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Towards a Connective and Ecosophical New Media Art Practice

By Keith Armstrong


The design of Intimate Transactions was inspired\ud by a range of discourses and practices drawn from the\ud fields of critical ecologies, new media and innovative\ud performance practices. At its core is what I refer to as an\ud ecosophical praxis. Underpinned by an engagement with\ud aspects of critical ecology, such a praxis sits within a\ud social and political agenda that emphasises the integral\ud place of social relationships within ecological systems.\ud Because of its emphasis on relationships, an ecosophical\ud praxis involves a socially driven approach to art practice.\ud Collaboration and interactivity guide both the production\ud of art and the design of how it will be experienced.\ud Within the development of Intimate Transactions, I\ud have therefore taken on the role of interdisciplinary\ud collaborator and I have resituated audiences as\ud performers who engage with ecological issues through\ud their interactions with both the artwork and other\ud participants. While this approach of combining ecological\ud concerns with collaboration in production and experience\ud is subtle and non-didactic, it ultimately governs every\ud aspect of the work.\ud \ud In this essay, I will elaborate upon the ecosophical\ud principles that have influenced the design of Intimate\ud Transactions. I will also reflect upon the iterative design\ud process and the progress of Intimate Transactions\ud towards its current iteration as a participatory, embodied,\ud networked and collaborative new media artwork. By\ud charting the gradual refinement of its design, I will show\ud how this project has come to fulfil Gablik’s prediction\ud of art that facilitates an understanding of complex\ud ecological concerns and social participation

Topics: 190200 FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA, 190203 Electronic Media Art
Publisher: ACID Press
Year: 2006
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