Day 3, Stream 4


Histories and Futures of Electronic Art


Andrew Goodman


Nathaniel Stern: University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, US

Andrew Goodman: Department of Fine Art, Monash University, Australia

Andrew Murphie: College of Fine Arts, UNSW, Australia

Lone Bertelsen: independent scholar, Australia



Interactive art was the hype of the nineties, while today it is mostly criticised as a utilitarian or capitalistic form of engagement. But is there a space of potential resistance, or ‘im-positioning,’ with interactive art? Rather than forcing behaviours, can it activate an experience and practice for multiple yet singular styles of being and becoming? What are the potentials, politics, and ethics involved in designing, interacting with, and understanding works that attempt to do precisely this? This panel brings together a mix of philosophers, practitioners, curators and critics to discuss the creation of ethical im-positions, a minor politics, within the field of interactivity. This is not framed in opposition as such, but, as De Certeau proposes, as a minor tactic that might ‘elude discipline without being outside the field in which it is exercised.’ Tactics differ radically from strategies, which construct dualities and are therefore implicitly linked to power structures. The spaces we wish to work towards must always be contingent, or ‘in-process,’ rather than establishing a set ‘position.’

In this discussion-style panel, Andrew Goodman and Nathaniel Stern (co-chairs) will discuss with Lone Bertelsen and Andrew Murphie both the philosophical and the political imperative of shifts in thinking about interactivity, as well as speculate on techniques that might be employed within new media to create radical engagements. At stake is the historical import of interactive and media art, as well our future productions, rehearsals, and understandings of its work.



Andrew Goodman is a visual artist and an occasional writer and curator whose work encompasses sculpture, sound, video, electronics and performance, drawing on Sci-fi explorations of the trans-human body. His art centres on expanded experiences of the body, with a focus on an ecological approach to participatory practices. Andrew’s current PhD research, Parasitic relations: thinking beyond interactivity, investigates noise as a generative tactic within relational art events. He currently teaches in art theory at Monash University. []


Nathaniel Stern is an artist and writer, Fulbright grantee and professor, interventionist and public citizen. He has produced and collaborated on projects ranging from ecological, participatory and online interventions, interactive, immersive and mixed reality environments, to prints, sculptures, videos, performances and hybrid forms. His book, Interactive Art and Embodiment: The Implicit Body as Performance, is due for release in mid-2013. It argues that interactive art suspends and amplifies the ways in which we experience embodiment as per-formed, relational, and emergent. He provides many in-depth case studies of contemporary artworks that develop a practice of embodied philosophy, setting a stage to explore how we inter-act and relate with the world. He offers a valuable critical framework for analysing interactive artworks and what’s at stake in our encounters with them, which can be applied to a wide range of complex and emerging art forms. [] and []


Andrew Murphie is Editor of the open access online journal The Fibreculture Journal (digital media + networks + transdisciplinary critique), and works at UNSW, Sydney. Andrew’s research examines the productive nature of differential intensity. He works on transformation, crisis and possibility — as these are filtered through generative process in media, arts and philosophy, dynamic modeling of all types, and new forms of cooperation in political/social organisation. He is currently writing a book, Differential Media, Differential Life: the past and future of social organization, that rethinks the ‘world as medium.’ This diagrams the relations between: media; thinking, feeling and perceiving; and Bateson/Guattari’s ‘three ecologies’ of the social, self and environment. Andrew’s work also draws on electronic arts and design (eg cross signal processing), poststructuralism (Deleuze), process philosophy (Whitehead), ‘speculative pragmatics’ (Massumi/ Manning), and extended and dynamicist theories of mind. He also works on the new publishing. Publications include: Performance as the Distribution of Life: from Aeschylus to Chekhov to VJing via Deleuze and Guattari, Deleuze, Guattari and Neuroscience and, with Lone Bertelsen, An Ethics of Everyday Infinities and Powers: Félix Guattari on Affect and the Refrain. He also works with the Senselab in Montréal. []


Lone Bertelsen works across the fields of: photography, art and visual studies; affect and subjectivity studies; and social and cultural theory. Her research is inspired by the more micro-political and generative branches of post-structuralist and feminist thought, and she is particularly concerned with issues related to social change and transformation. Her writing has been published in Theory, Culture and Society, the Fibreculture Journal and The Affect Theory Reader. Her most recent piece considers the ethical and transformative potential of the new media artwork Intimate Transactions (created by The Transmute Collective and their collaborators). Lone has taught at Macquarie University and The University of NSW, Sydney. Her PhD in sociology is of a trans-disciplinary nature.