台北當代藝術館 官方網站 Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei

V2_特區 Zone_V2

 
展覽名稱 Exhibit

V2_特區—動態媒體—行動,互動
Zone_V2_Unstable Media Act- Interact

展覽時間 Date

2007/08/11-10/07

展覽地點 Venue

台北當代藝術館 MOCA TAIPEI

貼心小叮嚀 Note

本展適合闔家觀賞 This exhibition is for general public.

展覽介紹 About the Exhibition

本展由臺北當代藝術館與荷蘭鹿特丹「V2_動態媒體藝術中心」共同合作。策展人亞歷士.阿德理安善斯以「機械計時」、「資訊是活的」及「互動求生」三大主題涵攝當代新媒體領域的思考方向。

媒體─如錄影、電視、收音機與網際網路型塑了人的歷史記憶,不斷進化中的媒體則改變了人的時間感。在科技工具的發達文明下,人的行動被監視、儲存及分析,成為預測未來的資料庫─人正活在資料庫中。

歷史的書寫是一連串的資訊選取,而人的行動、互動則是在經濟、社會或政治目的下,依據資訊所決定的過程,其結果是難以預測、控制的。

「V2_特區」展覽共計邀請十三國二十組享譽歐美、亞洲的新媒體藝術家/團體共同展出。作品媒材包括互動裝置、聲音裝置、攝影、動態影像、網路互動裝置等等,透過新舊媒體的交雜紛陳,本展呈現出科技與網路對人類文明在時間、空間與速度上的改寫,以及如何左右人類在當代社會的「行動」與「互動」等議題,作出幽默深刻的人文勾勒和提醒。

Zone_V2_ is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Arts, Taipei in association with V2_Institute for the Unstable Media. It is structured around the three themes of Dutch Electronic Festival Arts Festival, i.e. "Machine Times”, ”Information is Alive”, and "Interact or Die" in an attempt to pinpoint the current trend of contemporary media.

Electronic media, e.g. the video, television, radio and internet all contribute to the shaping of our historical memory. The infinitely developing media also play a crucial role in shifting our sense of time. In the regime of the latest technological advancement, every detail of our movements and activities is meticulously scrutinized, restored, and analyzed, before it is finally turned into a database on the basis of which the future is forecasted. It can thus be suggested that we all live IN the database nowadays.

In this sense, historical writing can be seen as a series of data-selecting acts. Human actions and interactions, on the other hand, can be seen as processes determined by information according to the economic, social, or political agenda behind these processes. Nonetheless, the result of such actions or interactions is hard to predict or control. Zone_V2_ invites 20 acclaimed artists and artist groups from 13 countries to exhibit. By way of juxtaposing old and new media, this exhibition demonstrates how technology and the world-wide web have transformed our perception of time, space and speed. With great humor, it also incisively outlines, and reminds us of, the cultural implications of technology and progress which characterizes our time.

策展論述 Curatorial Statement

文/亞歷士•阿德里安善斯

「只要無人問起,我便知時間為何物。」(聖奧古斯丁,四世紀。)

仔細審視現今社會人們的生活如何受到鐘錶上的時間刻度所規範,便不難察覺,對於時間的體驗與知覺也許並非如我們所想像的,是一種客觀的現象。進一步比較經過內化的自然時間,與歷史時間之間最根本的差異,上述的道理便顯得更加清晰了。時間乃是一種文化性的概念,衝擊著我們現今生活行動與互動的各個層面。時間的概念透過時鐘這個表述工具,被抽象並合理化成為小時、分鐘、秒鐘等等單位,成為度量生產(勞動)與消費的典範,對十九世紀工業革命期間以來的社會造成了深遠的影響。

格林威治標準時間的採行(一八八四年),清楚説明了一股將社會、經濟與政治生活順服於理性時間的律動模式,並從而建立起全球性時間標準(説是時間經濟或者更貼切)的趨勢。一八九四年,那名帶著炸彈前往格林威治皇家天文台,卻意外炸死自己的法國籍無政府主義青年——看來似乎是他的炸彈定時器設定並不準確——向世人揭示當人類與勞動必須屈從於時鐘刻度的規約時,時間的標準化所帶給人的感受。

