Contemporary Art @ Boğaziçi - Interview Project, 2010
Şenay Çınar, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Seaman is an internationally known media artist that has over thirty installation Works and commissions around the world, a dozen solo exhibitions, and numerous performance collaborations, video screenings, and articles/essays/reviews in boks and catalogues. He employs technological installation, virtual reality, non-linear video, and other computer-based media fort his body of work. The awards he won proves the success of his impressive-magnificant work.Seaman is currently a professor in Art, Art History and Visual Studies at Duke University.
Şenay Çınar: What is the background of your artistic work?
Bill Seaman: I studied first fine art foundation at Rhode
Island School of Design.I also studied sculpture and Video there. I
left for the San Francisco Art Institute and studies Video,
Performance, and Installation art getting a Bachelor of Fine Art in
1979. I went to MIT for my Master of Science in Visual Studies where
I explored Video, performance and interactive video at CAVS, the new
Media Lab and in the Film/Video Department. I also explored the
Visible Language Workshop(digital graphics) with Muriel Cooper when
she was alive. I began to use the computer in my work after MIT
(1985) I also have a PH.D. from CAIIA – The Center for Advanced
Inquiry in Interactive Art, University of Whales, Newport.(1999) where I wrote about Recombinant Poetics.
Şenay Çınar: And what is your purpose?
Bill Seaman: I am interested in meta-meaning systems and
generative systems that have some form of intelligence. More recently
I have been exploring Art/Science Relations and new forms of research
into what I call Neosentience (embodied, intelligent and creative
machines). I am deeply interested in image/sound/music/text
relationships across different media as a new form of computational
linguistics. My purpose is to explore these ideas, continue to learn,
and share my ideas with students, nurturing their growth.
Şenay Çınar: What was the development in the technical
equipment you have been working with?
Bill Seaman: I was using apple computers networked with laser
discs for interactive work in the 90s, shooting primarily video –
these works were elaborate navigational audio/visual poems/conceptual
texts enabling interaction; I also explored computer music working
with Macs and Midi – samplers and synths; I then shifted to
work with high end VR systems (SGI) in the late 90’s and
generative “recombinant” music and virtual world
generating; I am currently working with large scale generative works
on mac and pc; architectural scale installation; generative
recombinant music; and developing a new computational paradigm
related to the creation of an electrochemical computer and related
robotic system; I am finishing a book with Otto Rössler
(theoretical Physicist and Biologist) on Neosentience / The
Benevolence Engine – primarily a science/conceptual art book
about approaching the technologies/concepts to create such an entity;
I also have written many papers about media and new technologies
including Nanotechnology. More recently I have used Ableton Live for
Audio creation and have a band called SEA- Thoughtbody, and Songs and
Dances of the Neosentient are the albums on itunes. I have also
explored notions surrounding multi-modal sensing systems.
Şenay Çınar: Where does technology come into play?
Bill Seaman: I use it as a vehicle to point at the ideas I am
Şenay Çınar: Has interaction with the viewer played an
important role for you?
Bill Seaman: I have explored interactivity since around 1990
(See my Recombinant Poetics book – VDM press (and many papers).
I will continue to do so. More recently I have been interested in
autonomous machinic systems.
Şenay Çınar: Do you consider the development of technology
Bill Seaman: I am not sure if it is progress as much as
bringing about difference in the world. Certainly new approaches to
the computer and interface enable new ways to explore meaning. In art
there is no hierarchical value of one kind of art over another. Each new technology is “of itself” in terms of
the kinds of attributes/processes that they employ.
Şenay Çınar: You said in one of interviews that you picked
up things from several diciplines. How do you choose them?
Bill Seaman: I am open to many different approaches and
perspectives — a transdisciplinary approach... I pay attention
to the things that I am noticing and that interest me across many
fields. I read quite a bit from many domains and really enjoy this
process. My interests choose me...
Şenay Çınar: What do you think about the relation between
art and science? How do you combine them?
Bill Seaman: I am very interested in this area. I am making
works that to some may not be considered works of art –
especially the Electrochemical Computer but I think of this as a
branch of Conceptual Art. Historically there have been a number of
thinkers that have been both artist and scientist... I enjoy looking
at the fruits of their research – both poetic and scientific.
For the last decade I have had exciting conversations with the
Scientist Otto Rössler --- I bring an artistic perspective to
these discussions. In terms of work, I often take the ideas from
science and abstract them in new pieces --- e.g. "The
Architecture of Association" collaborating with Daniel Howe
points at human and machine-based association processes. This becomes
the driving force in the artwork – it is like looking at a
machine thinking... The media artist often intermingles scientific
ideas like artificial intelligence and computational potentials for
authorship with poetic ideas.