Turning queries into questions. For a plurality of perspectives in the age of AI and other frameworks with limited (mind)sets
With a special section guest edited by Professor Tanu Gupta of Chandigarh University.
Turning queries into questions. For a plurality of perspectives in the age of AI and other frameworks with limited (mind)sets
CLAUDIA WESTERMANN and TANU GUPTA
The editorial introduces issue 21.1 of Technoetic Arts via a critical reflection on the AI hype that emerged in 2022, and gives an overview of each of the issue’s ten articles. The first four articles engage with new technologies from different positions in art and architecture. These articles include an exploration of the indexical function of images as a means for revealing cultural premises governing public space during the pandemic in Hong Kong, a neuroarchitectural perspective on immersive architectural environments, and an investigation of the link between the popularity of immersive art installations and the emotions these installations generate. The ‘Cryptoart’ section features an ethnographic study of the Dada digital art collective, shedding light on the role of NFTs in community building. Guest-edited by Professor Tanu Gupta, the special section ‘Perspectives from Chandigarh’ constitutes the second part of the journal issue. Based on contributions to the National Conference on ‘Contemporary Perspectives in English Language, Literature, and Cultural Studies’ held on July 15 and 16, 2022, at Chandigarh University in Punjab, India, the six articles reflect a search for meaningful existence within colonial, patriarchal, and biopolitical structures that frame everyday practices of exclusion and oppression. Discussing works of literature and cinema from the European, Japanese, and the US American canon, the articles contribute a distinctive perspective to the critical analysis of contemporary societies that are shaped by the idea that progress is technological invention.
The Last Recreational Land VR experience: A non-naturalistic artistic visualisation (NNAVi) practice with emerging technologies
HIN NAM FONG
This article introduces a novel use of technologies to visualize space and temporary structures in public space as a critical and speculative method for artistic research. Imitation and iconification have been vital in visual culture since civilisation began. Science has become proficient in picturing invisible matter and numerical data. However, we are limited to visualising these data in an iconic, ‘understandable’ way that is, to some extent, reductionist. A non-naturalistic artistic visualisation (NNAVi) method is proposed to discover and present the underlying context of objects and space. Firstly, this article discusses the representational function of artistic images and the artistic use of emerging technologies to represent invisible information. Following the discussion, the case study of the virtual reality (VR) artwork The Last Recreational Land shows how NNAVi can be applied. The case study starts with an exploration of the pandemic’s context and nature and moves then to an explanation of the multisensory and immersive setting of the artwork. Interweaving case studies and theoretical references, the article elaborates on how the VR experience is used as a device to respond to the pandemic. By deconstructing the relationship between visualisation, imitation, and iconification, the article theorizes NNAVi as a new methodology for artistic research that provides tangible insights into the nature of the pandemic.
A neuroarchitectural perspective to immersive architectural environments
ESEN GÖKÇE ÖZDAMAR
As digital and immersive architectural installations and augmented reality applications generate new sensations, new digital dimensions and boundaries create new perceptions of our built environment. Digital architectural installations as immersive environments make data visible and tangible and give access to data as an experiential flow. Like the works of Refik Anadol, TeamLab, or Universal Everything, digital architectural installations point to a neuroarchitectural and neurophenomenological atmosphere that refers to the understanding and measurement of embodied human experience, and how spaces affect people and how they behave in a given setting. The objectivity of the screen allows viewers to observe through screens; and the screen as an ambivalent object provides a physical interface that transcends the shadow of its materiality, transforming the viewer’s environmental perception. Therefore, this article examines digital architectural environments that reveal the boundaries of architectural space, with particular consideration given to neuroaesthetics. In these data-driven environments, the human body is at the centre of multimodal perception. Therefore, these environments open the door to understanding the boundaries of architecture and invite the viewer to explore the boundaries of art and architecture that have become a fusion in the digital environment.
