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ANTENNAE

THE JOURNAL OF NATURE IN VISUAL CULTURE

 

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Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture

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AESTHETICS OF A VIRTUAL WORLD

Carol Gigliotti explores the emerging aesthetics of interactive technologies—such as virtual reality, multimedia and telecommunication —and the inherent commitment artists must assume in accepting responsibility for the impact of these aesthetics. By examining connections between ethics and aesthetics throughout Western history, the author attempts to transform the aesthetics of virtual worlds to impact ethical thought. She lists six factors integral to responsible aesthetics in virtual systems: interface, content, environment, perception, performance and plasticity.  more>>

Etienne Benson discusses the problematics and potentialities proposed by the “minimal animal” an animal that is nothing but a stochastic pattern across a blank page. The minimal animal was not an invention of the 1960s, but the tracking systems and digital computers that first became available during that period both broadened its reach and changed its character in significant ways. more>>

In his influential essay from 1977 titled ‘Why Look at Animals?’ John Berger advanced the thesis that in the modern world, human relationships with animals have been predominantly shaped by representation. The essay argued that the increased proliferation of animal images emerging at the end of the nineteenth century constituted a phenomenon directly linked to the relentless disappearance of live animals in everyday life. Berger’s argument has been challenged by many, yet something about its grand theory of disappearances and ghostly presences has recently begun to resonate more strongly as animals are conspicuously emerging in video games and alternative reality scenarios, posing even more pressing questions about representation and human-animal interaction at a time when the virtual world seems to be on the brink of overshadowing the material one.

 

In an attempt to map the current state of affairs with 'virtual animals', this issue of Antennae gathers together a range of perspectives from some of the most influential scholars and artists working in the field.

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IN THIS ISSUE

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#30 — WINTER 2014

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MINIMAL ANIMAL: SURVEILLANCE, SIMULATION, AND STOCHASTICITY IN WILDLIFE BIOLOGY

Carol Gigliotti

 

Etienne Benson

Hovering at the horizon of the visual, images of cats interacting with computers, dogs and monkeys promoting cell phones, foxes and penguins branding corporations that specialize in software, splashing elephants filmed to demonstrate updated iPhone cameras, graphically minimalized pictures of bees and spiders suspended at the edge of corporate home pages, and other animal-like bodies comprised of digital bits are now so prolific that they seem to constitute a meaning beyond their own semiotic and commercial functions. more>>

Jody Berland

Gary Walsh examines how videogames convey ideologies regarding human-animal relationships, especially in cases where animals serve as sport or entertainment. He argues that this can be traced to historical spectacles of violence involving animals in which the image of the animal, and making the animal visible, are privileged over the animal body. The visual and technical nature of videogames allows for the simultaneous removal of animal bodies while making the image of the animal ubiquitous and readily visible to spectators. Videogames, therefore, perpetuate the practice of turning animals into simulacra to dissociate acts of violence from activities deemed as leisure or entertainment.  more>>

TAMING THE MONSTER: VIOLENCE, SPECTACLE, AND THE VIRTUAL ANIMAL

Gary Walsh

FIONA WOODS:

ANIMAL OPERA

Woods returns to the gallery, where the sound element is crucial

 

 

by Michaele Cutaya

THE SCANDAL of the

SINGING DOG

This first-person account highlights a research-driven encounter with African Safari-themed poker machines, or ‘slots’. What's the ‘value’ of the animals within poker machine narratives? Are these machines contributing to the construction of non-human animals as commodities,  explicitly rendering them as capital?

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1 AESTHETICS 2 TAMING MONSTER 5a VISITOR'S GUIDE

A VISITOR’S GUIDE TO THE VIRTUAL MANAGERIE

4 MINIMAL ANIMAL

Shaun Lawson and Thomas Chesney

6 IMPACT

Treatises of natural history, when discussing a population or species, often refer to an animal by means of the definite article, e.g. “the boar.”  They invoke thereby a curious creature which is at once both singular and plural, an example of what Derrida would call the general singular.  We are given an ideal, Platonic boar, an essence which effaces the specificity of individuals.  Similarly, digital games like Titan Quest depict each of their animals by means of a single character model: every boar is indistinguishable from her fellows.  The virtual animals of Titan Quest, however, are encountered by players as individuals: we meet each time a particular adversary or ally, and we experience, to our cost or benefit, their personal strength and power (virtus).  more>>

A SINGULAR OF BOARS

Tom Tyler

3 SINGULAR 9 SAFARI

ALSO IN ANTENNAE # 30

7a PLAYING WITH PIGS

"videogames serve to reinforce asymmetric human-centered power relationships at the expense of the animal-other "

Antennae is a peer-reviewed, non-funded, independent, quarterly academic journal. All rights of featured content of website and PDF publication are reserved. Editor in Chief: Giovanni Aloi. 2014

 

 

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Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture

Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture

Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture

Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture

This paper focuses on issues of interaction with a particular type of mobile information system – virtual pets. It examines the impact of owner age on companionship with virtual pets, and tests the hypothesis that younger virtual pet owners will experience closer companionship with their virtual pet than older owners. This is in response to the marketing stance adopted by virtual pet manufacturers who clearly target younger people as the main consumers of their products.    more >>

ON SAFARI IN THE

GAMING LOUNGE

by Jane O’Sullivan

Building on experimental and exploratory game design research with orangutans, this essay addresses a number of examples that highlight the areas of discomfort and uncertainty in human-animal communication and ACI (Animal-Computer Interaction).

by Hanna Wirman

CAPTIVE ORANGUTAN (PONGO PYGMAEUS) TOUCH SCREEN PLAY

Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture

Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture

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GAMES FOR/WITH STRANGERS:

One farmer asked Clemens Driessen if pigs would enjoy the sorts of video games her kids play on their Nintendo Wii. The suggestion drove the philosopher to contact the Utrecht School of the Arts to collaborate on video games for pigs. It started out as a way to relieve the boredom of pigs awaiting slaughter. But game design initiative Playing with Pigs quickly evolved to become something more than a simple video game that gets humans to ‘play with their food’.

by Clemens Driessen, Kars Alfrink

Marinka Copier, Hein Lagerweij

Irene van Peer

PLAYING WITH PIGS

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