beaux-arts du Canada (Ottawa), du Medienmuseum du ZKM (Karlsruhe, Allemagne), du NTT Intercommunication Center (Tokyo) et du Musée de la communication (Berne).

Luc Courchesne est président de la Société des arts technologiques et, depuis 1989, professeur à l'Ecole de design industriel de l'Université de Montréal.

Contribution: The Discovery of the Horizon

Abstract: In the 18th Century something happened in thought that sooner or later had to be formalized in the way the world is represented. When in 1787 Robert Barker applied for a patent for a cylindrical image that would surround the viewer, he formulated a mode of representation that is still being refined. From that panorama to the interactive and immersive interactive mechanisms of today, a certain idea of reality and of our relationship with the world has been struggling to be born. (Translation, L-S Torgoff)

Text of the proceedings : in french

Vincenzo Cuomo (Italy), theoretician

Biography: Vincenzo Cuomo (Torre Annunziata, 1955) is a teacher of philosophy in Italian State Grammar Schools. Since 1986 he has been cooperating with the research laboratory Artmedia, under the direction of Mario Costa of the University of Salerno, and has written numerous articles and essays on philosophy of technics and media aesthetics. In 1998 he published the book "Le parole della voce. Lineamenti di una filosofia della phoné" (published in Salerno by Edisud) and has recently edited a volume of writings by Th.W.Adorno about the connections between the music and media (published in Naples by Tempo Lungo Edizioni, 2002). He is co-editorial director of the magazine "Kainos. Rivista telematica di critica filosofica" (http://www.kainos.it/).

Contribution: Tele-cum-Being-Here. Topology of Impersonality.

Abstract: The experience with presence at a distance is ambivalent from a cognitive point of view. In this experiment with the cognitive contradiction between sensation and thought, they continually bounce off each other without ever being able to harmonize. We could hold that in that kind of paradoxical experience the body feels incomprehensibly and the mind thinks insensibly.

Nevertheless, as long as we stay within those confines we are liable to be unable to answer a basic question: who is present in presence at a distance? One possible response to such a question would be to take it up from a topological point of view. What is manifesting itself in this way is an impersonal subject, singularly plural and out of whack. A subject with no voice and no negativity.

Based on the topology of impersonality, it may be possible to understand the theoretical efforts of some forces in contemporary philosophy to develop an ontology of the human that would shed light on the times in which we live. (Translation, L-S Torgoff)

Text of the proceedings : in french

Matteo D'Ambrosio (Italy), theoretician

Biography: Professor of History of critic of literature (university of Napoli "Federico II") and professor of methodology and history of critic of literature and history of Italian at the Istituto Universitario S. Orsola Benincasa, Napoli ; Visiting professor at the P.U.C. of São Paulo ; Visiting scholar at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles. Semiologist, historian of the avant-gardes, specialist in concrete poetry ("Sémiotique de la poésie concrète", Canadian Journal of Research in Semiotics, VII, n. 1, 1979) and visual poetry ("Collage et poesia visiva : problèmes de définition, lecture et analyse rhétorique", Revue d'Esthétique, n. 3/4, 1978), he wrote about videopoetry (1984) and computer poetry (1986). Among his last publications : Le "Commemorazioni in avanti" di F. T. Marinetti. Futurismo e critica letteraria (1999); Futurismo e altre avanguardie (1999); Il testo, l’analisi, l’interpretazione II (2002).

Contribution: A Semiotic Approach to Cyberpoetry

Abstract: The paper is an attempt to evaluate the adaptability of the semiotic knowledge to methodological problems raised by the different tendencies and typologies of cybertexts (computer poetry, hyperpoetry, holopoetry …), in view of their main peculiarities and expressive strategies. The aim is the development of a critical methodology able to describe, to analyse and to interpret the cyberpoetry. The paper will single out the theoretical contributions that, through the reformulation of notions like author, writing, text, form, device, reader, criticism …, have proposed the institutes of a metalanguage adequate to the complexity of computer-generated texts and to the translinguistic phenomenology of Web poetry, preparing the experimentation of new techniques of textual analysis. References: writings by A. Vuillemin, G. Landow, A. Cauquelin, J.-P. Balpe, M. Costa, Ch. Funkhouser, T. Papp, E. Kac, M. Perloff.

Text of the proceedings : in french

Steve Dietz (USA), curator

Biography: Curator of New Media at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, where he founded the New Media Initiatives department in 1996. He is responsible for programming the online Gallery 9, including more than 20 artist commissions and one of the earliest archive-collections of net art, the Walker's Digital Arts Study Collection.
He has organized and curated new media exhibitions, including "Beyond Interface: net art and Art on the Net" (1988), "Shock of the View: Artists, Audiences, and Museums in the Digital Age" (1999), "Digital Documentary: The Need to Know and the Urge to Show" (1999), "Cybermuseology" for the Museo de Monterrey (1999), "Art Entertainment Network" (2000), "Outsourcing Control? The Audience As Artist," for the Open Source Lounge" at Medi@terra (2000), "Telematic Connections: The Virtual Embrace" (2001-02), a nationally traveling exhibition, and, with Jenny Marketou, Open_Source_Art_Hack, opening at the New Museum in New York in May 2002. In 2003, "Translocations" will open at the Walker Art Center.
He speaks and writes extensively about new media, and his interviews and writings have appeared in Parkett, Artforum, Flash Art, Design Quarterly, Spectra, Afterimage, Art in America, and Museum News.
http://www.walkerart.org/ - http://www.artsconnected.org/ - http://www.mnartists.org/

Contribution: Translocations and How Latitudes Become Forms

Abstract:How is the "local" situated in a globally networked society? This talk will focus on translocal artistic practices, especially in contradistinction to "glocal" and transnational rhetoric, as well as whether they might give rise to new or altered artistic forms beyond medium-dependency. Finally, how might institutions engage with these practices?

Net Art in its best models of production and expression, has found a place and a genuine aesthetic legitimacy. These products of the mind require the same type of aesthetic attitude which had previously been reserved for the arts. This poses a whole series of questions which must be answered.

How should these products be treated in institutions devoted to the arts? How will the museums, already subject to change (networked museums, virtual theatres etc.), be expected to evolve? Will it be necessary to find new channels or strategies of distribution? What's happening to copyright laws ? What forms of economic transaction do these products give rise to? How can net art be preserved (collection, archive)? Will the net be the only form of presence of these products? How are the authorities being called to intervene with regard to this type of production?