隨著科技媒體的興起,時間變得具有可塑性。 在科技媒體中(舉凡電影、電視、廣播、網路等),我們能拆散時間與空間,將時間壓縮或者拉長。媒體也強化了人們對時間的概念,這關係到媒體如何地與我們對時間的歷史感產生連結;媒體是製造機械時間的時間機械。

機械中的時間

所謂「現在」持續的時間約等於零點三秒鐘。這是在人類的大腦中諸多複雜的區域經歷種種處理程序,搜尋出一個相對應於「現在」的認知所要耗費的時間長度。當學術研究的觸角深入人類對時間進程的認知現象時,時間的本質並不客觀,無法單純地使用精密儀器衡量並切割成秒鐘或其他單位,這則道理便顯得益發鮮明。時間在很大的程度上是非常個人、十分感性的體驗,受控於社會本身的韻律——這是發源於子宮的一種歷程。時間從來不是純粹自然或者純粹歷史的;也並非絕對客觀或絕對主觀——它永遠是雙位一體地同時並存的。

關於現在的問題,若用最直觀的方法來看待……是全人類恆常遭遇的問題。「當下是什麼?」是長久以來所有人類文明都不斷探索的命題:極其矛盾的是,我們雖然活在當下,然而過去與未來的時間卻常顯得更為迫切及重要。在西方文明裡,我們的觀點受到時間的物理特性緊緊箝制,總認為光陰猶如飛箭,時間等分為無數秒鐘,流逝於鐘擺的滴答聲中。聖奥古斯丁明明白白地昭告世人,當下是活生生並且深刻的瞬間,對這個道理的體認,決定了人類生命的質地。直到幾個世紀之後,這個概念才隨著威廉•詹姆士(譯註:William James,一八四二~一九一〇,美國心理學家與哲學家,機能主義心理學與實用主義哲學的先驅,於一八七五年建立美國第一個心理學實驗室。)的主張在美國重新被人提起,詹姆士曾說道,人類之所以存在是因為意識的流動,而意識的流動,則成就了當下這一刻。他將這樣的當下稱之為「有意識的現在」(specious present,譯註:這是指在人類知覺中,有意識地被認為是「現在」的一段時間。這個詞首先由心理學家E.R. Clay所提出,其後才由威廉•詹姆士繼續發展這個概念。),意即眼前這狡滑而迅即變幻的瞬間……。唯有當你們能夠擺脫時間是無數能夠以鐘錶衡量的瞬間組合而成的序列這樣的概念,並且從個人經驗的深淵中回過神來,方能體悟到你所存活的當下,幾乎就像是一片雲霧、一個整體、一次跨越、一道閃光,絕不只是一個簡單的小黑點。當下是一 個巨大的母體,供你從中滋養出自己存在的質地。倘若這當下是扁平乏味的,那麼你的人生便隨之扁平乏味,你的生活就只是一個接著一個排定的公式約會,奔忙著從此地出發到彼處;毫無深度。真正具有品質的一切事物,其必要條件之一即是對於當下的仔細反芻與重新創造,不管它們隸屬於什麼樣的範疇——美學、情愛、感官享受、飲食、玩樂或運動。

(引自 Arjen Mulde 對 Francisco Varela 的訪談内容,機械計時器,V2_,二〇〇〇年)

保羅•維瑞里奧在紀錄片《Warum wir Manner die Technik so lieben》(史蒂芬•迪寇斯特爾於一九八七年為BRT電視台製作)(譯註:中譯《為何人類對科技如此著迷》)中接受訪談時,便曾針對「廣義」與 「狹義」的時間做出區隔。廣義的時間是關於永遠與存在、關於記憶與珍藏、也關於一個城市的空間與歷史的永續。這樣的時間在某種程度上是緩慢而稠重的,無可避免地要與物理性活動諸如動作、運動、形變與地理、知覺、與詮釋產生關聯。在這樣的定義中,時間與空間依舊是連綿不斷的。

