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In Production

(A Narrative Inquiry on Interactive Art)

July 2013

“In Production (A Narrative Inquiry on Interactive Art)” is a free, digital companion chapter to Interactive Art and Embodiment: The Implicit Body as Performance (2013, an Arts Future Book with Gylphi Press). In the book, I argue that interactive art suspends and amplifies the ways in which we experience embodiment as per-formed, relational, and emergent. I provide many in-depth case studies of contemporary artworks that develop a practice of embodied philosophy, setting a stage to explore how we inter-act and relate with the world. I offer a critical framework for analyzing interactive artworks and what’s at stake in our encounters with them, which can be applied to a wide range of complex and emerging art forms. Here bodies, matter, and their matters, are implicated as always unfolding and enfolded to make what is.

At stake is the rehearsal of that making, the ways we perform our bodies, media, concepts, and materials. An/other form of case study, this chapter explores the understanding of interactive art through embodiment, and vice versa, within the production of media art itself. Here, my own continuous process of making interactive and digital work becomes a somewhat fictionalized but rigorous story about performance and relationality – (mostly) from the original perspective of a producing artist doing a humanities-based PhD in an engineering department, rather than a professor writing a book on the topic several years out. I spend the first half of the chapter arguing for arts production as research, and an experimental form of narrative inquiry as the best way to examine the implicit (and explicit) connections that are made in the studio. The second half uses affirmative methods of creative and scholarly writing to implicate the processes that led to the book’s core ideas, and continue to inform, perform, and transform their articulations as texts and works of art. – Nathaniel Stern

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