Reynald Drouhin & Jean-Paul Fourmentraux (France), artist / sociologist

Biography: Both net and video artist, Reynald Drouhin has presented his work in Montreal at the Biennale de Montreal and at the festival Champ Libre manifestation internationale vidéo et art électronique in 1999. He has also participated in ISEA 97 Chicago, Imagina à Monaco (1998) and the Web Art Festival " Web bar " (1999) in Paris. Drouhin has received the Grand Prix at the Cyberfestival in Rueil-Malmaison in 1999 and the Multimedia price at DRAC Auvergne/Vidéoformes in Clermont-Ferrand in 1997. Since 1990, Reynald Drouhin works on many Web art sites and digital projects. Artist-teacher in Fine Art at Rennes in France since 2000.

J.P. Fourmentraux est attaché d'enseignement en sociologie et arts plastiques (DESS de Création Multimédia, université de Toulouse II). Chercheur au Centre d'Étude des Rationalités et des Savoirs (CERS - CNRS, UMR 5117). Co-auteur de deux rapports de recherche commandités par la Délégation aux arts plastiques du ministère de la Culture : " Culture visuelle et art collectif sur le web " (1999), " Entre l'artiste et l'informaticien : un espace de médiation, traduction, négociation " (2001). Auteur de divers articles sur le Net.Art pour les revues " Sociologie de l'art ", " Solaris ", " Archée ", " Chair et Métal - (Veille planétaire d'art en réseau) ".

Contribution: Backstage in the Making of the Net.Art Piece Des_Frags Process

Abstract: The conception of computer artworks requires different contributions in the sphere of art and information technology, leading to a fragmentation of creative activity and the multiple modes of designating what makes an "artwork." Upstream, creative activity negotiates a constant interplay of antagonistic spheres and logics of action. The mise-en-scène of creative activity brings together two forms of writing, the writing of the programming algorithm on the one hand and the writing of the artistic idea or concept (in the intentional sense) on the other. Downstream, the digital mechanism is alternately designated as a "product" disassociated from the artwork as a fragment of a software application or a computer algorithm, and as an "artwork" which subsumes the IT aspect of the program. Finally, viewers are in turn involved in the artwork that they actualize through contributing to its development by altering the original idea or by contributing their own materials. Consequently, the Internet artwork no longer correspond to the concept of a finished and locatable object but rather is more like a process, an open and interactive collective mechanism. This paper seeks to use a specific mechanism (Des_Frags) to emphasize the shifts engendered by this sharing and delegation of the creative process in terms of the traditional concept of an "artwork." What makes an "artwork" in this context? What are its identifying characteristics? Between stage front and backstage, how is it simultaneously designated, perceived and operated? (Translation, L-S Torgoff)

Text of the proceedings : in french

Mariapaola Fimiani (Italy), philosopher

Biography: Teacher of Moral Philosophy at the university of Salerno. Former director the Philosophy Department of this University (1993-2001), she is currently its vice-dean. Her research was about English empirism and more specifically about the theory of meaning and the theme of nature as a "visual language" after Georges Berkeley. Since the beginning of the '80s she focused on the issues of the archaïc, the magic, the myth, the symbolic, the sacred (Marcel Mauss e il pensiero dell’origine, Napoli, 1984 ; Lévi-Bruhl. La différence et l’archaïque, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2000). To her thinking about the relationships between truth, power and ethic are linked her research on Michel Foucault (Foucault et Kant. Critique Clinique Éthique, Paris, L’Harmattan, 1998 ; L’arcaico e l’attuale, Torino, 2000).

Contribution: Aesthetics and Ethics: the Force of Things

Abstract: The topics "pre-systemic flux" and "primary present" lead to a discussion of the question of the "real medium" as a locus of the "indeterminacy of things." It is indisputable that the new subject, or "hyper-subject," is always shifted in this medium. While it is true that aesthetic investigation undertakes to reveal the mechanisms and logic of the new technologies of the poiein, and that this analysis points to the tendency toward "shared projects," it is also true that philosophy is called upon, on the one hand, to understand how things are intertwined, and on the other, to ponder the ethical question of the links between the new subjects who are able to both give their consent to the world and to force "appearance." Thus aesthetics should extend into ethics or contain ethics as its most essential component. From this point of view, an ethics of communications cannot avoid facing up to the centrality of "the force of things" implicit in the ritual theory of the gift and which serves as an indispensable phase in a renewed practice of community. (Translation, L-S Torgoff)

Text of the proceedings : in french

Monika Fleischman et Wolfgang Strauss (Allemagne), artists

Biography: Monika Fleischmann, 51, German research artist. Studied visual arts, theater and computer graphics. Since 1992 artistic director of the institute for media communication; since 1997 head of the MARS exploratory media lab at the Fraunhofer Institute for Media Communication in Sankt Augustin, outside Bonn.

Her work - always produced with her partner Wolfgang Strauss - was exhibited e.g. at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, Museum for Design, Zurich, presented at MoMA, New York and Festivals like Siggraph, Imagina, Art Futura, ISEA and Ars Electronica. 1992 "Home of the Brain" was awarded with the Golden Nica for interactive art at Ars Electronica in Linz. "Liquid Views" was part of the opening exhibition of the ZKM Media Museum in Karlsruhe.

Her main research topics are intelligent information interfaces combined with interactive virtual environments on the base of perceptive processes. Knowledge discovery and mixed realities are important issues of her actual work. http://imk.fhg.de/mars

Biography: Wolfgang Strauss, 50, is architect and visiting professor in interactive media. Strauss studied Architecture at the Academie of Fine Arts Berlin and has held teaching positions in Visual Communication at the HDK Berlin, at the KHM Media Art School Cologne, at the School of Fine Arts Saarbrücken and the Kunsthochschule in Kassel. Together with Monika Fleischmann he was a co-founder of Art + Com, Berlin in 1988. His artistic work has been included in exhibitions and festivals of new media art worldwide. As an architect his main interest is to develop methods for intermedia representation in Mixed Realities. Currently he is co-director of the MARS.

His recent work is about intuitive interface environments related to the human body and digital media space. http://imk.fhg.de/mars

Contribution: Metaphors of Online Navigation : netzspannung.org – a Collaborative Knowledge Space for Art and Technology, a Community-based Internet Platform

Abstract:How does an online exhibition become an artistic event on the computer screen? In conjunction with continuing developments in the field of networking technology, artists and curators are trying out new presentation concepts that sound out the inherent properties of the network for virtual exhibition areas.

The networked space defines a dynamic and collaborative context for presenting art. The roles of artists, curators and the public are redefined. The virtual exhibition is not conceived as a closed structure, but rather as a permanent process of art presentation, production and communication.

