Dialogical Art in Digital Era

“What unites this disparate network of artists and arts collectives are a series of provocative assumptions about the relationship between art and the broader social and political world, and about the kinds of knowledge that aesthetic experience is capable of producing. For Lacy, who is also active as a critic, this work represents a “new genre” of public art. UK-based artists/organizers Ian Hunter and Celia Larner employ the term “Littoral” art, to evoke the hybrid or in-between nature of these practices. French critic Nicolas Bourriaud has coined the term “relational aesthetic” to describe works based around communication and exchange. Homi K. Bhabha writes of “conversational art,” and Tom Finkelpearl refers to “dialogue-based public art.” “- Grant Kester (2005)

It is important how art is able to change or enhance human communication that impacts the society. Instead of scribbling on cardboards and marching on the streets in chaos to convey a certain message, art is able to create a better pathway for this purpose.

‘It was, of course, a central tenet of Enlightenment philosophy (evident in the writing of Kant, Wolff, Hume, and Shaftesbury) that aesthetic experience constituted an idealized form of communication.’ – Grant Kester (2005)

Aesthetic experience certainly gives a certain meaning, as it tends to keep the people engaged more in a dialogue. However, being engaged does not make the communication entirely effective if the insight of conversation is not being perceived. Therefore, Grant Kester (2005) stated, that a concept of empathetic insight is a necessary component of a dialogical aesthetic. The first step to making a change for the better through a dialog is to listen with one’s heart.

Kester referred to Suzanne Lacy’s The Roof is on Fire project, which is an example of collaboratively generated empathetic insight. This is a performative piece, which students would speak to each other as co-inhabitants of a specific culture and environment and, implicitly, to a generalized audience. According to Kester, Lacy has proven the importance of listening in a dialogical project.

This is a piece of text art that was projected in various public spaces. The projected text is produced by a random phrase generator that was programmed by  Tomas Ciucelis. The artist describes his work as a meditative, personal dialogue with the unknown author or the dialogue with the anonymous power of Chance itself. With reference to Kac’s words below, this piece of new media art represents a form of digital dialogic art.

Eduardo Kac (2004, pp. 199-216.), states that ‘Works that make open and emancipative use of telecommunications media, in association with the Internet or not, are representative of the dialogic venture in electronic art’

Eduardo Kac (2004, pp. 199-216.),  ‘I hope that, by acknowledging the differences between monologic and dialogic modalities of art, we can recognize the unique contribution of the latter as a promoter of new aesthetic values such as real-time remote interaction, intersubjectivity, and negotiation of meaning’

London Txting is campaign, which holds a conversation about street crime

Digital technology has revolutionized the way human beings communicate.  It has made distance communication possible, which connects people across the globe.  In other words, public art is also able to reach a wider audience or to extend the community to other parts of the world. Thus this also creates an effective cross cultural communication in finding solutions for global issues.

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