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FleshFactor: reflection

A E C  F O R U M - "F L E S H F A C T O R"
The challenge for the artist is how to think about this machine.  How to
pick it up and dance with it.  How to convey the ideas that transform our
vision or how our vision is transformed by the machine.  This active
collaboration of the rational, sequential order, with the visionary
non-linear activity of the creative process, having now transcended
location, is a demonstration of our highest conceptualization.

Psychologically and physically we are coming to view the mind as a vast
network of electric activity, our brain composed of two hemispheres that
carry out different functions.  Socially we are evolving the dialectic of
gender, and scientifically we are challenged: is it a particle or is it a
wave?  These extended parameters have no aesthetic precedent.  We are
afforded the opportunity to redefine the form of our communication and our
capacity to convey and participate in very new ways.  Historically, the
shock of diminished percpective changed the way people viewed the world
just as radically as cyber-phenomena.  We can accept the relative virtual
space of an oil painting but demonstrate a bias against something that has
been created or delivered by technological advances and devices.  It is
important that we are not shackled to replicating these past achievements,
or that past criteria for critical assessment be used in this area.

Artists today are no different than any other time, we are exploring both
inside and out.  My own work involves an exploration of the elemental, the
dynamic interaction of opposites.  We inhabit the realm of opposites:
particle or wave, masculine or feminine, and only recently human or
machine.  In the realm of opposites, the two reveal our whole selves,
acted out in our own lives and the lives around us.  The self and the
other, as one....in the dance of the two we can begin to make some kind of
metaphoric image that might reveal some truth and continuity in what may
at times appear to be chaos. 

There is a lot already said about what art is, but there can be no doubt
that it is a visual documentation of the evolution of the species, our
ability to conceptualize, and our skill at demonstrating abstract ideas. 
>From Lascoux, charged with ritual and myth, to the contemporary moment
moving at blinding speed, we can look at the documentation, or maybe the
reflection of the world through the eyes and mind of the artist.  The
tools and techniques that have been implemented and improved on over the
course of art history make up a dynamic flow.  The form and content of
these works themselves change and grow with the civilization that is being
reflected.  The trail of artifacts that is created can be mistaken for the
traditon of art.  It is not the traditon of art--it is only the
documentation of where the visionaries of any moment have been.  The
traditions of art are the creative processes where artists drive into new
areas of content, technique, materials and tools.  Artists have always
been on the search for a medium or tool that would give them a freer or
more direct way of expressing their ideas.  The computer is suited
perfectly to convey the complexity of the ideas of our time.  

Our social context still reflects the foundation of our cosmic conception,
the myth. Our projections on the mythic archetypes are to be found in our
world, from the distant past right up to the present.  Heroes and heroic
deeds.  Our time now is a good deal more complex, but there is still the
Grail, still the Fleece.  We are still inhabiting the archetypes, we still
project into the myth. This complexity is both made and made possible by
our advances with the machine...the world we view and manipulate: "more
real than real" as Baudrillard says.  The character and type of our mythic
projection has just been joined by the Human/Machine acting as One. 
Artists working in this medium have a great opportunity to give form to
this cyber-world as it as yet unformed and evolving.  It is the place
perfectly suited for the adventurous.  We have not transcended the myth we
are mutating the mythic. 

Steve Holzer, artist, Sante Fe, New Mexico, USA

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