Roy Ascott

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Roy Ascott
Born Roy Ascott
26 October 1934
Bath, Somerset, England
Nationality English
Education King's College, University of Durham (now Newcastle University)
Known for art, technoetics, syncretism
Notable work(s) La Plissure du Texte, Electra, Paris; Planetary Network, XLII Venice Biennale; Telematic Embrace: visionary theories of art, technology and consciousness University of California Press. 未来就是现在:艺术,技术和意识 [The Future is Now: Art, Technology, and Consciousness], Gold Wall Press, Beijing, 2012
Movement Telematic art
Awards Honorary Professor, Aalborg University, London. Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica Award for Visionary Pioneers of Media Art 2014.

British artist Roy Ascott (born 26 October 1934), Ars Electronica Golden Nica award winner, works with cybernetics and telematics on cybernetic art, focusing on the impact of digital and telecommunications networks on consciousness. He is President of the Planetary Collegium, and DeTao Master of Technoetic Arts at the Beijing DeTao Masters Academy in Shanghai. He is the founding editor of the research journal Technoetic Arts, an honorary editor of Leonardo Journal, and author of such the books as Telematic Embrace: Visionary Theories of Art, Technology and Consciousness, "未来就是现在:艺术,技术和意识", "테크노에틱 아트", and "テレマティックス:新しい美学の構築に向かって". His Golden Nica award was in the new Prix Ars Electronica 2014 category for visionary pioneers of media art, that is “those men and women whose artistic, technological and social achievements have decisively influenced and advanced the development of new artistic directions.”

Biography[edit]

Roy Ascott was born in Bath, England. He was educated at the City of Bath Boys' School. His National Service was spent as a commissioned officer in the RAF Fighter Command working with radar defence systems[1]). From 1955-59 he studied Fine Art at King's College, University of Durham (now Newcastle University) under Victor Pasmore and Richard Hamilton, and Art History under Lawrence Gowing and Quentin Bell. On graduation he was appointed Studio Demonstrator (1959–61). He then moved to London, where he established the radical Groundcourse at Ealing Art College, which he subsequently established at Ipswich Civic College, in Suffolk. Notable alumni of the Groundcourse include Brian Eno, Pete Townshend, Stephen Willats, and Michael English.

Ascott taught in London Ealing,[2] and was a visiting lecturer at other London art schools throughout the 1960s. Then briefly was President of Ontario College of Art,[3] Toronto, then Chair of Fine Art at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, before moving to California as Vice-President and Dean of San Francisco Art Institute, during the 1970s. He was Professor for Communications Theory at the University of Applied Arts Vienna[4] during the 1980s, and Professor of Technoetic Arts at the University of Wales, Newport in the 1990s.[5],. where he established the Centre for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts. He established the Planetary Collegium at Plymouth University in 2003.

He has advised new media arts organisations in Brazil, Japan, Korea, Europe and North America [6], as well as UNESCO[7], and was Visiting Professor (VI), Design|Media Arts, University of California Los Angeles (2003–07) [5] at the UCLA School of the Arts. Ascott was an International Commissioner for the XLII Venice Biennale of 1986 (Planetary Network and Laboratorio Ubiqua [6]).

He is the founding president of the Planetary Collegium an advanced research center which he set up in 2003 at the University of Plymouth, UK, where he is Professor of Technoetic Arts. The Collegium currently has nodes (linked centers) in Zurich,[7] and Milan., [8] I-Node [8] in Kefalonia, and NGL-Node in Lucernel [9]. In March 2012 he was appointed De Tao Master of Technoetic Arts with The Beijing DeTao Masters Academy (DTMA), a high-level, multi-disciplined, application-oriented higher education institution in Shanghai, China.[10]. In 2014, he established the Technoetic Arts Institute at DTMA, creating a BA Technoetic Arts degree programme, taught jointly with the Shanghai Institute of Visual Art.

Work[edit]

Since the 1960s, Roy Ascott has been a practitioner of interactive computer art, electronic art, cybernetic art and telematic art.

The historian of art and technology Frank Popper writes of Roy Ascott:[9]

Roy Ascott was among the first artists to launch an appeal for total spectator participation ... At present, Ascott is one of the most outstanding artists and theoreticians in the field of telematics.

