FILE Electronic Language International Festival
FILE SAO PAULO 2018 – The body is the message
The Body is the Message
FILE Electronic Language International Festival’s theme for FILE SÃO PAULO 2018 is “The Body is the Message“. Despite the apparent allusion to the world of the cyborg in the title, it refers to a different connection between technology and the body – to the aesthetic and artistic connection that is formed, which operates separately from the communicative flow of information and data – the appreciation of a work of art and of the way in which it is made.
For some time, artists have appropriated for their own use technologies from the field of medicine – in particular those devices that record the behavior of the internal organs of the human body – its heartbeats, brain waves, and breaths. The established haptic, tactile, interface with electronic arts, founded on vision, on icons, is being bypassed by the measurement of organic activity, which allows the viewer to interface and interact directly with the work of art. Thought, as expressed by brain waves, changes as a function of mood – the emotions of the viewer directly influence the work via pre-selected parameters. Not only may those emotions change the outcome of a work of art, but they may also modify the composition of a painting or music as it develops, in real time, so that the work is modified to match the emotions of each individual – each version unique, an edition of one, made for that individual alone. Works of art are no longer universal, becoming a personal and singular experience for all that view them.
The human body is also being challenged in other ways. The advent of immersive technologies such as virtual reality goggles and other devices is confronting it with paradoxical reactions and alterities, with other states of being. Through their use, artists are constructing a new and hybrid art form in which the body reacts and acts in at least two simultaneous realities.
In the same way that the topological paradox of August Ferdinand Moebius’ Strip has inspired generations of artists and architects; artists are using mixed realities to explore multiple aesthetic paradoxes in their search for innovative poetics. If the simple fold of the Moebius Strip makes it impossible to be definitive about what is the inside or what is the outside of the strip; in mixed reality it is the full immersion devices that confront us with a similar paradox – where our body automatically reacts to stimuli that do not exist in physical reality; where our senses are no longer in synchrony with the simultaneity of these realities; where our behavior is transformed; where THE BODY IS THE MESSAGE.
Ricardo Barreto e Paula Perissinotto