The Body Organic: From Language to Image and Interaction – Part II

It is wrong to say that in philosophy we consider an ideal language as opposed to our ordinary one. For this makes it appear as though we thought we could improve on ordinary language. But ordinary language is all right. Whenever we make up ‘ideal languages’ it is not in order to replace our ordinary language by them; but just to remove some trouble cause in someone’s mind by thinking that he has got hold of the exact use of a common word. That is also why our method is not merely to enumerate actual usages of words, but rather deliberately to invent new ones, some of them because of their absurd appearance.

~Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosopher

Revisiting the questions in The Body Organic – Part I, does the new media artist have the ability to divorce language from their work?

The complex, universal, and abstract ideas simplified in Snibbe’s work capture the beauty of nature through beautiful calculation and minimalist design. Physical presence and engagement are integral to the overall experience of the art. Each experience is new. Yet, new media arts seems tethered to language. As Snibbe mentioned the limitations of language during an UpgradeSF artist talk, language is far too intertwined in new media, which presents an unprecedented challenge in redefining highly technological work as fine art. Although the body is a primary part in many new media art works and interactive pieces, the invention of new languages is imperative in the evolution of art and culture. Even with language having played a huge role in Dadaism and the Fluxus movement, the use of language in current new media arts creates an organic experience involving the senses and uses language to create image and interaction. As programmers, developers, and creative coders, the creation of platforms such as Processing enable artists to take language and create visual works but what happens when the limitation of language riddles the next wave of artists? The inescapable reliance on language (i.e., programming and coding) persists.

Originally published to zero1 blog. Please view post here

Advertisements

Author: Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos (b. 1978) is a Filipina-American writer, editor, curator, and educator whose research interests include new media and digital art, activism, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco, and received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts. She serves as one of the editors-in-chief for Hyphen magazine. Her work appears in art21, Art Practical, Daily Serving, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, and SF MOMA's Open Space. She has lectured at the De Young museum, Stanford University, School of Visual Arts, and more. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” was published in The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture (2016). She is currently a Yerba Buena Center for the Arts fellow researching the concept of citizenship. She also serves as executive staff for the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism and board member for the SOMArts Cultural Center.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s