In his first show (1964) at the Molton Gallery, London [11], he exhibited Analogue Structures and Diagram Boxes, comprising change-paintings and other works in wood, perspex and glass. In 1964 Ascott published "Behaviourist Art and the Cybernetic Vision" in Cybernetica: journal of the International Association for Cybernetics (Namur). In 1968, he was elected Associate Member of the Institution of Computer Science, London (proposed by Gordon Pask). In 1972, he became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Ascott has shown at the Venice Biennale, Shanghai Biennale, Electra Paris, Ars Electronica, V2 Institute for the Unstable Media [12], Milan Triennale, Biennale do Mercosul, Brazil, European Media Festival, and gr2000az at Graz, Austria. His first telematic project was La Plissure du Texte (1983), [13] an online work of "distributed authorship" involving artists around the world. The second was his "gesamtdatenwerk" Aspects of Gaia: Digital Pathways across the Whole Earth (1989),an installation for the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, discussed by (inter alia) Matthew Wilson Smith in The Total Work of Art: from Bayreuth to Cyberspace, New York: Routledge, 2007. Retrospective exhibitions of his work were shown in May 2009 at Plymouth Arts Centre, England, then in the Incheon International Digital Arts Festival, Incheon, South Korea in September 2010, and at SPACE (studios) in Hackney, London in 2011. Syncretic Cybernetics, a comprehensive exhibition of his work, was featured in the 9th Shanghai Biennale 2012. Roy Ascott: The Analogues (featuring his work of the 1960s) was shown at the Plug-in Institute ofContemporary Arts [14], Winnipeg, July-Sept 2013. A seminal work of 1962, "Video-Roget", was acquired in 2014,by the Tate Gallery, London for its permanent collection.

Interactive computer art[edit]

Since the 1960s, Ascott has been a working with interactive computer art, telematic art.[10] and systems art. Ascott built a theoretical framework for approaching interactive artworks, which brought together certain characteristics of Dada, Surrealism, Fluxus, Happenings, and Pop Art with the science of cybernetics.[11] He was also influenced by the writings of Gordon Pask, Anthony Stafford Beer, William Ross Ashby, and F.H. George.[12]

Books Authored by Roy Ascott[edit]

  • " 未来就是现在:艺术,技术和意识 The Future is Now: Art, Technology, and Consciousness. 2012.Beijing: Gold Wall Press.2012
  • Telematic Embrace: Visionary Theories of Art, Technology, and Consciousness. Ed. and Intro. by Edward A. Shanken. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2007.
  • "테크노에틱 아트 Technoetic Arts (trans: YI, Won-Kon), (Media & Art Series no. 6, Institute of Media Art, Yonsei University). Yonsei: Yonsei University Press. 2002.
  • "テレマティックス:新しい美学の構築に向かって Art & Telematics: toward the Construction of New Aesthetics. (trans: E. Fujihara). Tokyo: NTT Publishing Co. 1998.

Books edited by Roy Ascott[edit]

  • Ascott, R., Girao, L. M. (eds). Presence in the Mindfield: art, identity,and the technology of transformation. Aveiro, Portugal: Universidade deAveiro. 2011.
  • Ascott, R., Gangvik, E., Jahrmann, M. (eds). Making Reality Really Real. Trondheim: TEKS. 2010.
  • Ascott, R., Bast, G., Fiel, W. (eds). New Realities: Being Syncretic. Vienna: Springer. 2009.
  • Ascott, R. (ed). Engineered Nature: art and consciousness in the post-biological era. Bristol: Intellect Books. 2006.
  • Ascott, R. (ed). Art Technology Consciousness. Exeter: Intellect Books. 2000
  • Ascott, R. (ed). Reframing Consciousness. Exeter: Intellect Books. 1999

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Technology and Intuition: A Love Story? Roy Ascott's Telematic Embrace
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Wolfe, Morris. OCA 1967-1972: Five Turbulent Years. Toronto: Grubstreet Books, 2002. ISBN 0-9689737-0-1
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ Planetary Network - Venice Biennale 1986
  7. ^ Z-Node - The Zurich Node of Plymouth University, in The Institute of Cultural Studies, Art and Design School, Zurich, Switzerland
  8. ^ M-Node - The Milan Node of Plymouth University, in The Institute of New Technology for Art, Media Design and New Media art School, Milan, Italy
  9. ^ Popper, Frank (2007). From Technological to Virtual Art. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-262-16230-2. 
  10. ^ artmuseum.net
  11. ^ http://www.plymouthartscentre.org/art/royascott.html
  12. ^ A critical survey of Ascott's work is provided by Edward A. Shanken in his introductory essay "From Cybernetics to Telematics: The Art, Pedagogy, and Theory of Roy Ascott" in Ascott, R. 2003. Telematic Embrace: Visionary Theories of Art, Technology and Consciousness. (ed. Edward A. Shanken). Berkeley: University of California Press. [4]

External links[edit]