狹義的時間又是截然不同的一番光景了。在更講求精準的時間定義裡,更多的事物圍繞著秒針錙銖必較,一切追求極速——由此地出發到紐約,在耗時七天、或六小時、或兩個半小時、或一秒半、或可瞬間抵達之間精算。終究,狹義的時間是超越我們的經驗範圍的,因為它存在於人類對零點三秒的可經驗門檻 之下。它關乎於股票市場上川流的資訊、關乎於我們的電子信箱與網際網路;它是排除了空間元素的時間:啟程與抵達這兩個動作能夠在同一時間內瞬即完成,兩者之間需要經歷什麼路徑沒有太大的意義(但永遠是最迅捷的路徑)。狹義的時間只存在於機械「內部」或機械之間,成為人類緩慢的「現在」的基礎脈絡。一毫秒對於電腦或者網路而言,便算是一段漫長的時間了。我們無法直接用肉眼觀察到它,然而它卻顛覆了我們生活與工作的環境,與社會、文化、政治的結構

在馬尼克斯‧德‧奈斯的作品【北京加速器】中,藉著將身體與視覺兩項元素拆離,玩弄遊戲者對速度與加速度的認知經驗。倘若遊戲者無法控制他/她所坐的旋轉椅,使之與飛快移動的影像同步,他的平衡系統將會對大腦傳遞出有別於視覺系統的信息,導致遊戲者產生失控的強烈感受(結果可能造成類似暈車時所產生的噁心感)。

庫達組織的作品【安全距離】則為我們提供了理解廣義時間與狹義時間的另一條途徑。一輛美方的轟炸機在塞爾維亞上空執行任務時墜毀,庫達組織將尋獲的黑盒子中的紀錄展示於世人面前。作品中所展示 的畫面與聲音為條理化過後的抽象圖像,由飛機上的電子設備於任務執行的地點採集得到。黑盒子中的紀錄戲劇性地向觀眾所展示的,是飛行員所據以行動的艱澀圖示,以及隱藏在這些抽象資料背後的人性演繹兩者之間的乖離。

資訊、資料庫與檔案管理室

在電影、電視、聲音與錄像等等科技媒體中,甚至,在以光速進行或者即時奏效,供人交換、比較、擷取資訊,互相串連的數位機械網絡裡,時間已然成為界定內容、訊息與知識的要素之一。時間令我們在這些媒介中的經驗共享成為可能:找出某段共同的時間或相同的地理空間,用以區隔不同的媒介使用者,如今已是沒有意義的舉動。「改變世界,待在家裡」。(引自非法知識促進基金會(Adilkno : the Foundation for the Advancement of Illegal Knowledge),該組織於一九八三年成立於阿姆斯特丹。)(譯注: Adilkno基金會乃是由荷蘭籍的知名媒體/藝術/網路社會理論與運動者Geert Lovink,聯合了阿姆斯特丹其他四位與媒體相關的知識份子:Arjen Mulder, BasJan van Stam, Lex Wouterloot 與 Patrice Riemens 所共同成立。)同樣的,錄影機、電視機、網際網路這些電子機械,與我們對於時間的歷史感——廣義的時間——有最絕對的關聯。這些裝置甚至深化了這樣的歷史意識,因為它們的作用正猶如集體記憶;套用葛瑞葛雷‧懷特黑德的説法,它們是「活著的死機械」。

電子媒體強化(處理與操縱)了我們對時間的概念;它們全都是生產機械時間的時間機械。我們對於過去、現下與未來的感受,全都隸屬於這機械時間的一部分。

我們如何透過電子媒體組織並處理資訊,而我們又是如何在這些過程中萃取出知識與意義,同樣地,也與我們對於過去、現在與未來的理解方式息息相關。往回追溯到十六世紀的奇珍異寶陳列室(譯註: Wunderkammer/ Wonder chamber奇珍異寶陳列室約出現於十五世紀,最初的創始者有一說是魯道夫二世與費迪 南德二世,用來陳列並保存各地收集而來的物品,收集的對象則囊括了歷史、地質、考古、宗教、藝術等各方面的物品,被視為博物館或美術館的先驅。),到當代關於檔案管理室的各種實務,對於資訊的蒐集、儲藏 與加工,以及意義的創造,其實存在著一些充滿趣味 的分析模型與方法論。

