Electronic Dreams: ISEA2013

Microscope and Camera Lucida Image Powerhouse Museum - See more at: http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/insidethecollection/2013/07/old-new-media-techniques-of-the-old-masters-re-visited-through-electronic-art-isea2013/#sthash.x6aBgrQg.dpuf

Last Thursday the Powerhouse Museum hosted ‘Electric Dreams’ a late night event dedicated to electronic art as one of the public programs for the 19th International Symposium of Electronic Art, ISEA2013.  Along with talks from the artists were ‘make’ tables, video games, raspberry pi karaoke and wearable interactive art on parade.  One of the features of the evening was the use of microscopes fitted with Camera Lucida.

In 2001 Canadian artist David Hockney exposed the use of this technology by Old Masters from as far back as the early 15th-century. The Powerhouse Museum demonstrated this older technology alongside more contemporary digital technologies that augment electronic art.

Katie Turnbull (Australia), Modern Vanitas 2012. Image by Mark Ashkanasy, RMIT Gallery, 2012 (commissioned by Experimenta)

Katie Turnbull (Australia), Modern Vanitas 2012. Image by Mark Ashkanasy, RMIT Gallery, 2012 (commissioned by Experimenta)

The Powerhouse Museum currenlty has three exhibitions in league with the 19th International Symposium of Electronic Art. With the theme Resistance is futile, the element of technology driven objects on display provided a contemporary history to the more historic objects housed permanently in the Museum’s collection like Loco No. 1 and the Boulton and Watt Steam Engine. It sits particularly well with the  Museums 25th Anniversary exhibition Technologies that changed our minds.

ISEA2013 consists of 3 exhibitions which feature Australian and international artists. Experimenta’s Speak to me is about the interconnectedness of everyone to everything all the time through modern technology, sometimes through the medium of the works and sometimes through their message.  Symbiotica’s Semipermeable (+) is about the membrane as a site, metaphor and platform for a series of artistic interventions and projects; and Synapse: a selection presents the very best of works developed from artists and scientist’s collaborating over a three month period.

This article was originally published in the Inside the Collection blog.