[ accès général ]


bolter, Jay David

cotton, Bob; oliver, Richard

forest, Fred

pimentel, Ken; teixeira, Kevin

youngblood, Gene

"Cyberspace is a completely spatialized visualization of all information in global information processing systems, along pathways provided by present and future communications networks, enabling full copresence and interaction of multiple users, allowing input and output from and to the full human sensorium, permitting simulations of real and virtual realities, remote data collection and control through telepresence, and total integration and intercommunication with a full range of intelligent products and environments in real space.
Cyberspace involves a reversal of the current mode of interaction with computerized information. At present such information is external to us. The idea of cyberspace subverts that relation; we are now within information. In order to do so we ourselves must be reduced to bits, represented in the system, and in the process become information anew."

"The relationship established between architecture and cyberspace so far is not yet complete. It is not enough to say that there is architecture in cyberspace, nor that that architecture is animistic or animated. Cyberspace calls us to consider the difference between animism and animation, and animation and metamorphosis. Animism suggests that entities have a "spirit" that guides their behavior. Animation adds the capability of change in location, through time. Metamorphosis is change in form, through time or space. More broadly, metamorphosis implies changes in one aspect of an entity as a function of other aspects, continuously or discontinuously. I use the term liquid to mean animistic, animated, metamorphic, as well as crossing categorical boundaries, applying the cognitively supercharged operations of poetic thinking.
The locus of the concept "architecture" in an architecture that fluctuates is drastically shifted: Any particular appearance of the architecture is devalued, and what gains importance is, in Sartre's terms, "the principle of the series". For architecture this is an immense transformation: for the first time in history the architect is called upon to design not the object but the principles by which the object is generated and varied in time. For a liquid architecture requires more than just "variations on a theme," it requires the invention of something equivalent to a "grand tradition" of architecture at each step. A work of liquid architecture is no longer a single edifice, but a continuum of edifices, smoothly or rhythmically evolving in both space and time. Judgments of a building's performance become akin to the evaluation of dance and theater.
A liquid architecture in cyberspace is clearly a dematerialized architecture. It is an architecture that is no longer satisfied with only space and form and light and all the aspects of the real world. It is an architecture of fluctuating relations between abstract elements. It is an architecture that tends to music."

bolter États-Unis
University of North Carolina

"We have seen that the electronic reader takes an active role in the making of the text: that indeed the text becomes a contested ground between author and reader. In fact there is a third player in this game, the electronic space itself. The computer is always doubling the author for the reader, just as it doubles the reader for the author, interpreting and misinterpreting each to the other. Once the author has set up the text as a delicate balance of signs, the computer can be made to perform operations on individual signs or on the whole structure, operations that alter the balance without the direct and continuing intervention of author or reader. The author may fashion the text so that it changes permanently when readers traverse a certain path so that readers burn their connections behind them. Readers may search the text for the occurrence of various words and form new paths based on that search. The computer can even be programmed to rearrange its structure overnight in response to a dozen different variables: say, the news service or messages on a computer network or the time of day or year registered on the computer's clock. In collecting a library of printed books, we can be sure that our texts will be the same in the morning as they were the night before. For an electronic library, we have no such assurance, as the texts may age, mature, and degenerate to reflect the time that we have been away."

bolter États-Unis
University of North Carolina

"Electronic technology suggests a kind of writing that denies its limitations as writing and becomes unmediated thought. It would seem that writing is no longer separate from the mind, if the computer can forge an instantaneous link between the writer's thoughts and the writing surface. instant access is an aspect of the electronic utopia of literacy, in which the barrier between writing and thinking dissolves and all symbolic information, anywhere in the world, is as immediately available to the writer/reader as his or her own thoughts."