在當代的檔案管理室實務裡,儲存在眾多資料庫裡的,可不是只有個人的資料而已。五花八門的資料彼此之間的串連和交互關係,透過「元數據」的使用,如今也一併被保存下來。所謂元數據(也被稱作「tags」)指的是那些用來描述與分類其它資料的數據。長久以來,元數據作為條理化、科層化與評價並簡化資訊以產生效率的工具,使它在資訊社會中,無論在社會、政治、與經濟各層面,都被認定為一價值中立並且不可或缺的重要工具。

喬治•拉格迪的作品【充滿記憶的口袋】中,大眾能將隨身攜帶的物品轉化成數據,加入在整個展覽期間將不斷成長的資料庫之中。觀者還能根據關鍵字,在資料庫中重組該項物品。由此,他們便能針對某些物品(還有那些將物品加入資料庫的人們)彼此之間的關係進行深入研究。

在形形色色的當代觀點中,檔案管理室儼然被證實為一種強而有力的隱喻。人類的身體是基因遺傳的檔案管理室,其奧秘如今已在「人類基因組計畫」中 (譯註:人類基因組計畫是由法、日、德、中、英、美等各國十六個機構通力合作,目標是將人類的二十三對染色體,約三十二億個人類遺傳物質DNA全部定序出來。),成為開放存取的數據資料。語言是意涵的檔案管理室,語言學方法則是開啟這座檔案管理室的金鑰。它教導我們認識自己是誰、來自何方。潛意識是集合了所有界定我們身分認同的創傷經驗的檔案管理中心。而歷史,是一個龐大的資料庫,供人任意武斷地從中抽取出事實,而且到現今還整理不出一套口徑一致的説法。

檔案管理室的內容不再只是提供給史學家或其他研究者提取檢視的過往史料。現代人的日常生活早已在檔案式管理的模式下日復一日的過著:所有我們曾在網路上瀏覽過的網頁都被記錄於搜尋引擎之中,並且受到由商業機構(天曉得還有其他什麼人)安裝在我們的機器中的小小間諜程式所監控。超級市場登記了我們全部的消費細節。如此這般的檔案管理室基礎下,關於未來的策略藍圖已大致底定。在這冷硬、物質性的現今世界中,幾乎所有的人類活動背後,隱藏著一個非物質性的檔案管理室。我們生活在世界的線上檔案管理室之中,或者更貼切地説,我們所生活的,是一個猶如檔案管理室的世界,它是一個由無數資料庫串聯起來的巨大叢集,而將這一切連結起來 的,則是將全球電腦編織成網的網際網路。

UEBERMORGEN.COM、保羅‧契里歐與亞歷山卓‧路多維丘所聯手的計畫【亞馬遜黑幫】向大家指出,亞馬遜這類公司的行銷策略,基本上乃是根據收集並整合使用者的個人資料所建立。而在【亞馬遜黑幫】這項計劃裡,藝術家們最終將它反轉成對抗亞馬遜的策略。透過這個方法,這群藝術家企圖激起公眾對於Google與亞馬遜這一類商業機構,基於收集並整合不同使用者個人資訊的商業手段的關注與討論。

行動與互動(或者……)

由於檔案管理室是永續存在的並可被使用,因此 它們成為現今生活中的行動要素之一。我們甚至可以宣稱,檔案管理室對於如何創造並反映出現狀,扮演了決定性的重要角色。資訊並非力量,知識才是。知識是標籤化的、或者透過人類的聰明才智,經過一番分門別類與整合的資訊。知識是資料與資料叢(開放的或隱藏的,私有的或公開的,可控制或組合的)經營出的成果。

我們如何構築出媒體世界,而它又如何經由互動自我建構?行動與互動行為將這個問題向前推進了一步。這樣的行為讓我們更深入地思考開放性與封閉性的媒體為何、互動如何發生,以及互動行為如何被設計、或如同在生物、社會與文化系統中自然浮現那般地發生在科技媒體的網絡之中,並於最終導引出變異與多樣性。

