Telematic Practice and Research Discourses: Three Practice-based Research Project Case
Sermon, P 2010 'Telematic Practice and Research Discourses: Three Practice-based Research Project Case', in: Gardine, H & Gere, C (eds.), Art Practice in a Digital Culture, First edition, Ashgate Publishing, London, United Kingdom, pp.153-164.
This chapter focuses on the production, documentation and preservation of the author’s telematic, practice-based research in the interactive media arts. It reflects a timely practice review with significant implications for the future of exhibiting and archiving the broad range of creative arts in this field. These fundamental research questions also have relevance across a number of practice-based research fields including performance arts and the ephemeral nature of open-system interactive artworks. The objective of this chapter is to propose research methods that will approach the question of how to document and archive appropriately this transient creative practice that is so often reliant on its immediate cultural and historic context. Since the early 1990s my artistic practice has identified and questioned the notions of embodiment and disembodiment in relation to the interacting performer in telematic and telepresent art installations. At what point is the performer embodying the virtual performer in front of them? Have they therefore become disembodied by doing so? A number of interactive telematic artworks will be looked at in detail in this chapter. These case studies range from Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz’s seminal work ‘Hole-in-Space’ to my own telepresent experiments with ‘Telematic Dreaming’ and include the current emerging creative/critical discourse in Second Life, the networked virtual/social environment, that polarizes fundamental existential questions concerning identity, the self, the ego and the (dis)embodied avatar. The preservation and documentation of this work is extremely problematic when we consider the innate issues of (dis)embodiment in relation to presence and intimacy, as experienced and performed in telematic and virtual environments. How can it become possible to reencounter a performance of dispersed and expanded bodies, multiple and interconnected identities, spectral representations and auras: in short, hybrid bodies (selves) made of flesh and digital technologies, and the intimate connections between them.
Art Practice in a Digital Culture
London, United Kingdom.