The artists listed here joined the Interactive Art Conference for virtual residencies lasting one month. The conversations that emerged provide insights on the artists' work and approach to interactivity; and explore issues of art and audience, context, and purpose in interactive art. They are reproduced for the web with permission of all participants. For information about republishing, please contact Anna Couey and Judy Malloy.
Abbe Don (November 1995)
"I have been strongly influenced by ideas from anthropology, especially from Ethnographic Film, which is all about representation and cultural identity. Interface design is also all about issues of representation, as far as I'm concerned."
Bill and Mary Buchen (April 1996)
Since 1972, Bill and Mary Buchen have collaborated to integrate interaction with the visual arts in a multi-disciplinary form they define as Sonic Architecture. Their pursuits center on the study of environmental phenomena examined through its applications to science, architecture, ecology, and diverse world cultures.
Hank Bull (November 1996)
"Work that functions outside the art world. So many artists are taking this route. On one hand it signals a return of art to the everyday workings of the world, it's re-integration into daily life. On the other hand, it's sad that the art world has such a hard time accepting socially integrated art."
Tim Collins and Reiko Goto (August 1995)
Tim and Reiko have (separately and together) created a substantial body of projects, installations and other kinds ofart works that examine issues of the environment - water, animals, habitat, national boundaries - often in a public art context.
Robert Edgar (April 1995)
Edgar's work has taken him from exploration of film and video at Synapse in the 1970's to computer interactive cinema. His most recent work is SAND, Or How Computers Dream of Truth in Cinema.
Jeff Gates (January 1997)
"The information revolution is more than just the Internet and its residual hyperbole. It is a cultural shift from political and social systems that controlled the flow and content of information to one that offers individuals more direct involvement in the development of the social structure. It presents some intriguing opportunities. But there are forces developing which would rather substitute one form of control for another. Artists need to be involved in development of this medium...."
JoAnn Gillerman (August 1996)
My work involves interactive installation, performance, video and computer arts. I often deal with provocative issues: eroticism, androgyny, private issues in a public context, and public issues in a private space. I design environments that envelope a viewer/participant in an electronic space and time. I use interactivity to observe socialization and communication, and through multi-user systems, group dynamics and interaction.
Lucia Grossberger Morales (July 1995)
Eduardo Kac (March 1996)
"I'm interested in questioning the very idea of communication. To me, there is no communication if a shared space is not created. In the absence of a shared space, all we can have is two parallel monologues. I'm very interested in exploring dialogical processes in art."
Robert Kendall (April 1997)
"My ideas about interactivity are constantly evolving as I come to understand the interactive medium better. Some things you learn by watching what other writers are doing. Some things you just have to learn by trial and error. Other things you have to learn by watching how people interact with your work. One thing that's become more and more evident to me over the years is the need for my interactive writing to be dynamic."
Nancy Paterson (October 1996)
"My main focus, whether the work I've been doing has been interactive or not, is on the issues which I choose to address - incorporating interactivity has proven a most effective way to address issues dealing with women/technology... "
Tim Perkis (May 1995)
Tim Perkis has been working in the medium of live electronic and computer sound for many years. His work has largely been concerned with exploring the emergence of life-like properties in complex systems of interaction. He is the designer of the Hub, a device for enhancing communication between musicians.
Ian Pollock and Janet Silk (May-November
"There are a few social contexts in which people agree to participate, often these center around ritual, liminal, transactional or conversational situations. When you enter, for lack of a better term, 'guerilla space,' just engaging with people who you haven't made some kind of social contract with, the results are going to be more extreme."
Sonya Rapoport (June 1995)
A San Francisco Bay Area artist who has utilized computers in her work since the mid-70s, often in an interactive installation environment. Her works are complex, humorous and playful.
Sara Roberts (June 1996)
"So I guess I don't think of technology as being its own entity, I tend to see it as symbiotic with human endeavor. As for interactivity...hmmm, not all of my work is interactive in the you-do-something, it-does-something sense...I tend to make something interactive if it will make it seem more present, if it will make the mechanism at work clearer. I don't have any philosophical commitment to interactivity per se, I think of it as a means, not an end. "
Jim Rosenberg (December 1995)
Jim Rosenberg began a life-long concern with non-linear poetic forms in 1966, with a series of polylinear poems called Word Nets. By 1968 this concern had evolved to an ongoing series of Diagram Poems, which continues to the present.
Henry See (October 1995)
"In 1988, Fortner Anderson and I produced an itinerant database called The Odyssey Project. It was uploaded to a number of online systems. We asked people to download it, add material, and pass it along to someone else. After three months, a dialogue box came up asking people to return a copy to us so we could see how it had voyaged and expanded... "
Fred Truck (August-September 1995)
Fred Truck was integral in setting up Art Com Electronic Network on the WELL in 1986. At about the same time, his artists software ArtEngine incorporated artificial intelligence into the art making process. He has just completed Bottega - a 3D interactive environment based on the artist's workshop.