在一個受到無所不在的媒體與遠距傳播網絡所宰制的世界裡,我們所遭遇的是不斷變遷的社會、文化與政治關係。我們是如何習慣於社會或政治上的行動與互動、互動發生的緣由,及它們所生產的社會、文化、藝術或政治模式,在媒體時間(媒介的基本特性之一)對我們的現代經驗起作用之際,具有舉足輕重的地位。

互動能力是所有生物皆具備的特質。互動是串聯與網絡的構成體,並且透過這些層面間的交相影響,而織就出組織、結構與記憶。互動不僅將既有的結構進行重組,更進一步加入了知識性的訊息,而改變主體與受體、硬體結構與人文思想的關係。

為了網絡本身之內與不同的網絡之間,及其所衍生的社會、文化和藝術形式間增進對互動的理解,我們有必要深入分析使互動生效的法則。在生物網絡裡,在交互影響的互動基礎上,通過自我組織,結構便跟著自然而然地建立起來。相對地,在科技的網絡之中,這項過程則經過嚴格而正式的控制。至於社會與文化型的互動則不適用這種二元的劃分邏輯:即便同時間存在著嚴格的控制,它仍是多元複合而不斷地繁衍出令人驚奇的結果。因此,當我們論及諸如藝術、文化、建築等領域中的互動時,媒介網絡所展現的彈性與暫時性變成為舉足輕重的關鍵。

透過這一次展覽,我們將各種不同形式的互動呈現在觀眾面前。在【痛苦遊戲機】所聚焦的社會互動類型中,勝負的爭奪被視為一種人與人之間的社會事件,因此遊戲的內涵取決於遊戲者之間的互動。【痛苦遊戲機】裡應用的是一個幾乎沒有規則的簡單遊戲 「Pong」,遊戲者只要將一顆「小白球」從螢幕的一端反搫回另一端,就能得分。不過既然在遊戲的過程中,遊戲者能夠將他的行動加諸於對手身上,造成身體的傷痕,從此一些其他的元素(如身體的忍耐力、 團體中的地位、行動的後果)便加入這場賽局,替這個電腦遊戲中的互動增添了深度。此外,斯達普拉聲響系統,與來自台北的一群藝術家與學生共同合作,所帶來的作品【台灣製造】則是奠基於社會型的互動之上,首先透過與一群人的團體合作進行創作,其後任何一通撥打給這件作品的電話,便能操控此裝置的行動(電話號碼將於展覽開幕時公佈)。上述兩件作品所要試驗的對象,均是觀者與作品之間,在行動和互動的過程中所產生的可預期或不可預期的效果。

互動並不是依照某張嚴格而理想的藍圖,或任何目標明確、規劃詳細的計畫而發生的;它總是散亂地、試探地、有彈性地進行著。互動的結果也同樣地凌亂、不穩定與充滿試驗性,也正因為如此,它們可以持續一段令人出乎意料的長時間,因為它們永遠具有互相適應與重新組織的能力。

在互動藝術中,理解化身為一種行動,而此行動將是豐富作品的內涵。於是,理解這個行為本身轉換成創造作品的行動。大衛‧洛克白的作品【廉價模仿】基本概念來自杜象的畫作【下樓梯的裸女】(一九一二);【下樓梯的裸女】中,杜象以類似頻閃動態攝影的手法,運用大量連續疊影來描繪裸女走下階梯的姿態。因此觀眾在「畫布」(螢幕)前移動自己的手部或身體時,便能看見作品各種不同的層次。杜象曾主張「作品的成立乃因觀者的參與」,成為後人傳誦的名言。

互動型藝術的企圖便是吸取觀者的認知活動,從而使互動藝術本身開花結果。一件互動藝術作品指的就是一種具備開放性格的藝術作品,雖然尚不至於採納每一種觀點,但有足夠的能力包容多種不同的認知方向。於是,觀者的認知活動變成了成就作品的行動。