In tandem with these strategies, the web interface largely defines how navigation through hyper structures becomes an experience of art. The navigational structure and the visual form are shaped by organization of information in alphabetical, semantic, spatial or time structures and by the links between them.

Text of the proceedings : in english

Fred Forest (France), artist and theoretician

Biography: Artist, emeritus professor of the University of Nice, co-founder of the Group of Sociological Art (1974), co-founder with Mario Costa of the International Movement of the Aesthetics of Communication (1983), director of the programme in aesthetics of communication at the MAMAC, Communication award at the XII São Paulo Biennale in 1973, participated in the Venise Biennale in 1976, the Documenta 6 in 1977, Award of the City of Locarno, Festival des Arts Electroniques in 1995, founder of the www.webnetmuseum.org. Books : L'art sociologique, 10/18 UGE Paris 1977, "Pour un manifeste de l'esthétique de la communication", + - 0, Bruxelles 1985, Pour un art actuel : l'art à l'heure d'Internet, l'Harmattan, Paris 1998, Fonctionnement et dysfonctionnements de l'art contemporain, l'Harmattan, Paris 2000. Web site : http://www.fredforest.org/

Contribution: Small journey in the past: by going back from the Net art to the historic foundations of the aesthetics of the communication

Abstract:In the field of the art, any emergent shape is always in touch with what precedes it. Either that this shape appears as its logical and natural continuance, or, on the contrary, that it shows itself and is imperative (opposes) as its formal, even ideological, alternative. For lack of being able to stop in a definitive way one, or more, "aesthetics" of the art of the networks, we can find constants which are already specific to it.

One of them it is, exactly, the recurrence of a thematisation of the notion of space-time in a certain number of representative artistic practices, today, of the art on Internet. The reflection which we propose will have for object to put in evidence, from some concrete examples, how the aesthetics of the communication has already anticipated this problem from the 80s, while Internet did not still exist as media of creation. The fundamental notions which deal with space-time, with presence at distance, with action at distance, with ubiquity, with interactivity, with intersubjectivity, with combinatorial, of location/relocation, of relational, social and interpersonal nearness, are already in the depths oh the practices and theories developed by the artists and the theorists of the aesthetics of the communication.

To understand the present, it is always useful to know how this present anchors in a specific way in a more global art history, to distinguish better, in the new forms which appear, their own innovative and original contributions.

Text of the proceedings : in french

Eduardo Kac (Brazil/USA), artist and theoretician

Biography: Eduardo Kac is internationally recognized for his interactive net installations and his bio art. A pioneer of telecommunications art in the pre-Web '80s, Eduardo Kac (pronounced "Katz") emerged in the early '90s with his radical telepresence and biotelematic works. At the dawn of the twenty-first century Kac shocked the world with his "transgenic art"--first with a groundbreaking net installation entitled Genesis (1999), and then with his fluorescent rabbit called Alba (2000). Eduardo Kac is represented by Julia Friedman Gallery, Chicago. His work is documented at <http://www.ekac.org/>.

Contribution: Telepresence, Biotelematics, Transgenic Art

Abstract:Telepresence art is the merger of telecommunications and telerobotics. Biotelematic art is based on the integration of a biological process to digital networks. Transgenic Art is a new art form based on the use of genetic engineering to create unique living beings. Eduardo Kac, the proponent of these new concepts in art, will discuss his recent work. After an introduction contextualizing his pioneering telepresence work, in progress since the mid-1980s, Kac will give examples and further discuss his biotelematic and transgenic work of the 1990s.

Text of the proceedings : in french

Natan Karczmar (France/Canada/Israel), artist and curator

Biography: Born in Paris in 1933. Organized in 1954 a festival of film on Art in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa. Founder and Director from 1957 to 1964 of the theater Centre Canadien d'Essai as well as of the Salon de la Jeune Peinture in Montréal. In 1989, he created "Art Planète", a bi-monthly video magazine presenting museum exhibitions around the world as well as inter-museums communication events in real time named "The Interactive Museum". From 1992 until 1994, he directed the seminar "Art/Communication/Nouvelles Technologies" at the Université Européenne de la Recherche in Paris. In 1996, he founded the Internet art magazine ArtMag (http://www.artmag.com/). Non-objective painter, he has had exhibitions in Europe, Canada, the US, and Israel.

Contribution: The Vidéocollectif

Abstract: The first Vidéocollectif (CollectiveVideo) was made for ArtCom Israel 84, a symposium on the Aesthetic of Communication I organized in 1984 at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the Haifa Museum and the Tzavta Cultural Center in Tel Aviv with the help of Fred Forest and Mario Costa. I invited the videomakers to film a public place, a street, a square or a park, for 10 minutes. The signal to begin filming was broadcast over the radio. The basic ingredients were video, radio, simultaneity and collective creation.

The second CollectiveVideo was made as part of the first Artmedia Costa organized. Then other video events were organized around diverse themes in Paris, Metz and Cergy. A CollectiveVideo sister cities project involving 60 videomakers was organized in Cologne, Lille, Liège, Esch-sur-Alzette and Grenoble. A "Vive La Tour" CollectiveVideo was made on the occasion of the centenary of the Eiffel Tower, and recently an Environment CollectiveVideo was organized with the Vidéoformes festival in Clermont-Ferrand. (Translation, L-S Torgoff)

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Derrick de Kerckhove (Canada), theoretician

Biography: Director of the McLuhan Program in Culture & Technology and Professor in the Department of French at the University of Toronto. He co-edited with Charles Lumsden The Alphabet and the Brain (Springer Verlag, 1988), a book which scientifically assesses the impact of the Western alphabet on the physiology and the psychology of human cognition. Brainframes: Technology, Mind and Business (Bosch&Keuning, 1991) addresses the differences between the effects of television, computers and hypermedia on corporate culture, business practices and economic markets. Connected Intelligence (Somerville, 1997) introduced his research on new media and cognition. He has contributed to the architecture of Hypersession, a collaborative software now being developed by Emitting Media. This work inspired his latest book The architecture of intelligence (see http://www.architecture.openflows.org/) first issued in Dutch in December 2000. He is presently a member of the Vivendi Institut de prospective where he is in charge of investigating the future technological and business development of the new technologies. He has been a member of the Club of Rome since 1995.

