ISEA 2011 - LAb[au]

ISEA 2011

panel discussion:
The Volatility and Stability of WorldMaking as Techné
20.09.2011 _ 13h -14h
with: Marcos Novak, Roy Ascott, Jérôme Decock _ LAb[au]

organised by:
Hyperbody,Faculty of Architecture
Delft University of Technology
Dr.Mark David Hosale

Volatility and Stability of WorldMaking as Techné

The term techné is an ancient philosophical concept that was debated by philosophers such as Xenophon, Plato, as well as more contemporary philosophers such as Martin Heidegger and Félix Guattari. In simplified terms techné concerns the art and craft of making. In particular the discussion of techné is not only concerned with what is made, but how and why it is made. The thinking of art practices (music, art and architecture) as a kind of WorldMaking refers to a techné that is seeking to explore art concepts as expressive alternative realities through the development of self reflexive and internally consistent art worlds.

The Volatility and Stability of WorldMaking as Techné panel discussion will focus on the involvement of the techné of worldmaking in participatory art practice. Such practice can be found in all areas of art, however, the ones under scrutiny for this particular panel are: interactive, generative and prosthetic


art, architecture and music practices that depend for their vitality and development on the participation of their observers. The panel will challenge the level of involvement and integration of the observer within the generative praxis in a technoscientific agenda.

MetaDeSign "Designing a (possibly or seemingly infinite) range of possibilities"
by Jérôme Decock

Although selling or exhibiting ideas as a work of art - a practice initially described as Concept Art - has become common practice, the resulting artefact is often constrained in space and time, materialized by traces, acting only as clues that can be only truly and subjectively captured by memories. Subcategory of the afore mentioned practice, Process art belongs, as its scheduling is suggesting, to the performance category, as a Rube Goldberg machinery cannot possibly acquire eternity and not even pretend or fake it.

Enter the realm of System Art, designing and linking processes while building a lexicon, effectively and practically ending up in not only creating the music but the orchestra and the instruments which go along with it. System Art can be categorized by analyzing the system's inputs and outputs, from the self contained algorithmic machine that belongs to generative systems to the hyperlinked globalized and realtime-expanding connective systems. It does allow for increasing complexity through the multiplication of parameters, historically linking itself to the concept of "Oeuvre totale", at least through the conjunction of media, where data can flow unobstructed thanks to digitalization.

Methodological by nature, System Art does borrow industrial methods and analytical approach, both in conception and production, only forgiving about deontology or efficiency as it does not want to be true as science or primarily profitable. It does spread the deeply human need to understand, control and trespass technology or as the cyberneticist from the 60's would put it, "aim for an unrestricted cooperation in between machines and minds". Still in its infancy, its status progressed from "utopia" to


"prospective prototypes" and to "artistically and technically approved" in the last few decades.

This presentation will cover some "historic references" and "theory one-liners" and mainly a few examples extracted from the recently released monograph of LAb[au], organized by system type and praxis, complemented by some artist's works exhibited at Mediaruimte, LAb[au]'s curated artspace in Brussels, Belgium, covering an ever broader scope of actual practice and considerations in Digital Art.

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