In what way virtual reality relates to physical reality? Artists working with electronic media usually hardly consider this question because of the relatively easy availability of all sorts of portable audio and video-equipment. One of the consequences of this situation is that the electronic arts are only presented in temporarily accomodated buildings during festivals or fairs. Since it is to be expected that this may change in the near future, it is a challenge to prepare for new forms of architecture by studying the history of the ideas and concepts of buildings dedicated and specially designed for the electronic culture.

In this research a number of historical and contemporary examples of architectural ideas for the presentation of the new media arts will be presented and analysed. Special attention will be given to the early years of the electronic arts in the lowlands — Belgium and the Netherlands. At the same time we will explore to what extent interpretation of and experimentation with digital media can inform theory and how our understanding of digital media can contribute to our understanding of social and cultural change. Focussing upon the expanding emerging artistic prospects made possible by technology, we will explore the new directions in art that have arisen between the planes of science, technological development and cultural expression.

Research fellows are Boris Debackere, Steven Devleminck and Frans Evers.

Visual Communication

Visual Communication explores relationships between meaning and information in a visual form. The context for this exploration is set by consideration of the following subjects: the relationship of style and content; gesture and language; interface and interactive narration; social and technological developments. Visual communication is the conveyance of ideas and information in forms that can be read or looked upon, and there is, of course, a variety of ways to present information visually (through gestures, body languages, maps, video, etc.).

Recent research in the field has focused on the various principles underlying these complex communications systems such as web design and graphically oriented usability, non-linear writing, multiplicity of points of view, fragmentation, dialogue. Issues of navigation in time and space, the placement of the user, interactive and collaborative authoring, open and closed compositions are studied to understand the underlying structure of the work: how meaning is communicated through visual images and its relationship with the media arts.

Walking Together

A collaboration between researchers in Sociology and Visual Art to extend the theoretical framework through which walking is understood as an art practice and through which new artwork can be made. A contribution to the understanding of walking in its more familiar, everyday context, as it is studied in the Social Sciences and Humanities.

Research fellow is Simon Pope.
Supported by IVOK.