Contribution: The Digital Arts as External Mental Objects

Abstract: In examining networks and the digital objects that they contain from the point of view of Jean-Pierre Changeux’s hypothesis on the formation of neuronal graphs that would constitute our perceptions, our mental images, our remembrances and even our concepts during the fleeting course of their utilization by our thinking, I would like to know if one can speak of exteriorized mental objects. Is there a relationship not only in term of interaction and extension, but also in terms of profound analogies between digital objects and mental objects? Aren’t our new media already exteriorizing our cognitive properties? Aren’t all these things we see on our monitors, and which can be filed immediately, just like exteriorized mental objects? Organic mental objects may have many things in common with digital MO, such as, for example, that they operate through electricity, though at a very low voltage and that they are based on and work through connections, that they can be instantly reconstructed at will, that they are reliable and increasingly easy to repair and that they are partially modifiable and rearrangeable depending on how inspired we are. In short, they share a whole set of cognitive traits that have to do as much with the imagination as with memory and intelligence.

What does the theory of external mental objects teach us about art?

1 - That the objective of the art object, no matter what it may be, is always to create first of all an emotion and a mental image.

2 - That in classical art, thinking and emotion require a material mediation, whereas in digital art they can be given more or less as they come, as mental objects.

3 - That hypermedia, virtual reality and interactivity let us revisit our sensory experiences so that we can play them back indirectly, outside of our heads.

4 - That depending on the support or the medium used, digital art can recreate the proportions of verbal (conceptual), sensory (direct perception, including of music and tactility) and iconic content.

5 - That there is a kind of art that corresponds to digital mental objects, involving links, connections and networks, a vein in contemporary and future art barely mentioned and even less explored. (Translation, L-S Torgoff)

Sophie Lavaud (France), artist

Biography: Artist, creating installations where the bodies and gestures of the audience are staged in interactive fictions she calls " hyperpaintings ". She is actually preparing a thesis in Art and Technology at Paris 1 university. Lives and works in Paris. Exhibitions in France, abroad and in the cyberspace : Art-Jonction (Nice), Village ISEA 2000, Paris, " Generative Art", on ligne : http://www.webnetmuseum.org/, Festival @rt-Outsiders, Paris, " Techno-Wedding " with Fred Forest in Issy-les-Moulineaux, "Virtual Art", curator : Franck Popper, Boulogne-Billancourt.
She gives lectures on the use of new technologies in artistic works.
Winner of international competition Noos 2001 in multimedia-art category : http://www.noos.fr/animation/laureat/50/art_3000.swf
Researcher in the laboratory " Action on the picture ", Paris 8 university, Hypermedia department.
On line publications + article to be published in L’harmattan, about the self-sufficiency of pictures as digital systems.

Contribution: The Involvement of the Body in Interactive Scenographies

Abstract: From the start I will not limit myself to the problematic of networks but rather address the more general question of "interactive scenographies," based on the study of concrete example, especially two I conceived and made, Centre-Lumière-Bleu and Cyber-Light-Blue. I’ll analyze the aesthetic and artistic issues (not in the sense of the creation of forms, but of the emergence of flows) involved in the actions of the body on digital information by means of interfaces. This body of sensory and cognitive experience which is now fully a part of the digital scene is becoming an actor in the dramaturgy through its movements, shifts, gestures and behavioral attitudes. What, then, is the primary work of the subject who receives the artwork, by means of the interfaced gesture, in an interactive space, a new space of perception in which a process of the "hominization" of the image is taking form?

We find ourselves in the presence of two bodies, the human body modeled by sensory experience via the technological act (what Edmond Couchot calls "techno-aesthetic experience") and that of the artifact, which as an image/system is endowed with a "biosensorial" experience. Their interaction leads us to modify our way of being, our mode of presence to ourselves and to others and our daily interactions with our environment, going from a recognition of the obsolescence of the "biological" body (see Stelarc’s concept of "post-human" and Roy Ascott’s "post-biological") to the emergence of a new "body" and a new "being" in full mutation. (Translation, L-S Torgoff)

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Dominique Lestel (France), theoretician

Biography: Teacher in the Department of Cognitive Studies at the Ecole normale supérieure de Paris, and researcher at the Laboratory of Eco-anthropology of the National Museum of Natural History of Paris (CNRS/MNHN). Philosopher and ethologist, his researches focus on the phylogenesis of meaning, the aesthetics of the living, compared ecology of rationality, communications human being/animal and the specific identity of the human. Disciple of Louis Bec, he has been researcher-in-residence at the Art School of Aix-en-Provence within CYPRES in 1992. He has published many articles and three books : Paroles de singe : l’impossible dialogue homme/primate (La Découverte, 1995), L’animalité : Essai sur le statut de l’humain (Hatier, 1996) et Les origines animales de la culture (Flammarion, 2001).

Contribution: Elements of a Phylogenesis of NetworkAesthetics: Expressive Rationality and Creative Regression

Abstract: It is tempting to believe that a network aesthetics did not appear until recently because that would reintroduce the notion of progress into artistic practice by linking certain aesthetic approaches to a given technology. But in opposition to this approach, I would argue that a network aesthetics first appeared with the emergence of life itself and that it developed throughout the course of evolution with an astonishing subtlety and enormous diversity. To support this hypothesis, I base myself on two basic concepts. The first is expressive rationality, which is very different than the instrumental rationality privileged by philosophers, psychologists and economists. It is a rationality in which individuals mobilize their resources to express their deepest selves. The second is creative regression, which refers to a tendency among certain artists to immerse themselves in the phylogenetic past of life to explore new roads, new ways in which the human beings of the future will be able to thrive. (Translation, L-S Torgoff)

Text of the proceedings : in french

Louis-Josè Lestocart (France), theoretician

Biography: Studied history and archeology. Master in ancien history. Archeologist. DEA in proto-history archeology at the Art and Archeology Institute in Paris. Excavations in France and abroad until 1990. Then literature critic (Europe, Lettres Françaises), art and film critic (Art press, Positif, NRF, Cinémathèque) and exbibition curator for the the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ("Agora", online exhibition about net art).

Contribution: Emergence - Art in Shared Space

Abstract: From the earliest prescient ideas of people like Paul Valéry and Bergson to the questions posed by artificial intelligence and the representation of life by reactive A.I.D., this author puts forward the audacious hypothesis that the work of artists throughout the course of the 20th Century (Duchamp, the Bauhaus School, Kandinsky and the New York School) has been evolving toward a cognitive art. I directly compare the work of the M.I.T. Media Lab with the practice of certain artists (Jeffrey Shaw, Matt Mullican) and ancient theories of memory dating back to Antiquity. All this adding up to the constitution of virtual, interactive spaces, also hosted on the Net. (Translation, L-S Torgoff)

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Pierre Lévy (Canada/France), theoretician

Biography: Philosopher of cyberculture and collective intelligence.

