Whether they are built with code, electronics – or both – media art and interactive installations are complex assemblages. Taking the reigns of this degree of complexity requires vision, and designers need to balance their ‘thesis’ about what a piece could be with flexibility to cultivate a project’s emergent qualities; in many ways their work is not so much ‘Artistry’ (with a capital A) but systems design. Behaviours and operation are determined algorithmically with various modes or states that are conditional – each of which needs to be designed – and the system is gradually refined through testing. Given this fine balance of iteration and emergence, how exactly do designers describe authorship and craft in their work?
Seung Joon Choi
Seoul-based media artist creating interactions and experiences with emergent qualities
Member of LAb[au], an artist trio exploring contemporary aesthetics with algorithmic logic
Berlin, Vienna, and Seoul based electroacoustic composer and installation artist
Founding partner at the London-based studio United Visual Artists
Feature image: Counter mechanisms from the Difference Engine, Charles Babbage’s nineteenth-century mechanical calculator that was designed to compute (complex) tables of numbers. (photo: Wikimedia Commons)