Applying machine learning methods to quantify emotional experience in installation art
SOFIA VLACHOU and MICHAIL PANAGOPOULOS
Aesthetic experience is original, dynamic, and ever-changing. This article covers three research questions (RQs) concerning how immersive installation artworks may elicit emotions that contribute to their popularity. Based on Yayoi Kusama's and Peter Kogler's kaleidoscopic rooms, this study aims to predict the emotions of visitors of immersive installation art based on their Twitter activity. As indicators, we employed the total number of likes, responses, retweets, followers, followings, the average of tweets per user, and emotional response. According to our evaluation of emotions, panic obtained the highest scores. Furthermore, compared to traditional machine learning algorithms, TPOT Automated Machine Learning used in this research yielded slightly lower performance. We forecastthat our findings will stimulate future research in the fields of data analysis, cultural heritage management and marketing, aesthetics and cultural analytics.
Beyond markets: the Dada case for NFTs in art
The rise of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) has been astonishing, in particular for the arts and creative industries. The dominant discourse, both in mainstream media as well as in academia today, focuses predominantly on what this new technology can do for the art market rather than art itself. However, framing NFTs in art in the context of money and markets, draws attention away from the more subtle and creative role of NFTs. Consequently, this article asks: What is the role of NFTs in art, beyond the market? This research complements existing empirical work, by conducting a case study and interviews with members of Dada, a historic NFT art project which is particularly critical towards the role of the art market. The findings foregrounded five roles that NFTs play in art; as (1) a tool for systemic change, (2) a new way to community, (3) a ritual artifact, (4) a means for preservation, and (5) a new medium.
More than human: Analyzing Edward Weyland as a posthuman self-humanizing vehicle in Suzy McKee Charnas’ The Vampire Tapestry
ANGADBIR SINGH KAKKAR
Vampires are portrayed as opposite to humans, depicted as the dichotomy between predator and prey. Being ever so near to their prey, vampires develop a proclivity for imbibing or emulating characteristics that are considered to be in the sole charge of humans. This text employed is The Vampire Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas. The paper analyzes Edward Weyland as a posthuman symbol, positing himself as an ever-evolving entity that is both human as well as a threshold to gauge humanity of the other characters involved. The article underlines the ways in which Giorgio Agamben’s concept of anthropological machine and Katherine Hayles’ concept of technogenesis are used to examine Weyland and other characters as being participants in mutual evolution, tacitly affecting each other through performative actions. The article inspects the term ‘human’ as more than just a reified concept, as a term that is constantly in flux, and how bio-politics is immanent to the very concept of human.
Disability and silver screening: Comparative analyses of deaf culture in Sound of Metal and CODA
Cinema serves as a mirror, reflecting the development or state of society. It plays an important function in entertainment and education and can bring about a shift in our perspectives and attitudes. The paper includes a descriptive analysis of deaf culture as a prominent subject in the movies Sound of Metal (2019) and CODA (2021) and clarifies the most prevalent misconceptions about disability in both films. In recent years, filmmakers have made an effort to create true and authentic representations of deaf culture, moving beyond the notion of a tokenized portrayal of the hearing-impaired. They shifted the emphasis away from unwarranted sympathy towards perceptive analyses of deaf characters with the aim of dismantling the embarrassing perception of deafness. Filmmakers have provided the deaf population with a voice by giving real-life deaf performers a place in mainstream cinema. Even though many efforts have been made, the article also shows that the mainstream media have not generally represented the deaf community favourably. Furthermore, the article looks at the psychological conflict that arises when hearing people and hearing-impaired people share the same room.
‘Shadowy objects in test tubes’: A biopolitical critique of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go
The journal article aims to explore Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go (2005) within the Foucauldian theoretical framework in order to analyse the manifold biopolitical issues, namely cloning, by stretching the discourse to a speculative, dystopian posthuman scenario wherein the dominant, privileged, affluent human society replenishes them by incorporating bio-matter from the clones. The article also proposes to unfold the myriad ways the institutions, namely Hailsham and recovery centres in the novel, exercise power and execute power relations with the clones. It describes the way these institutions turn out to be what Foucault calls the regimes of truth and how the clones choose to remain docile to the institutional power, and consequently, they turn out to be rich sites for both medical gaze and disciplinary gaze. Nevertheless, the paper also details the procedures by which the bizarre truth of organ donation of the clones is buried under the technical discourse of good work.