包括了觀者與觀者之間、觀者與作品之間,以及科技的、文化的與生物的各類系統之間的種種互動在這一次參展的藝術作品中,以不同類型及模式提供給觀者具實驗性的觀賞體驗。

(本文部份援引自Arjen Mulder先前於V2_版品中的撰文,以及V2_團隊腦力激盪所得的成果。)

 

 

Zone_V2_

Unstable Media: Act - Interact

by Alex Adiaansens

"I know what time is as long as nobody asks me about it" (Aurelius Augustinus, 4th century)

The experience and perception of time is not an objective phenomenon, as we might think when looking at how we nowadays live under the regime of the rational clock time. This also becomes obvious when we look at the fundamental distinction between natural time, where time is internalized, and historical time. Time is a cultural concept that has its impact on the way we act and interact in the present.

The abstraction and rationalization of time in hours, minutes and seconds, expressed by the clock, had far reaching consequences in the 19th century when it became the model for the rationalization of production (labor) and consumption during the indus­trial revolution. The introduction of the Greenwich   time standard (1884) was a clear expression of this tendency to submit social, economic and political life to the rhythm of rational time and to establish a global time standard, or better said an economy of time. The bomb attack on the Royal Observatory in 1894, by a young French anarchist who accidentally blew himself up in Greenwich Park before reaching his target - as it seems that the clock he used for the bomb wasn't properly set - shows how the standardization of time was experi­enced as submitting man and labor to the regime of the clock.

With the rise of technical media time became malleable. In technical media (cinema, video, radio, the internet a.s.) we can detach time and space, stretch and compress time. Media also reinforce our notion of time which is related to how media are linked to our historical sense of time. They are time machines producing machine time.

Time in the Machine

"Now" lasts for approximately 0.3 seconds. This is the time it takes the various centers and sections of our brain to find a synchronous rhythm which we experience as the present. As cognitive research into the phenomenon of time progresses, it is becoming more and more obvious that time is not an objective quality which can be measured by chronometers and divided up into seconds and everything beyond. Time is very much a personal and therefore emotional experience, controlled by social rhythms - a process which starts in the womb. Time is never only natural or only historical, only subjective or only objective: it is always both at the same time.

"The question of the now, taken in its most immediate sense .... is a perennial topic for mankind. Every human culture has been occupied with the question: what is this temporality? It is a tremendous paradox that we live now, and yet time, the future and the past, seem so present and so important. In the west we have been so gripped by the physics of the notion of time as something that is ticked away by the clock, and that time is an arrow, and divided in equal seconds. Aurelius Augustine made it clear that for humans the quality of life depends on understanding how much the now, the present is a deep and living thing. This notion resurfaces only centuries later in America with William James, when he says the flow of consciousness is what man is all about, and the now is what the flow of conscious­ness is about This now he called the "specious present”, that is, the slippery, tricky present        only when you break away from the spell of time as a sequence of instants one can measure by the clock, and you come back from your own depth of experience, you realize that what you live right now is almost like a cloud, like a whole, like a span, like a flash, which is far from a dot. The now is an enormous matrix from which you can grow the quality of who you are. If the quality of that now is flat, your life is flat, and you have a life in which one appointment follows the other. It's hurry here and hurry there; it has no depth. Everything that has quality requires the reassessment, the reinvention of the now, whether it is in aesthetics, in love, in sensuality, eating or playing or sports."

(quote from the interview with Francisco Varela (Note) by Arjen Mulder (Note) • Machine Times - V2_, 2000)

Paul Virilio in his interview for the documentary " Warum wir Manner die Technik so lieben" (produced for BRT television by Stephan Decostere in 1987) differ­entiates between "extensive" and "intensive" time. Extensive time is the time of durability and presence, the time of the archives and memory, the time also of the city with its spatial and historical continuity. It is a time that has a certain slowness and viscosity, a time inextricably bound up with physical activities such as motion and movement, transformation and geography, perception, interpretation. Here, time and space are still continuous.

