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 and
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 public life.

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 and definition.

Lynzie Baldwin
Director, AIM

Janet Owen
Co-founder, AIM

Directors Statement

USC school of fine arts USC Annenberg School for Communication Marshall School of Business CIBEAR H.K.U.S.T CORAL Initiative imsc THE_GROOP Panasonic Apple USC Arts bank James Irvine Foundation Center for Scholarly Technology Armory Center for the Arts
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