Born in 1956 in Tunis. Studies and beginning of his career in France. Lives in Canada. Professor at the University of Ottava. Author of many books about the cultural implications of new technologies and the emerging global civilization. His books have been translated into more than 15 languages and most of them have been republished in pocket book collections. Among his last books : Cyberdémocratie, Odile Jacob, 2002 ; World Philosophie, Odile Jacob, 2000 ; Le Feu libérateur, Arléa, Paris, 1999 ; Cyberculture, Odile Jacob, Paris, 1997 ; Qu'est-ce que le virtuel ?, La Découverte, Paris 1995 ; L'Intelligence collective, La Découverte, Paris, 1994

Contribution: Cultural Design, a New Form of Conceptual Art: The Project of Collective Intelligence

Abstract: As a result of the increasingly dense interconnection between social actors and the growing interdependence of different sectors of human activity, "separate" practices involving creativity or conceptualization are becoming obsolete. Each creative act, whether it be in the field of science, technology, art, therapy, economics, law or politics, implies, in an embryonic way, a cultural totality, a life style, a vision of the social future that it helps bring into being and tends to propagate.

The meta-cultural project of collective intelligence seeks to establish optimum conditions for dialogue and communications between a multitude of values, programs, traditions and genres of knowledge which from now on will relate to each other virtually in competitive cooperation. Taking the best possible advantage of the advent of cyberspace, a culture of collective intelligence would create the conditions for the optimum development of the latent powers of the human mind. (Translation, L-S Torgoff)

Text of the proceedings : in french

Jean-Paul Longavesne (France), artist

Biography:Jean-Paul Longavesne was born in France and lives in France and Québec. He is currently working as Professor at the University Paris XI and at the National School of Decoratives Art (ENSAD) where he is responsible for the Fashion and Clothing Department, Director of the Painting datas Research Group (GRIP) and Board Member of the International Colour Association (AIC).

As an installation and performance artist, he has pioneered the development and creative use of an artist's personal painting machine on the net and has exhibited artworks at a number of shows in Canada, Europe and USA. His latest electronic publication "The Aesthetics and Rhetoric of the Technological Arts Interface Machines" (see http://crossings.tcd.ie/issues/1.2/Longavesne/ ).

Contribution: Aesthetics and Rethorics of Technological Arts : The Art of the Machines


Interfaces' Space and Time

"Ni la matière, ni l’espace ni le temps ne sont depuis vingt ans ce qu'ils étaient depuis toujours. Il faut s’attendre à ce que de si grandes nouveautés transforment toute la technique des arts, agissent par là sur l’invention elle même, aillent peut-être jusqu’à modifier merveilleusement la notion même de l’art." - Paul Valéry.

From automatic production to mechanical reproductibility, art history shows us that during Antiquity, art and technics are not dissociated, that, gradually, the hand, then the tool become a machine. If, in the Ars', the main means to a transformative activity is the tool that enhance the gesture, making it more efficient, in the technics and the technology, the machine is defined as the source of the transformative process, enfeoffing the gesture to a project often outside of the body ; the machinic short-circuit revealing the importance of communication. In other words, the technics, followed by the technology amplifie the communication processes needed in the artistic production, mainly in the field of technological arts where the virtual takes a more and more important place. This artistic creation, therefore, developps new methods in relationships with its new tools. It is no longer the mimesis that is in the forefront, but what allows the apparition, the process, the tool-based activity that organizes it through the machine. If art recalls the necessity of senses and gestures that inhabit it, the technology takes them away by the detachment of its procedure. The interface plays then this role of mediation, defining a new body of artistic practices.

Text of the proceedings : in french

Roger Malina (France/USA), theoretician

Biography: Roger Malina is an astronomer and editor. He is the Director of the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille and former Director of the NASA EUVE Observatory. He is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics. He is Chairman of the Board of Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technolgy and Executive Editor of the peer reviewed scholarly journal Leonardo published with MIT Press.

Mit Mitropoulos (Greece), artist and theoretician

Biography: Researcher in communications with and without technology. His Ph.D. (Edinburgh University, 1974) is on Space Networks--the concept of space as a network,rather than as place.

Has been consultant to organisations and institutions (including UNESCO; EVR of MIT, USA; CIC,Paris; Greek Ministries of Culture, and of Research+Technology) on issues connecting technology to policy and legislation.

As an environmental artist, he has been active with Geopolitical Art projects ,as well as with 2-way interactive video installations.

Contribution: Articulation of Electronic Spaces, and Behaviour in them --as compared to Semi-private/public Spaces and Minimal Design for Remote Sites

Abstract:An increasing amount of city space today is Electronic rather than Physical —although decision makers who organise urban/regional space have been slow in considering it. Electronic space, unlike Euclidean space, is a Behavioural one (just like Hodological and Personal, and similar to Ambient space intended for communication) —although we are now using technology. The Face to Face (FtoF) series of 2-way interactive video, articulates Electronic space. It does so at a variety of perceptual levels, as with Semi-private/public spaces in traditional Cyclades architecture. Although Electronic space is used for overcoming distance, FtoF-1 creates distance where there isn't any —see the intention of remote site constructions. This author's approach is based on Space Networks, meaning space as a network (not as place). It applies both to Ecumenopolis, and the individual experiencing simultaneously being at the center and the periphery.

Text of the proceedings : in french

Pierre Mœglin (France), theoretician

Biography: Teacher at the university of Paris 13 where he runs the DEA and the Ph.D programme in "Sciences of communication", and also the Laboratory of Information and Communication Sciences (LabSic). He runs also the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme " Paris Nord – UMR CNRS " that he founded in 2001 under a request of the ministries of Education and of Research. His fields of research and expertise are the socio-economical analyse of the industries of culture. He is the author and co-author of more than a dozen of books on the industrialisation of teaching, the convergence of the audiovisual, computer and telecommunications fields, the development of new media. He has collaborated in several actions created by Fred Forest.

Enrico Nuzzo (Italy), philosopher

Biography: Enrico Nuzzo is Professore Ordinario in History of Philosophy at the University of Salerno. He is mainly interested in philosophical, political, historical modern thought (particularly in the fields of Italian, French, and English cultures). He published many volumes and essays on Vico (he is working at the critical edition of Scienza nuova prima), on the "Southern Italian philosophical tradition", on Cartesianism in Naples in the XVII and XVIII centuries (Leonardo Di Capua, Caloprese, Doria, etc.), on Croce, on French moralists (Saint-Evremond, etc.), on Condillac, on the English Republican Tradition. His other writings concern questions in historiography, methodological and theoretical problems such as Political Aristotelianism, the Reason of State, the foundation of the modern genre of ancient history, the relation between philosophy and literature, the epistemical status of image and the "metaphorology".

