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is there love in the telematic embrace?

‘In the context of telematic systems and the issue of content and meaning, the parallel shift in art of the status of “observer” to that of “participator” is demonstrated clear- ly if in accounts of the quantum principle we substitute “data” for “quanta”.’

‘How then, could there be a content—sets of meanings—contained within telematic art when every aspect of networking in dataspace is in a state of transformation and of becoming?’ Roy Ascott, in ‘Is There Love in the Telematic Embrace?’ 1991.

I love how, already in the nineties, Ascott predicted the current information overload and the subsequent loss of meaning it generates. My work here makes real these ideas by bring- ing them into a physical setting. I used con- cepts from quantum physics and post-structur- alism to inform a participatory installation that takes the form of a tangible, digitized painting or sculpture - a hands-on, 3D photo- shop. Participants can continuously build and compose new imagery, utilizing a myriad of colours to play with pattern making, by rear- ranging a multitude of magnetic platonic sol- ids on reflective steel surfaces.

These magnetic blocks are painted with colour schemes derived from 5 digitally deconstruct- ed, appropriated images of Franz Ackermann’s hyperreal (dis)utopian paintings. These prints are presented over the next few pages along side the work they inspired. I have exhibited the magnets twice before. At the start of each exhibition I arranged the blocks into 5 piles, each corresponding to a colour scheme print. Then, as the shows pro- gressed, this imposed order and my original intent was gradually lost and new structures were created by the audience/participators.


Original installation


Libby Heaney 4

Capsule - installation iii

Capsule Installation - I

Capsule Installation - II


Orange and Brown Blue Rose