bolter États-Unis
University of North Carolina

"The computer provides the only kind of unity now possible in our culture: unity at the operational level. Hypertextual publication can accommodate all the mutually incomprehensible languages that the intellectual world now speaks, and this unification of technique must serve as the consolation for the lost unity of purpose.
Within the hypertextual libraries that are now being assembled, individual intellectual communities can retreat into their subnetworks and operate with as much or as little connection to each other as they desire. These communities may be large or small. Contemporary art, music, and literature have divided into several tiny elites and several huge popular movements, while most of the liberal arts are now pursued by relatively small groups of professionals. We have come to accept the fact that a new painting, a novel, or an essay will appeal only to one group of viewers or readers that each person is free not only to dislike a new work, but simply to ignore it as irrelevant to his or her needs. Individuals today wander through an aesthetic supermarket picking out what interests them atonal music, concrete poetry, science fiction films, situation comedies on television, or paperback romances. We are hard put to criticize any of these choices: they are simply questions of taste.
In the United States, the most thoroughly networked society, the distinction between high culture and popular culture has all but vanished. In place of the hierarchical organization in which high culture (poetry, "serious" novels, scholarly monographs) is valued above popular culture (doggerel, genre literature, how-to books), we have simply different subnetworks that appeal to different readers. None of the familiar indications of quality apply. In the age of print, a classic might be presented on high-quality paper and bound in cloth or leather, whereas a popular romance would appear in paperback with a suitably gaudy cover. In the electronic writing space, both texts will likely arrive on a diskette. The software for the romance may well be more sophisticated than the software that presents the "serious" fiction for the same economic reasons that Hollywood's popular movies are often technologically more polished than European art films. The refusal to distinguish between high art and popular entertainment has long been a feature of American culture, but the computer as hypertextual network both ratifies and accelerates this trend. We can now see that American culture has been working for decades against the assumptions of the printed book and toward the freedom from top-down control provided by electronic writing. The computer is the ideal technology for the networking of America, in which hierarchical structures of control and interpretation break down into their component parts and begin to oscillate in a continuously shifting web of relations."


"The foundations of the cyberspace infrastructure were established as long ago as the 1830s with the development of the electric telegraph, a network that carried its own binary information in the form of the dots and dashes of Morse code signals. Telegraph networks rapidly expanded and coalesced to form an international communications web, spanning the English Channel in 1851, and the Atlantic Ocean in 1870. This proto-cyberspace was enormously expanded after the invention of the telephone and 'wireless telegraphy' (the 'rear-view mirror' label for 'radio'). From the 1920s, radio waves were also being used to broadcast the human voice and music, and by the 1930s both radio and cables were carrying television signals.
The most recent developments in cyberspace stem from the linking of computers to the telephone system. Originally, these links provided scientists with better access to software and databases through terminals at remote sites. However, computer networks soon developed autonomous lives, acting as conduits for electronic mail, bulletin board systems and a great variety of conferencing, information and messaging services. From the 1960s onwards, with the computerization of financial services (banking and stock trading), the world's money became bits of digital date inhabiting the cyberspace of networks and computer memory.
With the ongoing development of fibre-optic networks, the establishment of high-bandwidth data superhighways, and the development of interpersonal communications based on personal digital systems, radio cell-nets and satellite communications, cyberspace will become the place where we spend an increasing amount of our business and leisure time. Cyberspace is set to become the 'electronic extension of our central nervous system' that Marshall McLuhan wrote about (in War and Peace in the Global Village) some 30 years ago, the interconnecting web of telecommunications that he predicted would inevitably break down barriers of distance, language and time, creating a new and instantaneous 'global village'."


"Since 1984, when William Gibson used the term in his novel Neuromancer, the word "cyberspace" has become the most useful catch-all to describe the composite new "space" that encompasses both extremes of scale: the vast "global village" network of telecommunications, and the minuscule quantum space of the microchip, with its ever increasing capacity to store and manipulate data. Somewhere between these two extremes there is a space that architects and animators who use three-dimensional computer graphics will be familiar with: the strange "virtual" space that only materializes as glowing red, green and blue phosphors on the monitor screen, yet seems to be as real as perspective geometry, ray tracing, depth cueing, texture mapping and other computer graphic devices can make it.
Using McLuhan's metaphor of computing as an extension of the human sensory system, Gibson describes the cyberspace matrix as "a drastic simplification of the human sensorium", and "a consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions (of people)... a graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system." Other science fiction writers of the "cyberpunk" genre such as Bruce Sterling and Rudy Rucker have also explored the notion of cyberspace, extending a tradition that includes John Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar and Shockwave Rider and Larry Niven's Ringworld and many others. Outside fiction, this accretion of cyberspace perspectives has been variously informed by philosophers, critics, artists and architects, including McLuhan, Norbert Weiner (Cybernetics), Jean Baudrillard (The Ecstasy of Communication), Buckminster Fuller (Education Automation), Myron Krueger (Artificial Reality), Gene Youngblood (Expanded Cinema) and the work of Nam June Paik, Stan Van der Beek, the Whitney brothers and the other artists featured in Jascia Reichardt's seminal Cybernetic Serendipity exhibition at London's Institute of Contemporary Art in 1968. The psychologist/guru Timothy Leary, interviewed by David Gale in 1991, is most eloquent about cyberspace:
"What we're talking about is electronic real estate, a whole electronic reality. The problem we have is to organise the great continents of data that will soon become available. All the movies, all the TV, all libraries, all recordable knowledge... These are the vast natural crude oil reserves waiting to be tapped. In the 15th century we explored the planet, now we must prepare once more to chart, colonise and open up a whole new world of data. Software becomes the maps and guides into that terrain.""

