Wednesday, August 6, 2008

revival field

Mel Chin's Revival Field (1990) is an example of a kind of ecosystemic artistic practice that is starting to interest me. How can a computer scientist and artist, fascinated by simulation and the power of abstract symbol manipulation, make a work that similarly engages with the biological world in a positive or neutral way? Is it possible to do this by changing peoples' awareness of the natural world? Perhaps this is more easily justified than physical manipulation. In the case of Revival Field the work re-establishes the living processes and self-organisation that had been decimated by human-concentrated pollutants.

Every time I turn on my computer I am consuming non-renewable energy. I could make ecosystemic art using computers only if
the machines I used: (i) were produced using green energy and using processes and materials that were not destructive to the enviornment (is that even possible in this case!?); (ii) completely recycled at the end of their lifetime; (iii) operated on renewable resources. Solar, wind and human powered electronic media art works could be quite fun. The computer itself is piece of equipment with a high ecological cost.

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