Contemporary Art @ Boğaziçi - Interview Project, 2010

Roy Ascott (England, 1934)

Kuzey Sinnar, altay_sinnar@yahoo.co.uk

Kuzey Sinnar: In the most biographies and articles about you, Roy Ascott is defined as a man who “brought together the science of cybernetics with elements of Dada, Surrealism, Fluxus and Pop Art.” Do you agree with that definition and how can you define yourself and your art works?

Roy Ascott: Certainly I responded to many aspects of these movements but by far the most influential in my development were Duchamp and Pollock.

Kuzey Sinnar: Long before the artistic use of internet and web, what was your vision while creating “Telematic Art” concept? In other words what do you want to do at the beginning?

Roy Ascott: I wanted to create a form of “distributed authorship” and a connectivity of minds. I could see an art of the immaterial, with thought at a distance, deep collective memory, and augmented perception (cyberception).

Kuzey Sinnar: You have tried to do unique things in art, in aesthetics and purposes. What do you think about the role of artist in today’s World?

Roy Ascott: Today, Art has become:
a form of entertainment,
a provider of special effects
a vehicle of financial investment
an illustration/demonstration of scientific principles

It could provide:
pathways to new forms of perception
access to new levels of consciousness.
And
Enable the emergence of the Multiple Self
Enrich associative thought/creativity in other domains
Syncretise diverse cultural/spiritual aspirations and dogmas
Legitimize subjectivity in science

Kuzey Sinnar: You haven’t stopped since the Sixties, with words such as “telematics”, “cybernation”, “syncretic art” and “moistmedia”. What infuse you to create these theories and the projects?

Roy Ascott: New ideas and new processes of creation call for articulation and implementation of new behaviors in newly perceived contexts or environments. This means that new terminology and new language has to be created.  Neologisms provide a succinct tag for these changes.

Kuzey Sinnar: How do technological developments affect your works and inspiration skills when you compared them with studies which you held in early sixties? Could you compare advantages and disadvantages brought by technological developments?

Roy Ascott: There have been no real advances in the scientific understanding of consciousness despite some technoetic developments. The ‘hard problem’ remains.

Nanoscience has arisen, but we are far from socially exploiting its technological application

Our ontology is still object based and materially oriented. Field theory has not advanced significantly.

Although there is consistent updating of the interface, telematic and robotic systems are not radically different.

Social attitudes have changed; wider Access to technological developments is evident.

Social networking, and the freeing up of personal identity, mark one of the more significant developments in recent years

Kuzey Sinnar: What are you planning to do in the future? What prospects do you see?

Roy Ascott: Preparing for and assisting in the coming quantum leap in creativity and technology, when moistmedia moves beyond simplistic ‘bio--‐art’ to pharma--‐art.  Where the chemistry of the brain takes over from the purely digital culture.

Widening (geographically) and deepening (intellectually, socially), and increasing (the nodes) of the Planetary Collegium.

Seeking more intimate relationship with techno--‐mediated systems and spiritual processes (chemistry of the brain).

ET CETERA…!

tivity and technology, when moistmedia moves beyond simplistic ‘bio--‐art’ to pharma--‐art.  Where the chemistry of the brain takes over from the purely digital culture.

Widening (geographically) and deepening (intellectually, socially), and increasing (the nodes) of the Planetary Collegium.

Seeking more intimate relationship with techno--‐mediated syste