forest France
Université Sophia-Antipolis (Nice)

"Les bases sur lesquelles nous prétendions, hier, fonder et légitimer nos représentations deviennent précaires et souvent suspectes. Avec l'image télévisuelle, par exemple, notre perception vacille sous le choc temporel de la diffusion instantanée. Dans cette même image, l'obstacle physique comme l'obstacle du temps se diluent soudain dans un nuage bleuté d'électrons. L'espace se trouve aplati, rapetissé, laminé par le vecteur de communication. L'accéléré, le ralenti ou le retour en arrière de l'image filmique ou vidéo bouleversent nos concepts et nos conventions du temps. La notion d'espace continu et homogène de l'héritage euclidien s'effrite devant les nouveaux concepts d'espace discontinu, espace jalonné de quelques balises que notre perception à l'échelle humaine est bien incapable de repérer. Il faut donc, désormais, que nous apprenions à nous installer dans le provisoire. Il faut nous faire à l'idée d'une errance permanente, nous accommoder d'une instabilité que nous devrons bien finir par domestiquer; enfin, trouver ce point, à la fois fixe et mobile, d'où notre regard sera en mesure de découvrir et d'inventer cette nouvelle relation entre notre espace vécu, notre espace électronique et notre espace en devenir. Pour cela, nous devrons nous appuyer sur des notions qu'il faut intégrer au plus vite et qui portent pour noms des mots étrangers barbares: commutation, arborescence, intermittence, intervalle, modulaire, interactif, etc."


"C'est dans le roman de science-fiction Neuromancien de William Gibson que la plupart des gens entendirent parler pour la première fois d'entrer dans le monde informatique et de voler à travers des données. Publié en 1984, ce roman fut une source d'inspiration pour les jeunes bâtisseurs de mondes virtuels. On y trouvait une description du monde au siècle prochain, à une époque où le réseau téléphonique avait été remplacé par le Matrix, la somme interconnectée de tous les réseaux informatiques de la planète.
Cyberespace (Cyberspace ou espace cybernétique) est le nom donné par Gibson à cet univers informatique alternatif dans lequel les données existent comme des villes de lumière. Les travailleurs de l'information (et des organisations criminelles de voleurs de données) utilisent un système particulier de RV, appelé un «deck» ou tremplin, pour sauter dans le Matrix et parcourir ses autoroutes de données. Le «deck» leur donne la possibilité de se rendre physiquement n'importe où dans le Cyberespace."

