Articles and Essays

Below you will find abstracts, articles, essays, and papers by Eduardo Kac on visual art, experimental poetry, and electronic media.

For articles in languages other than English, please click on the language of choice at the top of Kac Web's home page.

Satellite Art: An Interview with Nam June Paik

Originally published in Portuguese in the newspaper O Globo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in July 10, 1988. This exclusive interview was done over the phone, between Rio de Janeiro and New York, on the occasion of Nam June Paik's forthcoming live television special "Wrap Around the World".

Wrap Around the World

Originally published in Portuguese in the newspaper O Globo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in September 10, 1988, on the day of Nam June Paik's live television special "Wrap Around the World".

Ornitorrinco: Exploring Telepresence and Remote Sensing

This abstract was received by the Leonardo office on 26 July, 1990, and published in Leonardo, Vol. 24, No.2, p. 233, 1991. It introduces 'telepresence' as a new art category.

Photonic Webs in Time: The Art of Holography

The first version of this paper was writen in 1990. Subsequent versions were published in New Media Technologies, Ross Harley, editor (New South Wales, Australia: AFTRS, 1993), pp. 123-139; and in Display Holography (Fifth International Symposium - Proc. SPIE 2333), Tung H. Jeong, Editor (Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 1995), pp. 123-137. This paper discusses the aesthetics of holography from the point of view of theories of perception and representation. The paper challenges the notion that holography is exclusively an art of space, revealing it as a time-based medium.

Aspects of the Aesthetics of Telecommunications

Originally published in Siggraph Visual Proceedings, John Grimes and Gray Lorig, Editors (New York: ACM, 1992), pp. 47-57. Republished in English and German in Zero -- The Art of Being Everywhere, Robert Adrian X and Gerfried Stocker, Editors (Graz, Austria: Steirische Kulturinitiative, 1993), pp. 24-32, 40-48, 62-69, 75-92. Also republished in English and Hungarian in the art magazine Árnyékkötôk, N. 15, Vol. 6, Budapest, Hungary; and in Portuguese in the book Comunicação na Era Pósmoderna, Monica Rector and Eduardo Neiva (editors), Editora Vozes, Rio de Janeiro, 1998, pp. 175-199. Published in French in: ConneXions : Art, Réseaux, Media. Annick Bureaud and Nathalie Magnan, eds. (Paris: École nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, 2002), pp. 253-269. Excerpted in German in: hrsg. Jeannot Simmen. Telematik. NetzModerneNavigatoren (Verlags-Buchhandlung Walter König, Köln, 2001), pp. 102-104.

This paper discusses the history and theory of pre-Web telecommunications art, from early avant-garde radio and Moholy-Nagy's Telephone Pictures to international collaborative works.

Recent Experiments in Holopoetry and Computer Holopoetry

Originally published in Display Holography (Fourth International Symposium - Proc. SPIE 1600), Tung H. Jeong, Editor (Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 1991), pp. 229-236. This paper gives an overview of the development of visual poetry in the twentieth century; it then introduces theoretical issues in holopoetry and discusses new holopoems created between 1989 and 1991.

On the notion of Art as a Visual Dialogue

Originally published in French and English in Art-Reseaux, Karen O'Rourke, Editor (Paris: Université de Paris I, 1992), pp. 20-23. This article asserts that dialogical structures offer alternatives to the traditional unidirectional system of art.

Holopoetry, Hypertext, Hyperpoetry

Originally published in Holographic Imaging and Materials (Proc. SPIE 2043), Tung H. Jeong, Editor (Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 1993), pp. 72-81. This paper presents new digital holopoems. It also dicusses hypertext and introduces the first hyperpoem created by the author.

Telepresence Art

Originally published in English and German in Teleskulptur, Richard Kriesche, Editor (Graz, Austria: Kulturdata, 1993), pp. 48-72. This paper lays the theoretical foundation of the interactive art of telepresence, defining it in the intersection of telecommunications, computers, and robotics. This paper was published in the book that accompanied the International telecommunications art festival "Beyond Boundaries", realized in and out of Graz. The paper also mentions the intercontinental telepresence installation "Ornitorrinco on the Moon", realized between Graz and Chicago by the author in collaboration with Ed Bennett, and which was specially comissioned for the festival. A shorter version of the paper appeared as "Telepresence: A New Communicative Experience", Epipháneia, N. 2, Salerno, Italy, pp. 53-55.

Eduardo Kac -- The Aesthetics of Dialogue

In this interview, realized by Simone Osthoff on July 8, 1994, Kac traces the development of his work from the early '80s in Rio de Janeiro to the mid '90s in Chicago.

Beyond the Spatial Paradigm:
Time and Cinematic Form in Holographic Art

Originally published in the international bi-lingual film magazine BLIMP, Graz, Austria, Fall 1995, pp. 48-57. Republished in: Jung, Dieter. Holographic Network (Bramsche, Germany: Rasch Verlag, 2003), p. 180-182. Republished in Portuguese in : Maciel, Katia: Transcinemas (Rio de Janeiro: Contra Capa, 2007). This article discusses the work of artists that explore temporal elements in holography, as well as the incipient forms of holographic cinema and video in Russia, Japan, France, and the United States. Artists discussed include Dean Randazzo, Paul Newman, Vito Orazem, and Rudie Berkhout.