Louise Poissant (Canada), theorician

Biography: Louise Poissant has a Ph.D in philosophy. She is professor at the School of visual and media arts at the UQAM since 1989. She is the director of the Research Group in Media Arts since 1989 and the interdisciplinary Ph.D programme in Studies and practices of arts since 1997. She has written numerous articles and books in the field of media arts published in various magazines and journals in Canada, France and the United States. She has directed the Dictionnary of Media Arts published in French at the PUQ and online in English by the journal Leonardo. She is the co-writter of a TV serie about media arts produced in collaboration by TV Ontaria and TELUQ. She collaborates with the Contemporary Art Museum in Montreal to a series of video portrait of artists. Her current researches deal with the links between interfaces and sensoriality.

Contribution: The Media Arts Dictionnary

Abstract: The Media Arts Dictionnary is transformed into a community site to which the entire community of artists and theoreticians interested in this field are invited to contribute on a continuous basis by submitting documents to be posted online.

In addition to definitions, the dictionary contains historical entries, technical illustrations, excerpts of artworks, interviews, commentaries, etc.

The presentation of the site, which can be consulted dynamically (XML display), is meant to encourage comments and suggestions. (Translation, L-S Torgoff)

Text of the proceedings : in french

Karen O'Rourke & Sharon Daniel (France/USA), artist / Assistant Professor

Biography: Karen O'Rourke is an artist who works with databases, networks and storytelling systems. Her work has been presented in Europe, the United States and South America. In 1997 she received the Leonardo Award for Excellence. Recent projects include a CD-Rom Paris Réseau, published by the Editions du CERAP in 2000, and "Archiving as Art", a collective exhibition/website which was part of the interdisciplinary CNRS program "Archives de la Création". She is Maître de conférences in art and communication at the Université de Paris 1.

Biography: Sharon Daniel is an Assistant Professor of Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz where she teaches classes in digital media theory and practice. Her research involves collaborations with local and on-line communities which exploit information and communications technologies as new sites for "public art."

Contribution: Mapping Databases: Online Representation of Spatiotemporal Experience

Abstract:Mapping Databases: Online Representation of Spatiotemporal Experience
This paper presents a project I am developing with Sharon Daniel Mapping the Database. One of our main goals is to bring to light cross-cultural perspectives on the representation of spatiotemporal experience. How can these representations be created and used by individuals and communities?
Our collaboration examines the notion of an aesthetics of database within the context of prototyping and testing interactive systems for the creation and collection of maps. For our purpose mapping is seen as collaborative, intersubjective, communication or information design and exchange. We are using databases as instruments for investigating non-hierarchical information systems through two developing project prototypes, Substract the Sky and A Map Larger than the Territory.

Text of the proceedings : in english

Frank Popper (France), theoretician

Biography: Professor emeritus of aesthetics at the University of Paris VIII, he is the author of Naissance de l'art cinétique, 1967 ; Art - Action and Participation, 1975 ; L'artist et la créativité aujourd'hui, 1980 ; Art of the Electronic Age, 1993 ; Réflexions sur l'exil, l'art et l'Europe, 1998 and is at present working on a study of Virtual Art. He was also organizer and author of the catalogue of the exhibitions Kunst-Licht-Kunst, 1966 ; Lumière et mouvement, 1967 ; Electra, 1983, and L'art virtuel, 1998.

Gilbertto Prado (Brésil), artist

Biography: Born in Santos/Brazil, 1954, multimedia artist, studied Engineering and Visual Arts at the State University of Campinas, Brazil. In 1994 he obtained his doctoral degree in Arts at the University of Paris I. He has participated in several art exhibitions in his country and abroad. Currently he is Professor at the Department of Visual Arts at the ECA/USP - Communication and Arts School at University of São Paulo.


Contribution: Recent Experiments in Multiuser Virtual Environments in Brazil

Abstract:This article presents four recent web experimentations in the virtual environments in Brazil. The first one is the Imateriais 99 (1999), created at Itaú Cultural São Paulo. It used videogame technology to explore some key issues in contemporary thought about the relationship between what is virtual and what is real. Desertesejo (2000), a networked virtual web-based environment by Gilbertto Prado, is the second project which is a poetical exploration of geographical extension, the temporary ruptures, the loneliness, the constant re-invention and the proliferation of points of meeting and sharing. The third one, entitled The Xamantic Journey (2001) by Tania Fraga, is an amalgamations of myths, dreams, natural world phenomena, shadows of the past, all entwined. The last project, Artificial Voices (2002) by Suzete Venturelli, searches a dialogue between real and virtual bodies by using interactive interfaces in order to capture voices in an installation atmosphere.

Text of the proceedings : in english

Nicolas Reeves (Canada), artist

Biography: Teacher at the School of Design of the UQAM (Montreal). Runs the NXI GESTATIO laboratory (architecture/design/computer science) at the UQAM and the axis Artificial Life and Robotics Art of the new institute Hexagram dedicated to the arts and media technologies. His creative approach is reinforced by a theoretical research which questions the basis of the notion of order, information and organisation.

In 1995, he exhibited the architectonic installation Morphologies Surrationnelle which inscribes his work within the arts-science relation, which has been strenghten by the project Harpe à Nuages ((1997-2002). He created several technological art installations, sound-based and reacting to the variations of natural phenomena: Le Jardin des Ovelyniers, La Chambre Forcluse, Le Mascarillon, Sixième Diffractale.

Contribution: The Terrifying Trouble with Lucidity: Essay on Pseudo-Infinite Worlds

Abstract: The finitude of digital universes (DU) is often seen as a limitation of their potential which makes it possible to grasp all possible worlds right away, even those never realized. Our knowledge of the basic elements and their various states would seem to eliminate any possibility of the unexpected. Of course, new phenomena emerge from explicitly-definable mechanisms; these finite worlds have not nearly delivered up all their secrets. But this only pushes back the point at which the finite character of the universe manifests itself and we can recapitulate not only all that is known but also all that can be. For many writers (Nietzsche, Baudelaire), such worlds have a desperate aspect–we have to get out of them at all cost.

We propose a variety of mechanisms so that DUs can become equivalent to infinite universes. To that end we envisage a number of methods that make it possible to increase the number of states accessible to a DU, and we will discuss the temporal thresholds based on which the behavior of the latter can allow it to escape finitude. Of course, we will not be talking about real infinities, only quasi- or even pseudo-infinities–the machine that generates them remains an automation whose states are finite and the argument that these infinities are illusions will always be difficult to counter. But as we will also see, by analogy with reality and using a few IT tools, this overly reasonable reasoning becomes sterile, and in quite a few cases the illusion is more fertile than the lucidity. (Translation, L-S Torgoff)

Text of the proceedings : in french

Jemima Rellie (UK), curator

Biography: Jemima Rellie is Tate's Head of Digital Programmes, with responsibility for the strategy and co-ordination of public-facing digital content. Prior to Tate, she worked in interactive TV (EC1 Media), internet development (Saltmine Creative), and art book publishing (Phaidon and Macmillans). She has an MA in The Social History of Art (Leeds University).

