Dictation: A Canadian Perspective on the History of Telematic Art

Hank Bull

in Social Media Archeology and Poetics

Published by The MIT Press

Published in print August 2016 | ISBN: 9780262034654
Published online May 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780262336871 | DOI:
Dictation: A Canadian Perspective on the History of Telematic Art

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Canada, with its vast distances, was an early adopter of communications technologies. Starting in the 1970s, Canadian artists pursued the aesthetic strategies of correspondence art, video, telecommunications, and artist-run centers. Beginning with Bill Bartlett's Brechtian credo that real communication must be interactive, and noting Robert Filliou's influential concept of the “Eternal Network,” Hank Bull tells the story of a small group of artists who tested the potentials and implications of telecommunications art. He discusses radio, slowscan video, electronic mail and fax art, referring to specific projects produced for Ars Electronica (1983), Electra (Paris, 1983) and the Venice Biennale (1986). More recently, Shanghai Fax (1996), staged by Bull, with artists Shen Fan, Ding Yi, and Shi Yong, was one of the first international group exhibitions to take place in China since the revolution. In conclusion Bull emphasizes sympathetic listening in this new territory, where unfamiliar noises clash as new rhythms sound.

Keywords: Telematic Art - History; Telematic Art - Canada; Canadian Artists - Telecommunications; Communications Technologies; Correspondence Art; Bill Bartlett; Robert Filliou; Ars Electronica; Venice Biennale; Shanghai Fax

Chapter.  4889 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cultural Studies

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