Interactive Art on the Internet

Originally published in English and German in Mythos Information; Welcome to the Wired World, Karl Gerbel and Peter Weibel, Editors (Vienna, New York: Springer-Verlag, 1995), pp. 170-179. This book was published on the occasion of the 1995 edition of the annual electronic art festival and symposium Ars Electronica. This essay discusses new forms of interactive art that take place on the Internet, including hypertext pieces, web sites, hybrid television broadcasts, and telepresence installations.

Ornitorrinco and Rara Avis: Telepresence Art on the Internet

Originally published in the Digital Salon special issue of Leonardo, Vol. 29, N. 5, 1996, pp. 389-400, with a technical appendix by Ed Bennett. The article discusses conceptual, cultural, and technical implications of telepresence art on the Net, with emphasis on the Ornitorrinco project and the piece Rara Avis. Different versions of this article have appeared in books in Russia, Brazil, Spain, and Germany. A French version is included below.

L'Art de la Téléprésence sur l'Internet

Text of Kac's lecture (in French) originally presented at the Colloque Les Treilles, on L'art technologique, sponsored by the Les Treilles Foundation and which took place at the Schlemberger State, in Tourtour, France, on March 1997. First published in the French journal Alliage, N. 33-34, Hiver 97-Printemps 98, pp. 25-33. For more information on the Colloquium, see the Projet Colloque des Treilles site.

Robotic Art

Statement written by Eduardo Kac and Marcel.lí Antúnez Roca in 1996. Originally published on the Web in Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Vol. 5, N. 5, May 1997.

Live from Mars

Written on July 4, 1997, the day of the historical Mars Pathfinder landing, and published here on July 5, 1997, this article is a reflection on the cultural meaning of telepresence, as experienced simultaneously by millions of people via televison (and on the Web). The article was also published in the July '97 edition of Leonardo Electronic Almanac (on the Web) and in Leonardo, Vol. 31, N. 1, 1998, pp. 1-2.

Origin and Development of Robotic Art

Originally appeared in Art Journal, Vol. 56, N. 3, Digital Reflections: The Dialogue of Art and Technology, Special issue on Electronic Art, Johanna Drucker, (ed.), CAA, NY, 1997, pp. 60-67. This article defines a framework for the understanding and analysis of robotic art. It discusses three pivotal art works from the 1960s that outlined the genesis of robotics in art and that formed the basis of the three main directions in which robotic art has developed. This article also elucidates the new issues raised by current robotic artworks and clarify their relationship to the main paths defined by those three early works.

Beyond the Screen: New Directions in Interactive Art

Originally published in Veredas, Ano 3, No. 32, 1998, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, pp. 12-15, and Blimp - Film Magazine, N. 40, Graz, Austria, 1999, pp. 49-54. This article discusses interactive art that explores alternative interfaces, complex navigation structures, and distributed exhibition venues, often combining elements of both physical and virtual domains of experience.

Negotiating Meaning: The Dialogic Imagination in Electronic Art

Originally appeared in Proceedings of Computers in Art and Design Education Conference, University of Teesside, UK, 1999, n.p.n. (ISBN 0-907550-66-5). This paper shows that new insights can be gained by examining art works that are themselves real dialogues, i.e., active forms of communication between two living entities. These works can often be found among artists that pursue the aesthetics of telecommunications media. To name these works, the author proposes a literal use of the term "dialogism".

Dialogical Telepresence Art and Net Ecology

Originally published in: Goldberg, Ken (Editor). The Robot in the Garden: Telerobotics and Telepistemology in the Age of the Internet (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2000), pp. 180-196. The works discussed in this paper created dialogical telepresence experiences. They suggest the need to nurture a network ecology with humans and other mammals, with plants, insects, artificial beings, and avian creatures.

Against Gravitropism: Art and the Joys of Levitation

Originally published in Kostic, Aleksandra (ed.). I Leviate, What's Next... (Maribor, Slovenia: Kibla, 2001), pp. 88-97. Updated and republished in French and English in: Space Art, A. Bureaud, J.-L. Soret (dir.), catalogue du Festival @rt Outsiders 2003, numéro spécial, Anomos, Paris, sept. 2003, pp. 196-199. Also published in Tate in Space, 2003 <> and Art Catalysts, 2003 < >. Updated and republished in : Zero Gravity: A Cultural Users Guide (London: The Arts Catalyst, 2005), pp. 18-25. Published in German as: "Gegen den Gravitropismus", Der Freund, N. 4, Sept. 2005, Hamburg, pp. 80-88.This article discusses the premise that neutralization of gravity on Earth, as well as creation in zero gravity environments, opens up new possibilities for art.

Robotic Art Chronology

Originally published in Convergence, Spring 2001, Volume 7, N. 1, 87-111

The chronology covers the period from 1955 to 1996.

Telepresence Art (Artforum Hotlist)

Originally published in Artforum, September 2001, p. 42. This Artforum Hotlist discusses telepresence artworks created in the 1990s that employ either proprietary networks or the Internet.


Originally published in Cybertext Yearbook 2002-03, Edited by Markku Eskelinen & Raine Koskimaa, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, 2003, pp. 184-185. In a world of clones, chimeras, and transgenic creatures, it is time to consider new directions for poetry in vivo.

Un après-midi chez Otto

Originally published in Les Cahiers européens de l'imaginaire, Paris, Février 2012.

Interview with Otto Muehl realized in 2011.

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