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E.A. Dobbs

[- The Medium is the Body

Author: Bernadette Wegenstein

Topic: Digital Arts and Architecture
Keywords: Body, Media Art, Digital Architecture, Critical Theory

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Examining evidence from the realms of computer-animated architecture and media art, such as the works of architects Greg Lynn, Kolatan Mac Donald Studio, Diller + Scofidio, and the interactive computer installations of multimedia artists Mary Flanagan, Sharon Daniel, and David Rokeby, “The Medium is the Body” argues that the discipline of body criticism must be reconceived as one of new media criticism. Focusing on the common manifestation in such works of a collapse of a media surface, a merging of inside and outside that produces platforms for interactivity, chance, and a new organicity, this essay contends that the hypermediated spaces of blurred representations between the digital and the real have replaced individual bodies in discourses formerly concerned exclusively with the body (e.g., performance art). As these discourses have honed in on the interior of the body, the effect has not been to return to the body in the sense of a recapturing of a lost corporeal stratum. Rather, the medium is or has become the body in that the body is no longer a medium for something else, standing in for a truth or a reality that lies beyond the surface: instead the surface refuses to relegate itself to the subservience of yet one last mediation, becoming, in other words, the body itself.
The entire essay, forthcoming in Intermedialities, can be downloaded through my: homepage

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Submitted by BernadetteWegenstein
Posted on Mon May 5, 2003 at 1:00 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME

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