Week 2 reading : Interactivity, Public Art & Architecture [Reiser]

In Readings, Week 2 Readings on January 27, 2010 at 8:48 am
Reiser’s article focuses on the emergence and innate fabric of (interactive) public art infused with architecture – what it is, how it came about, and where it is heading towards.
While giving a brief philosophical account of the public art space, Reiser mentions the different perspectives of the ‘virtual domain’, or _simulacra_ as it is more popularly called in philosophers’ circles. Baudrillard’s perspective is different from that of Deleuze’s in the sense that the latter states that simulacrum circumvents authority by the inclusion of the spectator. He supports the latter’s claim by citing the works of the famous proejction artist Krystof Wodiczko (of the swastika projection fame).
In digging up the origins of this domain, Reiser stumbles upon the disturbing distance between the ‘artist’ and the ‘architect’, and he is certainly surprised by the fact that some of the famous public art works that use notable architecture as canvas have actually been produced by trained artists. Reiser’s discomfort also extends to the fact that the technology used for public art work today isn’t very different from what was used 70 years ago. Rauschenberg’s concerted yet frustraing attempts at public installation art being thwarted by limitations of technology is used as an example to support his claim.
Our notion of ‘appropriate content’ has come a far way, and Reiser employs the user of examples like Jochen and Gerz’s work and Hayden’s Arc en Ciel – very contrasting slices of end-goals and working methods of public art. Reiser identifies the power of the _public_, whether it be utilizing teir techno-fear, or their love of dynamically appearing colors and sounds. Taking this to the next level, he mentions that this leads to Haptic Interfaces with the different projects of Jeffrey Shaw and Hoberman being used as examples.
Reiser then moves on to explain the point of fusion between public art and architecture. Materials play a very important role in this coming-together of two domains, and he laments the fact that very little has been achieved in actually combining digital technology with architectural materials, which if achieved, would undoubtedly usher in a wave of new creations in this domain.

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