Interdisciplinary Conference


in Art & Science

26-28 November 2020, University of Applied Arts Vienna/Online

95. Deconstructing the isolated artist-astronaut paradigm.
Session: Session "NSP5 / (W)Hole"
Speakers: Ioannis Bardakos, Eirini Sourgiadaki, Alain Lioret

In the context of a viral outbreak and necessary physical distancing, the emergence of new or the evolution of older artistic behavioral schemes becomes evident. We correlate the isolation space of the artist with the central spaceship cockpit and the navigation and communication interface of an astronaut. This cybernetic system between space and artist consists of many ‘organs’. It includes a core (black box), many-layered limits; skin, walls, mental and digital borders as well as mechanisms of connectivity with external entities (other astronauts in art spaceships). This space could be a bedroom, a studio, an office, or any different location where the artist uses as an isolated bubble of information sharing and manipulation (material and immaterial). As part of this research, we suggest that there is an autopoietic nature related to this system, and we are trying to use mathematical concepts and relative notation to define and explore it. During this period of physical distancing, in societal terms, such an art system of interconnected astronaut creators requires a common substrate for telematic communication. Our understanding of this system is broad and includes physical, metaphysical, magical, or other speculative technological ways. One core characteristic of this substrate is the austere rule against physical interaction. Such lack of touch, especially when the artists live alone, creates the necessary condition for each of the locations to become organic art spaceships in the galaxy of artistic events. The spaceship becomes a biological ecosystem that is technologically or even metaphysically augmented trying to extend its radius of (semantic) influence. The somatosensory perception is in these terms reinvented and the artist’s imagination becomes the new biotechnological I/O cybernetic network. The black box of this bio-spatial system, the artist, is going through an altered state of consciousness, is travelling without moving, is inventing alternative ways for material or immaterial technology to become essential, sensual, reflective, and possibly conscious. Another role of the artist is the one of the astronaut – captain (in Greek ‘κυβερνήτης’) of the vessel in orbit. The captain is waiting to send/receive signals. Maintains the integrity of the vessel and shares their loneliness (and the forced transcendence) of their extended skin. The skin is the largest organ of the human body, and it becomes more and more related to the physical limits of the art spaceship and the (technological) systems that augment it. Behavior and language are regulated, and new semantic categories emerge. The proposal in hand deals with the aspect of isolation and this new emergence by combining a poetic text and a distant telematic series of case studies (interviews and collaborations) used as an interactive hybrid media art piece.

Ioannis Bardakos
Eirini Sourgiadaki
Alain Lioret

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