youngblood États-Unis
Sante Fe College, Nouveau-Mexique

"Le modèle originel du réseau Café électronique international a été un événement artistique nommé le «Café électronique» que Kit et Sherrie ont produit à l'occasion des Jeux olympiques d'été de 1984 à Los Angeles. Ils désiraient confronter le mythe orwellien à un modèle démocratique de téléconférences multimédias publiques. Ils voulaient mettre en place un lieu commun de télécommunication dans lequel des gens aux modes de vie différents participeraient à l'élaboration de l'écologie de l'espace virtuel. «Le projet, explique Kit, était de créer un nouveau contexte dans lequel il serait possible de revenir à l'art de la conversation et d'oublier le langage de la diffusion de masse, de briser notre dépendance envers celle-ci pour créer le contexte, le programme et le jeu que nous jouons tous.» Kit et Sherrie ont proposé en 1984 de voir en Los Angeles un microcosme du monde en installant des centres publics de téléconférence dans cinq communautés ethniques de la ville. Mais quelle forme prendrait ce rendez-vous? Les artistes désiraient définir une zone neutre dans le paysage social, un lieu se situant quelque part entre les images du parc et du foyer, quelque part entre l'espace privé et l'espace culturel vacant qu'ils voulaient mettre de l'avant. Ce lieu devait être en quelque sorte une institution sociale universelle, familière à toutes les cultures et aux divers sites géographiques, et il devait rester autonome dans n'importe quel contexte. Ils ont vite réalisé que les cafés du voisinage étaient la solution. L'institution humaine la plus ancienne semblait la plus appropriée en tant que lieu commun informel. Les cafés refléteraient l'esprit et l'intention de l'environnement virtuel conceptualisé par Kit et Sherrie. Ils ont conçu un modèle de télécommunication qui était métaphoriquement une sorte de café électronique. Il devait refléter l'espace virtuel de cette institution sociale universelle où le rituel associé à la nourriture servirait de fondement à toutes les conspirations culturelles. Ils imaginèrent un environnement virtuel intime et décontracté, rappelant l'ambiance des cafés romantiques, un environnement très peu intimidant qui encouragerait les gens à s'attarder dans un espace électronique à la manière dont le firent les artistes, les bohémiens et les boulevardiers dans les cafés parisiens de la Belle Époque. La plupart des expériences que firent Kit et Sherrie en tant qu'Américains expatriés dans ces mêmes cafés parisiens, un siècle après les premiers avant-gardistes, pouvaient maintenant s'effectuer électroniquement. Dans l'espace virtuel créé par leur réseau, les gens pouvaient se voir et s'entendre, flirter, échanger des notes, dessiner ensemble sur une nappe virtuelle, ou planifier des révolutions. Le tout consistait à humaniser cette migration dans l'espace virtuel. «Les gens pouvaient réfléchir sur la télécommunication globale tout en étant assis sirotant un burrito», souligne Sherrie."

youngblood États-Unis
Sante Fe College, Nouveau-Mexique

"Sur le plan de la culture, le défi de créer au rythme où nous détruisons interpelle une autre forme d'art. Depuis dix-sept ans, Kit et Sherrie ont mis les artistes au défi de gravir un échelon, de commencer à produire à la vitesse de la réalité contemporaine.
«La question fondamentale de notre époque, ont-ils écrit, concerne l'écart qui sépare le potentiel technologique de l'imagination et de la compréhension humaines. Le défi, pour l'artiste et pour nous tous, consiste à réconcilier le caractère quantitatif de la technologie avec les désirs qualitatifs de l'humanité. Le rythme actuel et potentiel de destruction nous force à accélérer le rythme auquel nous acceptons d'imaginer. Si nous voulons façonner et contrôler notre destinée, nous devons commencer à voir, à juger, à imaginer selon une nouvelle "échelle de perspective". Nous devons commencer à créer au même rythme que nous détruisons. Sinon, l'art deviendra purement décoratif, l'esprit humain et l'imagination deviendront infirmes. La contrepartie du rythme de destruction est le rythme avec lequel l'ensemble de la population arrivera à communiquer.»
Le Café électronique international relève ce défi en tant que service public conçu dans le but de faciliter la collaboration artistique à l'échelle mondiale. «La nouvelle frontière n'est plus dans l'espace extérieur, avance Sherrie, mais dans la collaboration planétaire. Voilà l'art nouveau. On a le sentiment, dans le monde de l'art d'aujourd'hui, que le travail fait en collaboration est important, mais il n'y a pas de ressource pour y parvenir à l'échelle internationale.» Et Kit d'ajouter :
«Le Café électronique change le rôle de l'artiste qui passe de celui d'annonceur ou de présentateur du travail, à celui de partenaire, ou de cocréateur de l'oeuvre. Et tout en supportant un travail de présentation, le Café offre, et c'est le plus important, l'occasion d'établir des collaborations. Il s'implique réellement dans des collaborations et des cocréations rappelant les équipes de travail du monde des affaires qui se réunissent autour d'un même projet bien qu'elles soient dispersées géographiquement. Cette manière de faire va changer l'art. Non seulement ce que l'on appelle art, mais ce qu'il est susceptible de faire. Le réseau va au-delà de l'art; c'est aussi un laboratoire d'étude du comportement humain en situation de collaboration psychologique, sociale, politique. Son aspect le plus stimulant est sans doute le modèle de relations interculturelles qu'il engendrera, et les modèles qui en découleront pour l'ensemble de la société.»"

Dictionnaire des arts médiatiques
© 1996, Groupe de recherche en arts médiatiques - UQAM