RESPONSE TO BEHAVIOURIST ART AND THE CYBERNETIC VISION

The article by Roy Ascott was fascinating in that it accurately projected the way our lives and the art world would progress since the dawn of the digital age. He first acknowledges that art had become something more than purely a visual experience, he calls the new quality of art as “behavioral” rather than visual. The article describes the fact that art is no longer one-way, produced by the artist and finished for good, but is a feedback loop, communicating between artist and viewer and never-ending. Art only works as far as the viewer participates. One of the most striking things Ascott claims is that “we are moving towards a fully cybernated society where processes of reaction, instant communication, autonomic flexibility will inform every aspect of our environment”, and what is striking about that sentence is that it is exactly what happened, he describes modern society accurately from back in the 60s. This may have seemed like a radical claim at the time but it proved to be true. It was surprising to hear about some of the pieces from that time that used computers for art, which one would not expect from how young technology was back then. The article was interesting as something of a prophecy for contemporary art. Some parts were conveyed in a manner that is more complex than was necessary, so some of the points were lost on me. The key points, however were still clear.

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