Uncanny arts and the aesthetics of cybernetic-existentialism

Dixon, Steve (2018) Uncanny arts and the aesthetics of cybernetic-existentialism. Technoetic arts: a journal of speculative research, 16 (2). pp. 191-214. ISSN 17589533

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Official URL: https://doi: 10.1386/tear.16.2.195_1
Item Type: Article
Title: Uncanny arts and the aesthetics of cybernetic-existentialism

Uncanny' works by a number of contemporary artists are analysed in relation to the themes and insights of both cybernetics and existentialist philosophy. This reveals that central ideas from these largely neglected fields remain current and potent within innovative art practices. Artists employ cybernetic systems to provoke aesthetic sensations of the uncanny, while simultaneously encapsulating existentialist concerns. Pierre Huyghe's mysterious installation responds to the life-breath of visitors to mutate human cancer cells. Susan Collins and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer construct cybernetic worlds-within-worlds to render us beings-for-others during intimate encounters with strangers. Urich Lau and TC&A involve and implicate the audience in eerie expressions of what existentialists term being-towards-death. These artworks prompt feelings of separation, alienation and existential angst; and emphasize human estrangement within a mysterious, incomprehensible or absurd world. But a cybernetic-existentialist reading also reveals that their evocation of human disquiet and isolation is tempered by an equal emphasis on positive notions of feedback loops, 'separation with communion', existential freedom and authentic interactions with the world and with Others. The artworks articulate cybernetics' and existentialism's shared interest in collapsing boundaries and erasing distinctions: between agents within a system; between the self and the Other; and between perceiving, feeling and acting.

Subjects: Performing Arts
Divisions: Centre for Research in the Arts
Depositing User: Ms Ashalatha Krishnan
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2021 07:58
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2021 07:58
URI: http://drlib.lasalle.edu.sg/id/eprint/870
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