ENGAGING TECHNOLOGY
A HISTORY AND FUTURE OF INTERMEDIA

BALL STATE UNIVERSITY MUSEUM OF ART
NOVEMBER 17, 2006 THROUGH MARCH 11, 2007

http://idialab.org/engagingtechnology/

Engaging Technology traces a range of both pioneering and contemp-orary works exploring the intersections of electronic media and various modes of art-making. The artists selected for this exhibition – Richard Bloes, Hans Breder, Adam Brown, Dick Higgins, Gary Hill, Jenny Holzer, Golan Levin, Nam June Paik, and Alan Rath have contributed works encompassing a broad array of forms including video, sculpture, sound, music, electronic installation and interactive environments.

The opening of this exhibition happens to coincide with the coining of the term intermedia forty years ago by the fluxus artist, Dick Higgins. Below, Higgins addresses a societal question central to artists working within technological media.

Higgins asks:

…For the last ten years or so, artists have changed their media to suit this situation, to the point where the media have broken down in their traditional forms, and have become merely puristic points of reference. The idea has arisen, as if by spontaneous combustion throughout the entire world, that these points are arbitrary and only useful as critical tools, in saying that such-and-such a work is basically musical, but also poetry. This is the intermedial approach, to emphasize the dialectic between the media… Does it not stand to reason, therefore, that having discovered the intermedia [which was, perhaps, only possible through approaching them by formal, even abstract means], the central problem is now not only the new formal one of learning to use them, but the new and more social one of what to use them for?
Dick Higgins
Statement on Intermedia
New York
August 3, 1966

Intermedial investigation is generally interdisciplinary and often collaborative in its exploration of center spaces between genres, media and established boundaries. These expanded intermedial approaches can find their center in potentially any discipline including visual art, music, engineering, performing arts, architecture, social theory and the sciences. Although intermedia art is not always necessarily technologically based, the artists represented in this exhibition explore electronic intermedia art in its various manifestations. Intermedia artists are often interested in the relationship between a viewer and a work of art. In encountering that threshold of engagement, the viewer is invited to enter into a partnership in shaping the direction of the work. The engagement and experience of the viewer is therefore essential to the completion of the work’s meaning.

Engaging Technology is supported by the Ball State University Museum of Art, the Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts and Animation, the Center for Media Design and Lilly Foundation, Inc. I would like to thank Peter Blume and Tania Said at the BSU Museum of Art for their support in organizing this exhibition and my mentor and friend, Hans Breder for his continued guidance and insight throughout the years.

John Fillwalk, Curator
Director
Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts
Ball State University