Interactive art  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Interactive art is a form of installation-based art that involves the spectator in a way that allows the art to achieve its purpose. Some installations achieve this by letting the observer walk in, on, and around them. Works of art frequently feature computers and sensors to respond to motion, heat, meteorological changes or other types of input their makers programmed them to respond to. Most examples of virtual Internet art and electronic art are highly interactive. Sometimes, visitors are able to navigate through a hypertext environment; some works accept textual or visual input from outside; sometimes an audience can influence the course of a performance or can even participate in it.

Interactive art can be distinguished from Generative art, Electronic art, or Immersive virtual reality in that it constitutes a dialogue between the art work and the participant; specifically, the participant has agency, or the ability to act upon the art work and is furthermore invited to do so within the context of the piece, i.e. the work affords the interaction. In an increasing number of cases an installation can be defined as a responsive environment, especially those created by architects and designers. By contrast, Generative Art, which is interactive, but not responsive per se, tends to be a monologue - the artwork may change or evolve in the presence of the viewer, but the viewer may not be invited to engage in the reaction but merely enjoy it.

A hybrid emerging discipline drawing on the combined interests of specific artists and architects has been created in the last 10–15 years. Disciplinary boundaries have blurred, and significant number of architects and interactive designers have joined electronic artists in the creation of new, custom-designed interfaces and evolutions in techniques for obtaining user input (such as dog vision, alternative sensors, voice analysis, etc.); forms and tools for information display (such as video projection, lasers, robotic and mechatronic actuators, led lighting etc.); modes for human-human and human-machine communication (through the Internet and other telecommunications networks); and to the development of social contexts for interactive systems (such as utilitarian tools, formal experiments, games and entertainment, social critique, and political liberation).

Interactive architecture has now been installed on and as part of building facades, in foyers, museums and large scale public spaces, including airports, in a number of global cities. A number of leading museums, for example, the National Gallery, Tate, Victoria & Albert Museum and Science Museum in London (to cite the leading UK museums active in this field) were early adoptors in the field of interactive technologies, investing in educational resources, and more latterly, in the creative use of MP3 players for visitors. In 2004 the Victoria & Albert Museum commissioned curator and author Lucy Bullivant to write Responsive Environments (2006), the first such publication of its kind. Interactive designers are frequently commissioned for museum displays; a number specialize in wearable computing.

There are number of globally significant festivals and exhibitions of interactive and media arts. Prix Ars Electronica is a major yearly competition and exhibition that gives awards to outstanding examples of (technology-driven) interactive art. Association of Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group in Graphics (SIGGRAPH), DEAF Dutch Electronic Arts Festival, Transmediale Germany, FILE - Electronic Language International Festival Brazil, and AV Festival England, are among the others. CAiiA, Centre for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts, first established in 1994 at the University of Wales, Newport, and later in 2003 as the Planetary Collegium, was the first doctoral and post doc research center to be established specifically for research in the interactive art field.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Interactive art" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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