Contribution: Intervention and subvention, collaboration and communication - Net Art's contribution to the transformation of the museum

Abstract: It is no longer unusual to find museums exhibiting Net Art. It can be found in science museums, applied art museums, design museums and fine art museums, albeit seldom as the main attraction. Yet Net Art still confounds the economic system of the art market. Commercial galleries remain hard pushed to realise a return on investment in Net Artists, which means that museums and other organisations are now taking a lead in commissioning and showing works in this area. Furthermore, with the ever-increasing commercialisation of the internet it is possible that museums will, despite their late involvement in Net Art, soon become the primary platform for the distribution of Net Art.

The aesthetic and conceptual potential of Net Art has significant implications for the way these museums operate. Museums are cumbersome and slow moving, burdened by bureaucracy and competing demands for resources. As a result these implications have not, as yet been fully explored or realised. In this paper I will start by presenting Tate's net art commissions to date as well as the context in which these commissions were developed, and how that context continues to evolve. I will also describe why these projects are important to Tate by locating Net Art within Tate's broader online strategy and aligning it to Tate's core objectives.

Text of the proceedings : in english

Isabelle Rieusset-Lemarié (France), theoretician

Biography: Isabelle Rieusset-Lemarié, theoretician and critic in art and new technologies, studied F. Forest's Aesthetics of Communication (Epiphaneia n°2, 1997). In her synthetic book "La Société des clones à lère de la reproduction multimedia" (Actes Sud, 1999) she analysed the grounds of virtual aesthetics in the light of W. Benjamins insight into the outcome of the artwork in the age of multimedia reproduction ("Web Museum 2000") and from her works about "Computer Assisted Palaces of Memory" (Jasis n° 48, 1990) and about "Artificial Life".

Her current researches deal with aesthetic aspects of autonomous virtual creatures (Festival @rt Outsiders, 2001).

Contribution: Artwork's Pathes beyond Utilisability (Whitin Net Range: Which Kind of Proximity?)

Abstract:Does "Distance Presence" produce this false proximity which abolishes the distance or does the Aesthetics of Path counteract the so-called ubiquity of the net thanks to the spacing of Experience? Does the net, where everything would be "ready to interactive hand" increase this familiar proximity, typical, according to Heidegger, of the Zuhandenheit (what is "ready to hand", ready for usage), which apprehends objects as products. Or does the different proximity of certain artwoks transport us in another place than the one we are accustomed to, revealing the truth of the product as such, of the thing as such, of the artwork as such? Can the Aesthetics of Path, which makes the value of exhibition as an artwork triumph on the net, clear the way for the Open, beyond utilisability? Do the aesthetic attitudes apprehending networks as a territory on which you can imprint your foot (cf. F. Forest) turn the web into a world and no more into the continual connection of the links of utilisability?

Text of the proceedings : in french

Anolga Rodionoff (France), theoretician

Biography: Architect Anolga Rodionoff is an associate professor at the University of Paris with a Ph. D. in Political Science. Her research shows that the upheavel produced by the impact of communication on architecture pre-dates the use of communication techniques particulary this of the web by architects themselves. A University of Paris researcher on communication media and personnel, she is also commentator and curator for the architecture collection at Fred Forest's Web Net Museum. Her latest publications include Architecture : from production to communication, (MEI 14, l'Harmattan, Paris, 2001).

Contribution: Network Architectures, Architectures of Interactivity?

Abstract: What is the significance of the almost total absence of information and communications technologies (ICT) in built architecture, except insofar as the former are reduced to their functionality? And how have certain architects and artists envisaged the hybridization or crossing of ICT and place? While there have been a few concrete attempts to integrate the two and many projects that would do so, do they really share any filiation or common principles to a degree that would allow us, for example, to speak variously of a network architecture and an architecture of interactivity? (Translation, L-S Torgoff)

Text of the proceedings : in english

Timothée Rolin (France), artist

Biography: In Paris, Timothée Rolin studied at the Superior National School of Decorative Arts (ENSAD) and later he designed the website for the school. His interest in systems related to databases prompted him to start his own participative site in January 2002, http://www.adamproject.net/. This site records his daily life and that of every one who is willing to participate in the project, in the form of dated and timed photographs, commented on and described by key words, thus creating an original collective memory that is permanently accessible. Some tools, such as a semantic search engine, allow us to reach out to this network of memories."

Contribution: Presentation of the ADaM project

Abstract: see http://www.adamproject.net/

Text of the proceedings : in french

Eric Sadin (France), theoretician

Biography: Eric Sadin is a writer, a multimedia author and a theoretician of the relations between arts, language and new technologies. He is the founder and editor of the journal : éc/art S:. He founded <world.wide.writings.Studio > agence_d'écriture™ éric.sadin & partnerS« , a new organization dedicated to the production of textual systems based on collaborative work and open to contemporary technologies. In 1997, he published " : ", a text that incorporated different levels of writtings (poetry, theory, fiction) (Pécuchette éditions). He has published theoretical and poetic texts in more than 15 journals. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy. He has been fellow of the Villa Kujoyama, Kyoto, Japan, in 2002.

Contribution: Urban Surfaces/Textual Territories >Signs, Bits & the City

Abstract: The intersection of digital technologies and telecommunications networks is producing transversal convulsions throughout general economy of the text and disseminating frames for the visibility of the written, particularly visible in contemporary urban space (giant screens, posters, electronic panels, cell phones, interactive posts, synthesized voices, etc). By focusing on the connections between text and city we will bring out the breadth of mutations that modify simultaneously our relationship to the written and to the urban, and make it possible to conceptualize literary enterprises of a new type, developing regular observational strategies and production methodologies involving the surface of the book as well as that of the monitor or the city. (Translation, L-S Torgoff)

Text of the proceedings : in french

Bruno Samper (France), artist

Biography: Multimedia artist. En 1998 he initiated the online magazine http://www.panoplie.org/ which aim is to experiment the langage of the web that is open, not pre-determined, not pre-categorized, a powerful miw of influences in any expressive forms : multimedia magazine, video games, webdesign, interactive series, online utopia, etc. In 2001, he is the co-founder, with Rouanet, of the studio panoplie.prod (of which he is the artistic director). The studio developps multimedia projects on and offline : interactive fictions, documentaries, games and long term universes projects. The project http://www.protoform.net/ is an example.

