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betweenus is the site of metaphor. Even if scientistsseekonlypragmatic necessity and sufficiency in their metaphoricsystems , and artistswant onlypersonal liberation and transformation,we all share the desireto escape the limitation of language , to extend the limitationsof mind and body, to fly, to penetrate the unknown and invisible. In both art and science all is metaphor driven by desire: there are no absolutes to be found, only layersof transienthypotheses to be nege tiated or constructed, setwithin a field of uncertainty.And with scientists,we share the understandingthat the viewing sub ject, by choice of the measuring system employed, createsthe realitythat is perceived out of that infinityof possible statesthat all objectsof our perception potentiallypossess. Nature but Reality itself is constructed by us, to fit our sensoryand cognitive limitations and to satisfy our conceptual longings.With post-biological insight, we now contemplate the eventualcreation of self-organizinglivingsystems, beyond a simple intervention towards full collaborationwith the processes of lie. The question for the artist in the comingdecadesis whether art should continue on its course of simulationand representation or whether it can engage in a radical constructivism,a generative redefinition and reconstruction of life, of nature and of ourselves.Thus,just as Modernist materialismgaveway to the immaterialof the post-modern,so now we seevirtualisttechnologiespreparing the way for a re-materialisationof culture , the artist as initiator of self-organizing systems.Virtual Reality provides a test bed for our eventualexperiments with artifkial lie. Open-endedness,disequilibrium ,interconnectedness, complexity ,self-organisation,emergence, holism, evolution become as much key words in the discourse of art as they have become in science. The orthodoxview of the Real and the Natural mediated by artisticand scientific metaphor of the last two centurieswas wholly artificial. It was this artificethat the Romanticswere in Eactworshippingwhen they extolledthe countrysideortheir own souls. Naturewas an inventionfaultlessly constructedin all itsrepresentations-as coherent and seamlessasthe realityto which the most advancedprogrammesof cyberspace aspire.Throughout the twentieth century,artists and scientists, searching for new modelsof the world and of themselves, have found that old Nature is Current thinking holds that not only effectivelydead,just as the old Self-isolated , unconnected,alienated-is no longera satisfactorymodel of ourBeing. In place of the paranoia that has characterizedWestern societysince the Renais sance,feedingsecrecy, competition, alienation,aswell as popularfearsofscience and technology,we axe now engaged in acts of redescriptionand reconstructionof the world,and new definitionsare emergingofwhat life might become,within the frame of telenk, of co-operativeconsciousness,the generosity of mind-at-large. This death of Artifice signals the birth of a new life for art set in a post-biological culture. Telenoia allowsfor richly interactive networksofmeaning, image and hypothesis.With multiple access points to the global matrix, there will be an endlessflux and flow of transformations in which everythingis fecundly unstable, uncertain, openended and incomplete. This gives rise to the idea of implicatemeaningin art,where each quantum of meaning is many-layered, carryingwithin it a multiplicityof possible semantictrajectories, depending on the viewing subject. Telenoia will lead us to celebrate and explore this explosion of meaning and its swirlinginfinity of fragmentswhich may lead eventually to a semanticreseedingofthe planet,just as the artist’s involvementin the formulation of self-organisingsystemsand artificial life could lead to the amelioration and reconstruction ofour material environment and the redescription of the human condition. ROYASCOTT H m a vEditor 64UpperCheltenham Place, Bristol BS6 5HR, United Kingdom To Rediscover the Wheel? The Dilemmaof the Inventive Technologist i n the Third World In February 1988,Von Weizsatker,president of what was then West Germany, visitedNigeria. One very delightfulitem on the list of visits and activitiesscheduled for him was (at his request) an informal chat with visual artists,musicians ,writers and educators. The informal session took place at the Goethe Institut Lagos on February 7. I was one of the privileged invitees. As mightbe expected, the “party”was lively, full of cordiallycontroversialstatements and retorts, humor and witticisms. Discussion graduallymoved to the waysin which Nigeriacould benefitfrom the enviableposition of Germanyin the area of art/design/science/technology. One participant at the sessionwas the vice chancellor of one of Nigeria’s top universities,who had recently returned from a tour of Germany.He made a request that highlighted the frustration and hopelessness of the dreamers among us who...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-9282
Print ISSN
0024-094X
Pages
pp. 177-178
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-04
Open Access
No
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