What is interactive art?

by Priveekollektie / Geen categorie / 25 March 2020

By Annemarijn-Ingelaat

What is interactive art?

Since the development and integration of computers and technology into daily life, artists have experimented with various media in artworks. Interactive art uses technology to communicated in a direct way to let their audience participate. Creation is no longer solely understood as an expression of the artist’s inner creativity, but also as a result of the collaboration between artist and observer. The way people interact with an interactive artwork can be really ranging: starting a three-dimensional or digital system, participate on internet, making a sound or a movement. As a result the artwork responds to the observer. Thereby the artwork only receives form and meaning by the participation of the observer. This is how interactive art breaks the boundaries between life and art.

Interactive art did not develop in an art historical vacuum and incorporates many influences from previous art movements and experiments with art and technology. In the 70s artist searched for new methods to communicate with their audience. In these years Fluxus developed performances that combine art and music. Their goal was to bring art closer to daily life. It did not take long before others artist like John Cage and Nam June Paik experimented with so called happenings. Also groups of artist like the Dadaists where intrigued by this form of art because they did not only reached the audience but also demanded active participation. The role of the observer changed from passive to active. At a certain point in the 70s performance artist had to deal with the practical facts that their artworks where gone when they finished. For this matter they started capturing there work on video. Video art, first used for documentation, quickly developed as an independent art form. Around the same time experiments with computers took place. Interactive art can be seen as a result of the traditions mentioned above because of the dominant role of technology, the active contribution of the observers and the desire to break the boundaries between life and art.