Contribution: Creators of Persistent Worlds: Artists as Forces for Convergence

Abstract: Our talk will pose a certain number of questions regarding the passageways that can be created between the problematics of the video game cultural industry and the making of art.

The presentation will show that these passageways are developing around three points:

1- The metaphysical question.

The quest for knowledge. Curiosity-driven. To see what’s behind something. The Platonic search for the "true, the beautiful and the good." "What is there beyond the next level?" is the equivalent of "What lies behind appearances?" The concept of exploration is the subtext in many games.

2 - The aesthetic question (interactivity in representation). The representation of perceptible forms (objective interactivity). The representation of interactivity systems and processes (subjective interactivity).

3 - The economic question.

Is art "entertainment"? - The question of universality linked to economic necessities.

The whole talk will be illustrated by two of our projects: the online community utopia project Protoform, and Society, a four-level online game done as part of a public commission. (Translation, L-S Torgoff)

Text of the proceedings : in french

François Soulages (France), theorician

Biography: Professor of University, he is director of the DEA "arts of images and contemporary art" at the University of Paris VIII. He is the director of the section "aesthetics, arts and industries" at the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme Paris Nord. He has written several books about image and contemporary art among which "Esthétique de la photographie" (Paris, Nathan, 2002, 4°édition), he is curator of international exhibitions and director of book collections. Currently he is researching on the image from different perspectives : philosophical, aesthetical, psychoanalytic and political. His two recent books "Dialogues sur l'art & la technologie, autour d'Edmond Couchot" (2001) & "La couleur réfléchie" (2002) open to new research fields and perspectives.

Angelo Trimarco (Italy), historian and art critic

Biography: Teacher of History of art critic at the university of Salerno and Dean of the Humanities at the same university. Since the early '70s, he developped researches on the Freudian theory of art and on the social history of art. He studies themes and issues dealing with the historical avant-gardes and the neo-avant-gardes. He wrote several essays on the theories of surrealism. He is actively involved in the discussion, both on a theoretical and critical level, on current state of the art. His contributions —books, essays, critical articles— have been published in major international journals. He curated several exhibitions of Italian artists. In 1993, he was curator for the Venise Biennale.

Contribution: Criticism in the Age of the Virtual

Abstract: Taking the theoretical and critical positions of Baudrillard, Virilio and Lévy, among others, as my starting point, I consider the possibilities for art and criticism in the age of the virtual. Radically: is it still possible to carry out a critical practice in the context of a "cartography of the virtual"? A practice which still considers criticism and art as a space of knowledge and change. (Translation, L-S Torgoff)

Text of the proceedings : in french

Victoria Vesna (USA), artist

Biography: Victoria Vesna is an artist, professor and Chair of the Department of Design | Media Arts at the UCLA School of the Arts. Vesna's work can be defined as experimental research that connects networked environments to physical public spaces. She explores how communication technologies affect collective behavior, and the shifting perceptions of identity in relation to scientific innovation. Most recently she was building a 'community of people with no time' and is exploring the impact of nanotech on culture and society. In 2000 she completed her Ph.D. at CAiiA, University of Wales, entitled "Networked Public Spaces: An Investigation into Virtual Embodiement".

Contribution: Mind Shifting and Future Bodies: from Networks to Nanosystems

Abstract:In what new situation do networks place the body? Do they foster and accelerate the obsolescence of the body, as Leroi-Gourhan foretold, or do they amplify its multi-sensorial capacity and involve it as never before? As network servo-mechanisms develop, which will come to the fore, the cortex or the body? How is the networked mind in operation called and stimulated to think? Is it plugged into the network which is allowed to penetrate it through and through, or does it shut itself away in the "cogito"?

Text of the proceedings : in english

Marie-Claude Vettraino-Soulard (France), theorician

Biography: Professor in sciences of information and communication at the University of Paris 7 - Denis Diderot. Founder and director of the national research seminar "Writing, Image, Orality and New technologies (Ecrit, image, oral et nouvelles technologies) and author of several books about the Internet. She is the president of "Carrefours Télématiques".

Benjamin Weil (USA), curator of media arts, SFMOMA

Biography: Benjamin Weil is the curator of media arts at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He also serves on the curatorial committee of Eyebeam, a non-profit organization based in New York. At SFMOMA, Weil has started a policy of web commissioning, which has led to the release of 7 artists projects and the ongoing crossfade, a hypermedia journal about sound art and its relationship to the computer, and to the network. Prior to that appointment, Weil served as director of New Media at the ICA London.
Weil co-founded äda 'web, the renowned digital foundry, which between 1994 and 1998 produced online projects with contemporary artists, and reflected upon the way to contextualize this kind of work beyond the usual categories of exhibitions, catalogues, documentary and theory. The archives of the site, which are still online, were donated in 1998 to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and form the base of this institution's digital art study collection. Weil has lectured extensively about art and the net, as well as issues related to the evolving nature of curatorial practice brough by process oriented art. He has also published writings in numerous international art magazines, and served on the editorial committee of Atlantica.

Contribution: From Object to Process: the Dematerialization of the Art Idea and its Effect on Curatorial and Conservation Practices

Abstract:The 20th Century has come to a close on the notion of dematerialized art forms and their pertinence in the ongoing continuum of art history. From Duchamp to Action Painting, and later to conceptual art, there has been a number of prominent examples in the history of art that demonstrate the importance of an intellectual discourse that privileges ideas over the notion of collectible artifact.

With the increasing importance of digital tools and their presence in the palette of instruments used in an extended number of art practices, we are not only witnessing a blurring of boundaries between various art experiments (sound, live art, visual art, etc.), but also being confronted with the ephemerality of such practice, as computing constantly evolves and makes earlier experiments obsolete.

From the perspective of earlier experiments, to the more recent explorations brought by an ever more accessible technology, curating is being challenged by this formal instability, that forces a reflection on what we are actually trying to exhibit, disseminate, distibute. Furthermore, this state of things also question the role of the curator, which evolves from the position of selector and contextualizing force, to the possible one of producer.

My presentation will offer a perspective on those pressing issues that also affect collecting and conservation strategies, informed by my various experiences in the sphere of art and new media.

Related urls : http://www.eyebeam.org/ ; http://www.sfmoma.org/espace/espace_overview.html ; http://www.sfmoma.org/crossfade ; http://010101.sfmoma.org/start.html ; http://www.walkerart.org/gallery9/dasc/adaweb/index.html ; http://adaweb.walkerart.org/