Models of Interaction from Modernity to the Digital Age
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
Susanne Ristow is an interdisciplinary artist, museologist and media scientist. Drawing, graphics, painting, video, performance, installation, sculpture, artistic research—she herself summarizes all disciplines with the term BILDNEREI [IMAGERY].
The Düsseldorf based artist is present worldwide not only with exhibition projects but also as a passionate art mediator.
In large drawing cycles such as “Agitatory Drawing,” "Lonesome Heroes,”"Adonis Depot," "Infectious Basterds," "Viral Love" and "Tricksters," she tests the infectious as well as participatory possibilities of images, texts and actions in public spaces. In performance lectures and interactions with collaborators, she uses the concept of the virus to develop complex connections between art and science.
Virus, infection, alien element, boundary crossing, genetic transfer
The current discussion on virality derives from early molecular biology and information theory of the 20th century, but gained actual metaphoric influence and virulence only in the 1960s and is becoming very popular in Postmodernity with the dramatic appearance of AIDS and the discovery of HIV as a retroviral phenomenon. It is suggested that the virus as a medium for change be regarded in relation to the technological conditions of preserving and transforming cultural information. Especially in the context of Dada and Fluxus, artistic demands of modernity such as opening up, permeability, interaction and participation are interpreted and analysed with the help of “infectious agents” as visions of biologically inspired intermediality. It seems that viral models of interaction and transmission have contributed to the current digital participation culture and to the supposed convergence of life and art of today and eventually shaped it in the course of cultural evolution.
Thus a larger picture is evolving of the virus as a cognitive figure representing interaction, transmission, interdisciplinarity, connectivity and the interdependency of art and science in the 20th and 21st centuries.
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