Ursula Hentschlaeger


If art becomes a synonym for culture, achievements of culture – which, in this context, means technoculture in particular – can be stylised into works of art. The paradox about the transformation sought here is that this is only what makes it possible to create a link between innovations, such as technical progress, and human beings.

As a consequence, structures of technology and economic policy which can clearly be classified as sociological in nature reveal their functional strong points as they incorporate a category that is hard to grasp and can be applied at random: the myth of art. The insight might not be new but it is always surprising: art makes "sense".
Ill. Ruth Schnell: Seeing Language interactive installation, since 1996 (cutout)

The world of media art is a phenomenon of the information society as much as it is one of the art world. More often than not, there is a close connection between a newly developed medium and its artistic application, and usually the act of system-specific exhaustion is reserved to art. Thus, media art in general is always also a reflection of the state of the art in technology and as a consequence, it cannot be considered as something apart from the underlying technology. In this context, the discussion rarely focuses on how many specific programme applications are turned into advanced media productions thanks to current art projects only. Conversely, when artistic production has repercussions on public research, this is praised as a meaning-giving success of media art. However, is this still about the possibility of probing "new" opportunities? The attempt to drive art via basic research turns out to be problematic here.

The questions ought to be reworded as follows: What are the developments software juggernauts are unable to provide for, and what are the art strategies or self-created worlds which can be applied to counteract global standardisation tendencies?