IV: INTERFERENCE PATTERNS FESTIVAL STATEMENT
Today we find ourselves in a liminal space
between what we once thought we were and what we may become.
The fragmentation of the 'liberal humanist subject,' the capacity
for union between humans and intelligent machines, and the
potential for recombinant biotechnologies to intervene in
animal and plant physiology at the genetic level, has rendered
us no longer 'human,' but post-human (N. Katherine Hayles).
Consequently, the familiar issues regarding
the nature of the locus of physical, emotional, intellectual
and spiritual components which we call 'self' are being energetically
revisited in the context of post-humanism by 'humans' from
all manner of disciplines and backgrounds, from science to
politics, from technology to theology.
Simultaneously, the temporal and spatial coordinates
which have traditionally provided a
stable framework within which to situate and measure ourselves
have been ruptured by innovations in communication, information
and transportation technologies. Agency, for those of us with
access, can be enacted simultaneously in multiple time zones
geographical locations and the reach of our minds and bodies
is limited only by available bandwidth.
A cacophony of questions arise from this set
of circumstances and, as we negotiate them, so the issues
that we choose to address and the answers we formulate today
will determine what it is to be human in the 21st century.
Within this context, one particularly crucial
area of consideration must be to what extent our re-negotiations
occur under the influence of prevailing Western narratives
that conceptualize the body as a fleshy prosthesis, posit
consciousness as divorced from the corporeal, and the human
as disengaged from the natural environment. Given the opportunity
we now have to transform the living world, any prolongation
of these narratives may result in a potentially grave failure
to recognize the fundamentally interdependant dynamic between
consciousness and physicality, and between the human species
and the rest of the world.
In recognition of these vital areas of wonder
and concern, AIM IV sent out a call for entries addressing
the "interference patterns" that occur at the interface
of the 'machine,' the 'natural' environment, and the 'human'.
Referencing metaphors drawn from oceanography and electronics,
AIM IV: Interference Patterns posits the interface not as
a point of contact between dualistic entities, but as a space
of ebb and flow in which waves mingle - reverberating and
intersecting - either constructively or destructively depending
on the angle of that intersection.
In navigating these new waters, the artists
participating in AIM IV have created works that, variously;
chart the actual contemporary operations of media and communications
technologies; contemplate the ways in which the interpenetration
of the embodied human and the 'other' may introduce an alterity
of which we have yet to conceive; or explore the ubiquitous
interfaces which act as invisible mediators of personal and
Ranging from cartographic projects which analyze
our shifting relationships to time and space, to explorations
of the human body as the locus of "self", to visions
of cataclysmic technological disasters, these works are rarely
journeys of forward progression, but rather mapping expeditions
-- efforts to illuminate an unfamiliar and complex landscape
that eludes our traditional binary modes of representation