RENEW 2013

The 5th International Conference on the Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology

Riga / October 8 – 11, 2013

"Networked Art" Participants


Signal Aesthetics

Session:Networked Art

Panel:Panel C


Venue:Stockholm School of Economics, Soros Audium

A number of recent contemporary electronic art and performance practices erect signposts in “deeply” (e.g.: Athanasius Kircher) and 20th century (e.g.: Brion Gysin) histories of media and technology. Many such hardware-based techniques can be read as literal fieldwork; as the performance of a media-archeological ‘dig’ and materialised electrical phenomenon by and for both artist and audience. Providing the experience of media-as-signal, and hence media-as-material, performance practice can create a sensible laboratory which reverberates with the history of media studies, chronologies of and fascination with contemplative and perceptual (self-?) experiments with and through technology (e.g.: Beer, Walter, Weiner, Metzinger). What results is a signal-aesthetics that is a distillation of historical practices of media and consciousness studies and alternation, reflected through contemporary immediacies of media signals. The materialisation of the signal phenomenon outside of the more standard forms (I.e.: On screen, through a speaker, inside the laptop) is particularly relevant to these practices. The signal becomes manifest either in the environment (e.g.: ball lightening) or directly perceptible in the brain and mechanical functioning of the human body (e.g.: stroboscopic patterns or static/electric shocks). Thus signal aesthetics operates as an active agent (non-human entity) in the environment rather than a passive consumption as with other modes of media arts practice. The signal directly performs both media practices immediate environment altering EMF’s and the human structure by relying on its receptive signals (mirrors to the non-human signal) and unconscious responses. This in turn highlights the mechanical and material functioning of the environment and the body in direct relation to the functioning of technology

Jamie Allen likes to make things with his head and hands. These things mostly involve peoples’ relationships to media, technology and infrastructural resources. His work has been supported by a host of international organisations, festivals and galleries, including Eyebeam (NYC) and the Canada and UK Councils for the Arts. Jamie is currently Head of Research at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design.

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