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[- Being Human, Becoming Something Else: AIM at the Susquehanna Art Museum

Author: Janet Owen

Topic: New Media Exhibition
Keywords: human, being, new media art, becoming

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Being Human, Becoming Something Else: AIM at the Susquehanna Art Museum
September 13 – November 30, 2003
301 Market Street, Harrisburg, Pa. 17101

As the Information Age folds into the Bio-tech Century our current daily (moment by moment?) interactions with new communications and information technologies, coupled with the possibilities for artificial intelligence, brain-interfacing and cross-species hybridization that hover on the very near horizon, are disintegrating all of our Grand Narratives.

The great systems of interpretation with which we aspired to map reality – our concepts of geo-physical space, chronological time, historical progress, and most particularly our idea that ‘human’ is an immutable state of being – are collapsing under the weight of our actual contemporary experience. At a time when we refer to‘ non-place’, ‘non-time’ and the ‘post-human’ in an effort to encompass our encounters with a transitioning world it seems that ‘reality’ as we have previously defined it is disappearing and we human beings – the stable ‘foot’ against which every yard was once measured - are now ‘becoming’ something else.

But what might that be?

Selected from among four years of entries to the Art In Motion festival, the works included in this exhibition navigate the collision between our conceptual legacy of ‘human being’ and our emerging experience of ‘becoming’. Offering neither definitive maps nor totalizing theories they instead send out flares that light up fragments of the emerging landscape and signal some of the myriad challenges, issues and possibilities presented by this liminal time.

While the projects presented here employ a variety of new media tools, conceptual strategies and theoretical positions to explore various areas of ‘collision impact’ they can be loosely grouped into three (permeable) categories. The first grouping comprises projects that are largely concerned with the rupture which new technology offers to that collection of feelings, thoughts, memories and body parts that we have traditionally identified as our ‘self’ (Autoicon, Edentity, Self Portrait v.2.0, Dot Recessive Ring Dominant).

The second, adopting an expanded and adaptable definition of ‘self’, investigates changing notions and expressions of subjectivity by exploring machine-mediated human subjectivities, human-mediated machine subjectivities, and a spectrum of possibilities that lie between the two (TINA, Commute, Halo, Noize, Viz a Viz, the bot).

Complementing numbers one and two category three asks not so much ‘who am I?’ or ‘what are we?’ but ‘where are we?’ Understanding that our definitions of ‘reality’ have long been predicated on embodied human presence, the projects included in this grouping explore the new realities (uncertainties? fictions?) of space, time and history in a world that no longer has a ‘foot’. (Luis I Think! The Terms of War, Infla-to-scape, The Central City, Roy-G-Biv).

Directions to SAM:
Information about AIM:

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Submitted by JanetOwen
Posted on Sat Sep 20, 2003 at 9:40 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME

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