Distributed Aesthetics and the Tele-image


‘Beauty changes quickly, much as a landscape constantly changes with the position of the sun.’ (Rodin)

By recognising the close, coincidental relationship in the mid-19th century between the invention of photography and Samuel Morse’s first electric-telegraph message, this article develops some thoughts on contemporary aesthetics associated with digital images: images that are realised principally through transmission and relay on the Internet.

This research is drawn from my current research investigation of virtuality and the art of exhibition. This will entail three distinct, but inter-related strands of interdisciplinary investigation and subsequent analysis involving practice-based and research-led methodologies as well as critical theorisation. In particular, research-led practice will directly reference my curatorial design project, Remote (recently exhibited at Plimsoll Gallery in Hobart, Tasmania during June 2005). This will be complemented by practice-based research addressing the networked artworks of two artists represented in the exhibition whose respective practices involve the production of artworks that negotiate the un-fixed, refreshing nature of Webcam imagery: Susan Collins (UK) and Nancy Mauro-Flude (Tas/Neth). Finally, some preliminary thoughts that briefly outline the critical theorisation and contextualisation of this form of tele-image within the history of photographic image making will be interspersed throughout.

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Vince Dziekan is Senior Lecturer in Digital Imaging, and Deputy Head, Multimedia & Digital Art, at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

Over the years, he has used photography as a basis for his interdisciplinary research activities and towards negotiating the impact of digital technologies on art practice. He has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions in Australia, and, complementing his own artistic practice, has also curated exhibitions such as Archival Permanence: Time and Timelessness in 100 Years of Australian Photography, The Synthetic Image: Digital Technologies and the Image, Small Worlds: A Romance and Remote.

He is currently engaged in an ongoing interdisciplinary PhD project into the implications of virtuality and the art of exhibition. Additionally, he is associated with current ARC research on the Dictionary of Contemporary Australian Photography, and involved in research activities with The Omnium Project, including co-convening the Creative Waves project in 2005. He has published in relation to these research topics in peer-reviewed journals (M/C, Mesh/Experimenta, FibreCulture Journal) and refereed conferences, both nationally and internationally (including AoIR3.0/NetWorkTheory and AoIR4.0/Broadening the Band, PixelRaiders2, DCITA/OzeCulture, DRS/Futureground, Cumulus/Pride & PreDesign and Era05/World Design Congress).