Intensive time is very different. In intensified time, more and more appears to fit into a second. It is the extreme time of acceleration - from here to New York in seven days, in six hours, in two and a half hours, in one and a half seconds, in real-time. Intensive time is time which, in the end, is beyond our experience, because it lies below the 0.3-second threshold. It is the time of the information flow of the stock market of our email and the internet, the time which eliminates space: arrival and departure occur at the same moment in real-time and the road traveled in between is not relevant (but it's always the fastest road). Intensive time is the time that exists only IN machines and between them, which became the context of the slow human "now". A millisecond is quite a long period for a computer or a network. We cannot observe it directly, but it turns our living and working environments, and social, cultural and political structures upside down.

Beijing Accelerator by Marnix de Nijs plays a game with the physical and visual perception of speed and acceleration by manipulating both elements separately. If the user cannot synchronize the speed of the chair he/she is sitting on with the moving images, his balance system will send different information to the brain then the eyes do. This can cause an intense feeling of having no control (and can eventually lead to physical discomforts like nausea).

Safe Distance by kuda.org presents us a different approach towards intensive and extensive time. They show us recordings from a found black box device from a US bomber that crashed during its mission The black box recording expresses in a dramatic way the alienation between the abstract imagery the pilots act upon and the human drama that enfolds behind these abstractions.

Information, Databases and Archives

Time has become the factor which defines the content, information and knowledge contained within technical media like film, television, radio and video and even more within the networked digital machines in which information is exchanged, compared and retrieved with the speed of light and in real-time. Time enables our shared experience of these media: find a common hour and the geographical space separating media users is no longer relevant. "Change the world, stay home" (Adilkno: the Foundation for the Advance­ment of Illegal Knowledge, founded in Amsterdam 1983). All the same, electronic machines such as video recorders, televisions and the Internet are most definitely linked to our historical sense of time - our extensive time. These devices even reinforce this historical awareness, because they function as a collec­tive memory; they are machines of the "living dead", as Gregory Whitehead called them.

Electronic media reinforce (process and manipu­late) our notion of time; they are all time machines producing machine time. Our sense of past, present and future is part of this machine time.

Our understanding of the past, the present and the future is also closely linked to the way we organize and process information with electronic media and how we retrieve knowledge and meaning out of these processes. Interesting models and methodologies of collecting, storage and processing information, and the creation of meaning can be traced back from the Wunderkammer (Wonder chamber) or Curiosity Cabinets from the 16th century to contemporary practices around archives.

In contemporary archival practices it is not just the individual data that are being stored in databases. The relationships and correlations between the various data are now also being stored by using “Meta-data." Meta-data (also known as "tags") are data that describe and categorize other data. Meta-data as means for ordering, hierarchizing, streamlining and evaluating have become increasingly important as social, political and economical instruments in an informational sphere that for a long time was considered as being value-free.

In Pockets Full of Memory (George Legrady) the public can digitize an object they carry with them and add it to an archive that grows throughout the duration of the exhibition. The audience can reorganize the objects in the database according to keywords. They can thus research the relations between certain objects (and the people that added these objects).

In various contemporary views the archive has proved to be a strong metaphor. The human body has become a genetic archive, now that it has been digitally opened up in the Human Genome Project. Our language is an archive of meanings that can be unlocked by philological methods. It teaches us who we are and where we come from. The unconscious is an archive of all the traumatic experiences that define our identity. History is a database from which facts can be arbitrarily retrieved, and now lacks one big unifying story.

Archives no longer just contain our past for inspection by historians and other researchers. We are permanently living in archives: All the sites we visit on the Internet are logged by our search engines and are monitored by mostly illegal spy bots who are installed in our machines by companies and who knows who else. All our shopping is registered by our supermar­kets. On the basis of such archives the policies for the future are being planned. Behind almost every activity in the hard, material world nowadays hides an immate­rial archive. We are living in the world's online archive, or more to the point, we are living in the world-as- archive, as a constellation of databases all connected with each other by a global network of computers, the Internet

The work Amazon Noir (Uebermorgen.com, Paolo Cirio, A. Ludovico) addresses the marketing strategies of companies like Amazon based on user profiles that are constructed by combining different data collected about the user. In the project Amazon Noir the artists finally turn this strategy against Amazon. In this way the artists forced a public debate on the companies strate­gies used by Google and Amazon that are based on collecting user information, and combining different user data.

