IN HIS 1997 BOOK INTERFACE CULTURE.
Antecedents of what artist Victoria Vesna calls "database aesthetics" range from Roy Ascott's Wagnerian concept of the Gesamtdatenwerk to my personal favorite, Leo Steinberg's identification of a shift ca. 1950 from a vertical, perspectival orientation in painting to the matrix structure of the "flatbed picture plane"-"any receptor surface on which objects are scattered, on which data is entered, on which information may be received, printed, impressed." Steinberg was describing the innovations of Rauschenberg and Dubuffet, but his formulation applies equally to current practice. The database is the plumbing of interface, and many artists are working with its structures to transform what Hal Foster has referred to as "a repository of the given" into compelling experiences that may even approach knowledge with a point of view, if not wisdom.
Steve Dietz is director of New Media Initiatives at the walker Art Center, Minneapolis.
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|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2000|
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