Synaesthetic Syntax – Searching for Gestures of Freedom and Intensities within Interactive Media Art

The paper will present The General Theory of Gestures (Flusser) as a productive theoretical framework for the analysis of new media art, which is defined as various scores and records of ephemeral, interactive events involving human and non-human actors (Latour). I propose to switch the focus of the debate on the new media art from the description of the technical parameters of the media to the performative qualities of the interactive media art, and thus towards to search for “movements” and “gestures” in the global man-machine network. Flusser’s categories for exploration of interactivity from the dualistic perspective of control vs. freedom will be combined with Bachelards’ aesthetic of elements, specifically poetics of water, which allow to think about interactivity through the category of “intensity” (Delleuze) as well. The aim of the paper is to show how the performative concept of interactive media art not only contributes to the refinement of the theoretical discourse that surrounds it, but as an effect it also leads to the search for more sustainable strategies for preserving media art as a part of the cultural heritage of 20th and 21st centuries.

References:

BACHELARD, Gaston. Water and Dreams. An Essay on the Imagination of Matter. Dallas: The Pegasus Foundation, 1983.

FLUSSER, Vilém; BEC, Louis. Vampyroteuthis Infernalis. A Treatise, with a Report by the Institut Scientifique de Recherche Paranaturaliste. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012.

FLUSSER, Vilém. Towards a General Theory of Gestures. In: Gestures. University of Minnesota Press, 2014.

LATOUR, Bruno: We Have Never Been Modern. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1991.