The Museum of the Third Kind
|There is an art which exists only in the Net, for the Net and by the Net alone. This is destined to be a part of the Museum of the Third Kind. It uses the computer not as a video terminal, through which you view objects of art, a kind of digital carousal projector, but as a screen of operations, an interface, which enables you to enter into a process of manipulation and transformation of images, texts and sound. It deals not so much with the behaviour of forms, the aesthetic of appearance, as with forms of behaviour, the aesthetic of apparition, of coming-into-being. Your interaction is with its multi-mediated form and its many layered meanings. It is about the viewer being active in the creation of art, actually with the creation of meaning.|
discussion of the museum of the future must necessarily respond to the
computer-mediated practices which define the canon of late 20th century
art. While that seems to make sense in the context of a culture saturated
with computer and communications systems, services and products it would
be shortsighted for this perspective to disregard the impact that biotechnology,
molecular engineering, and artificial life may exert on the arts over
the next 25 years. The electronics revolution has moved from where it
started in communications, to the digital computer, and now into the human
brain. It is the new biological and cognitive sciences rather than computer
science which lead the way. Indeed it could be argued that while the body
and its presence, as an instrument of interactivity and a subject or virtuality,
dominates muchcurrent discourse, it will be questions of the mind/brain,
that is to say consciousness, which will come to dominate art practice
in the future. And the future is all that museums can provide for. We
know now that there is no absolute history, that the past is written in
the present. We are irredeemably futures-oriented, and our museums as
well as our institutions of learning must come to reflect that. One thing
is certain. Nothing is given, neither the past, present nor future: all
is constructed, and the site of that construction is our own consciousness.
It is well recognised that consciousness is a field, and that telematic
systems are a part of its evolution.
The Internet, as it develops, may indeed come to provide the infrastructure of a global mind. Thus in one respect the museum must be a part of that infrastructure, but it would be both foolish and shortsighted to think that the museum should be no more than that, that it should exist only in cyberspace, online or in a state of total virtuality. Electronic art is soon to become bio-electronic art, just as the primary element of its practice, the microchip is about to become the bio chip, and the digital computer gives way to the neural network. We are moving towards the spiritual in art in ways that Kandinsky could hardly have imagined, such that telepresence will be accompanied by teleprescience, and cybernetic systems will integrate with psychic systems, mutating into what could be called psybernetics.
This attitude is reflected in the remarks of Isao Karube, a leading-edge technologist of Tokyo University. "Now that people's attention is turning towards the inner world, in the developed countries where materialism has reached saturation point, the future of electronics depends on the problem of what sort of approach to take towards the brain, the neurons, and the mind."
|| Museums of the Mind ||