Originally published in the catalogue Teleporting an Unkown State, Peter Tomaz Dobrila and Aleksandra Kostic, editors. Published by KIBLA, Maribor, Slovenia, 1998, pp. 5, 7. (ISBN 961-6304-00-3)
Peter Tomaz Dobrila
I don't exactly remember when I heard of Eduardo Kac for the first time, but I remember that I was immediately impressed by his work. Later, when I was surfing through his web pages (www.ekac.org), his retrospective struck me as a complete story of an artist, who has followed his credo from the very beginning and has never missed the point. Starting with the performances in his home country Brazil, on the Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro, in the 80´s, he clearly pointed out the body art principles of the 60´s generation. That was his answer to history, an answer with the media of present and the new media of the future, which would appear years later.
Communication as the wide core of his projects has been defined in various ways, concerning internal and external entities, from the intimacy of the human interior to something we could call a public appearance or a bourgeois role of the gallery space. Of course nothing is closer to the thin line between "in" and "out" as the tools which connect people or which seem to connect us into a global village. But what happens with our inner circle being disguised and discovered, hidden and shown at the same time, joining into bigger and bigger circles and forming new types of societies, forming new spheres of interest and changing our perspectives, emphasizing our perception and stimulating our behavior as a virtual collective?
Nothing was the same anymore, space lost its meaning, time reduced to messages sent and received became an intimate structure and the living creatures turned into data fields through biological/genetic analyses and technical/machine substitutes. Eduardo Kac experienced both, when he was creating murals, fax or teletex art, holographic poetry and recently, while performing implantation into his body or creating telecommunication events and interactive projects. His work has been given the Leonardo Award for Excellence and one of his pieces, called "Teleporting An Unknown State", is being exhibited in the Multimedia Center KiberSRCeLab - KIBLA and transmitted to the Internet. A seed on a bed of soil is developing into a plant by growing in a black box isolated from the natural environment. The whole process can be seen on the web until its last stage, when the plant is taken outside into its natural environment. Thus the cycle of artificial is finished and the new cycle of natural begins. But are there any borders at all? There is only a short path from the simulated laboratory environment to the real one, nevertheless it is a long process in the whole game of being. And what is it that really matters? Gertrude Stein would reply in the avant-garde manner: "A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose..."
These are only some of the questions and many answers raised by Eduardo Kac's work and I often wonder: What next? More than enough for us to follow his future steps.
Peter Tomaz Dobrila is the Head of Multimedia Center KiberSRCeLab - KIBLA, Maribor, Slovenia.
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