Disgusting Desire: The Windup Girl as both object of desire and abject body
MAHESH KRISHNA and NAGENDRA KUMAR
The primary question this article deals with is one of ontology. In a dystopian world populated with genetically engineered windups and hybrids, what constitutes ‘the human’? The present paper looks at how the posthuman body in a dystopian novel like The Windup Girl (2009), set in a world where geographical, political, social, economic, and religious norms and boundaries are erased and reconfigured, can in no way simply remain a mere body, but transmutes into a highly complex political and social site from whence multiple relations of power originate, travel, and culminate in. The titular character in the novel, Emiko, is a genetically engineered windup created in a laboratory, with obedience and the need to please etched right into her DNA. This makes for her to be a prized possession for a brothel owner in Bangkok once her Japanese master abandons her. She is both desirable and revolting to her customers at the same time- her perfect body is too perfect, her genetic urge to please at any cost draws them in but her involuntary shaking and robot-like jerking disgusts them. The windup can thus be seen as both the Lacanian object cause of desire as well as Kristeva’s abject body.
Negotiating patriarchal hegemony: Female agency in Christina Dalcher’s Vox
Contemporary critics have opined that the vision of dystopian texts has come true about the present situation rather than about the future. In today’s technologically driven world, where the gulf between speculative fiction and political reality seems to have narrowed, feminist dystopian fiction has gained immense popularity. These texts address gender ideologies and issues and often use current social conditions to demonstrate the sexism inherent in patriarchal societies. This paper aims to analyse the novel Vox (2018) by American writer Christina Dalcher within the framework of feminist dystopia to highlight the unbridled nature of violence used against women and the eventual emergence of the female body as the locus of self-articulation and resistance against the dystopian authority. It also demonstrates how the novel creates a narrative space within which the feminine body is transformed from a static object of representation to a potent subject of the text.
Re-conceptualizing the villain: Todd Phillips' Joker through the lens of Vedic hermeneutics
LALIT ADITYA KAUSHAL and NIPUN KALIA
This article attempts to examine the portrayal of the character of Arthur Fleck in Todd Phillips' Joker (2019). In the initial part of the film, Arthur exhibits signs that reveal he is headed towards committing a violent crime. Arthur displays signs of psychopathy and a lack of empathy. This article links criminal behaviour analysis to the Bible of the Arya Samaj, an Indian text, to find out how ancient Indian literature's empirical theories, which are intertwined with philosophical and religious content, shed light on criminal behaviour. The primary purpose of this article is to analyze the behavioural pattern in the character of Arthur Fleck and establish links to Dayanand Saraswati's Satyarth Prakash, which discusses different types of Avidyas, a key concept in Indian philosophy that can be translated as ignorance or unwisdom, which is seen as a fundamental cause of suffering and bondage. It is certainly a significant factor in a person's personality and behaviour. The major aim of this character analysis is not only to establish the link between Indian ancient texts and criminological behavioural patterns but also to reconceptualize evil through the lenses of Vedic hermeneutics. Vedic hermeneutics is the study of interpreting and understanding the ancient Vedic texts of Hinduism, where an important aspect is the recognition of different levels of meaning within the texts.
Technoetic Arts is included in EBSCO’s Academic Search Complete and Art and Architecture Complete collections. Researchers affiliated with universities will have access to all article PDFs via their library’s EBSCO subscription. This issue is logged with volume 21 of 2023 on EBSCOhost.
||| Founding Editor: Roy Ascott Editorial Organism: Tom Ascott, John Bardakos, Dalila Honorato, Hu Yong, Claudia Jacques, Claudia Westermann Production Manager: Faith Newcombe