Act and Interact (or •…)

Because archives are continuously available and accessible, they have become an essential factor in acting in the present One could even say that archives have become crucial in how the present is created and reflected upon.

Information isn't power, but knowledge is. Knowl­edge is tagged, or intelligently grouped and combined, information. Knowledge is the result of the (open or concealed, private or public, controllable or associative) knowledge management of data and data clusters.

"Acting and interacting" puts forward the question of how our media world is structured and is structuring itself through interaction. It puts forward the question of how open or closed media systems are and how interaction comes about, how it is designed or sponta­neously emerging in technical media networks as well as in biological, social and cultural systems and eventu­ally leading to variation and diversity.

In a world dominated by an omnipresence of media and telecommunications networks we are confronted with changing social, cultural and political relations. The way we are used to socially or politically act and interact, how interaction comes about, and what social, cultural, artistic or political forms they generate is an essential part of how media-time, as a basic characteristic of media, effects our modern experience.

Interaction is a characteristic of every living being. Interaction is the formation of connections and structure and memory through interplay within them.

Interaction changes bodies and objects. Interaction is not a morphing of existing structures but adding information to them, and therefore encouraging the formation of thoughts and structures.

To better understand interaction within and between networks, and the social, cultural and artistic forms it generates, we must analyze the principles according to which it works. In biological networks, structures emerge spontaneously through self­organization on the basis of interactions which affect each other. Technological networks, by contrast, are formal and stringently controlled. Social and cultural interaction, however, does not fit into this binary division: it is hybrid and continually yields surprising outcomes, even though strict control functions are at play at the same time. Flexibility and temporality, expressed in media networks, are therefore key terms when we talk about interaction in fields such as art, culture, architecture and other domains.

In the exhibition different forms of interaction are represented. PainStation is about social interaction in which gaming is seen as a social event between people, the quality of the game depending thus on the interac­tion between the players. PainStation uses a simple game (Pong) with almost no rules, one just collects points by kicking a "ball" from one side of the screen to the other. As the interaction is based on the fact that one player can physically imprint his actions onto the other player, a range of elements (physical endurance, group status, the consequences of acting) is added to create a more in-depth form of interaction in computer gaming. Also Staalplaat Soundsystem with their workshop Made in Taiwan done with students and artists from Taipei, is based on social interaction: first of all through the process of creating the work with a group of people, and secondly while the resulting installation can be controlled in its behavior by any mobile phone that makes a call to the work (the phone numbers will be announced at the opening of the exhibition). Both works experiment with the predictible and often unpredictable effects of acting and interacting on both the observer and the artwork.

Interaction does not come into being on the basis of rigid and rational blueprints or detailed plans with clear-cut goals; it proceeds messily, in an exploratory, flexible way. The results of interaction possess this same sloppiness, instability and tentativeness - but precisely for this reason, they can last a surprisingly long time, as they are always able to reorganize and adapt.

In interactive art perception becomes action, and the action of perceiving adds something to the work. The act of perceiving thereby becomes the act of making the work. Cheap Imitation (David Rokeby) is based on Duchamp's painting Nude Descending a Staircase (1912) in which Duchamp depicted motion by successive superimposed images, similar to strobo­scopic motion photography. The work becomes visible in its different layers by moving your hands or body in front of the "canvas" (screen). Duchamp himself once proclaimed the famous statement "The spectator makes the picture."

Interactive art tries to absorb the activity of perception of the viewer and make itself open. An interactive artwork is an open kind of art, one that permits multiple perceptions, though not every perception. The act of perceiving thereby becomes the act of making the work.

The artworks in the exhibition play and experiment with different sorts of interaction which vary from interaction between the audience, the audience and the artwork, and interaction between technical; cultural and biological systems in general.

(with quotes from earlier V2_ publications written by Arjen Mulder and resulting out of many brainstorms with the V2_Team.)