LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts presents
ART TALK: Virtual Art - Aura and Immersion: Art History As Image Science

by Dr Oliver Grau (Media art historian / Lecturer, Department of Art
History, Humboldt University, Berlin)

Date and Time: Tuesday, 9 March 2004, 12noon - 2pm

Venue: Auditorium, LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts, 90 Goodman Road

Admission is free

The talk will be a plea for integrating the new, interactive, and processual
worlds of images into the experiences and insights that have come down to us
from the art of the past. The evolution of image media has a long history
and now a new technological variety has appeared; however, it cannot be
fully understood without its history. How people see and what they see is by
no means a self-evident physiological faculty. The historical development of
human perception is a complex cultural process, which is modified by an
array of diverse societal and media-technological factors. Traces left by
this process, which varies tremendously from culture to culture, can be
detected in the legacy of historical media artefacts. This talk will
examine the prehistory of artificial visualization, in particular laterna
magica, panorama, and phantasmagoria, which at the same time directs our
attention toward the digital world and allows glimpses of the immediate
future. Using examples from contemporary media art, like Christa Sommerer
and Laurent Mignonneau, Daniela Plewe, Maurce Benayoun et. al, this
historical perspective both sheds light on the culture of our digital
present and gives it depth of focus.

Lastly, the talk presents the case for a projected discipline of
Bildwissenschaft [Image Science], which will purposefully transgress the
agreed boundaries of specific "artistic images." It is proposed that
Bildwissenschaft combine art history, media theory, sociology, and
anthropology; an approach that differs radically from recent attempts,
particularly by computer science and the natural sciences, to establish an
"Image Science".

Check out

Dr Oliver Grau is a media art historian researching and lecturing at the
Department of Art History at Humboldt University, Berlin. He studied History
of the Arts, economics, archaeology and Italian literature in Hamburg,
London and Siena. He also did field research in the USA and Japan. Since
1998 he is head of the German Science Foundations' project on History of the
Arts and Media Theory of Virtual Reality, since 2001 leading the project
immersive art. Grau and his team are also developing a database for Virtual
Art, which gives an overview of interactive installations over the last
decades. He has published widely in Europe, the USA, Brazil and Japan. His
research focuses on the history of illusion and immersion in media and art,
the history of the idea and culture of telepresence and telecommunication,
genetic art and artificial intelligence. Grau is an elected member of the
Young Academy of the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences. He is author of
the book Virtual Art: From Illusion to Immersion published in 2003 by MIT
Press which has been acknowledged by many as a definitive text in this area.

LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts. 90 Goodman Road, Singapore 439053. Tel:
6344 4300. Fax: 6346 5708.