Book of the Week: From Technological to Virtual Art

From Technological to Virtual Art by Frank Popper documents virtual art (installations, exhibitions, online and multimedia), and gives a biography of the artists. The emphasis is in the piece of work, and the background of the creator. For a book that shows and reflects on virtual art, it doesn’t give a whole lot in regards to the actual images of the works. The photographs are very small and in black and white, and the overall format of the book doesn’t do justice to the pieces the author analyzes. 

I would have liked to see bigger spreads with some installations or interactive work (even if its just screen shots) in full technicolor. However, it is cohesive throughout with the main three aspects the author follows:

1. Virtual art represents its humanization of technology, its emphasis on interactivity, philosophical attitude toward the real end the virtual, and multisensorial outlook.

2. Artists practicing virtual art, distinguish themselves through their techno-aesthetic creative commitment.

3. Virtual artists have goals that appear to be of a scientific or social order, concerned with basic human needs and drives.

It was interesting to read that the author is concerned with the human side of these emergent technologies, and the well-traced biographies and “life stories” of the projects will help me for my Historic Trail of Interaction/AR.

Another point I thought worthwhile was the view of virtual art as socially engaged art:

“Virtual art can even play an ethical role in the present development of globalization by stressing human factors more than any other previous art form.”

In virtual art (or design) technology is neither our demise nor our savior. The importance of it lies on the creation and construction of social importance. A few color pages wouldn’t hurt either ;)

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